Warp records’ latest signing is a genre-bending gem.
There’s no doubt that Warp are one of the world’s most daring record labels. Over the past 26 years, they’ve churned out a steady slew of game-changing artists – Nightmares On Wax, Aphex Twin, Jamie Lidell and Flying Lotus, to name a few – ultimately carving out a path for genre-bending vocalists such as their latest signing, Lafawndah, who is going to make the next year in music very interesting indeed.
In an era where Kylie, Kendall and Kim rule, finding a cool female figure to admire is like finding a rare gem. Lafawndah has power in her presence and in her beats – a curious new creature for us to obsess over on the Internet. In her video for NTS Live, the Iranian native dons a men’s white t-shirt, sculpted nails and hair piled on top of her head in thick braids. She exudes a feminine sensuality with her sweet high octane voice woven into hard basslines, all of her elements together creating energy, like a twisted R&B star.
In true Warp style, Lafawndah has a blatant disregard for anything middle-of-the-road and pieces together a visual identity and sound from everywhere she has ever lived or travelled. Be it Tehran, Paris, Zurich, Brooklyn or a remote Caribbean island, Zouk, hard dance and R&B intertwine in her 4-track EP, Tan, which is out on 5th February 2016. It appears that another game-changer has been added to the Warp family and we’re keeping our eyes on her next moves.
We stole a quick 60 seconds with Lafawndah, ahead of her release. Before we begin, take a peek at the video for the first single, also called Tan.
Can you tell us about the name, where did it come from?
It was the name of my sex education teacher at school in Iran.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
When I covered Jamiroquai aged 13 in front of 500 people and it felt good.
What was the inspiration behind your new EP, Tan.
Walking down Langstrasse in Zurich, bombarded by music bursting from Mexican, Serbian, Jamaican, Liberian, Korean and Russian clubs all at once and immediately later being thrust into the throb of Fire Island.
What inspires you to write?
Whales, metal, agave, courage, orgasms, pomegranates, razors, lips, raw fish, hackers, mushrooms, injustice, humming birds, islands, minds, tides, balls, walls.
You’ve just been signed to Warp, what was that process like?
Your musical influences like Grace Jones, Lady Saw, Psychic TV, Kate Bush and Missy Elliot are all really eclectic, how do you think you translate them all into your music?
Freedom inspires me.
You describe yourself a conceptualist and a performer, talk to us about that.
Well, I do believe I can fly.
If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
Pelvic, boom and bone.
The imagery that goes with your music is quite unique, was that a conscious choice to make the visuals as important as the sound?
What is your goal, career-wise?
Feed eyes, ears, feet.
WORDS: Lizzy Nicholson