Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Waxing Lyrical

Singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas on Prince, Jamaica and Hong Kong

When did you realise you wanted to be a singer?
I realised at a young age that I wanted to sing, but had no idea that it was a plausible career choice until the age of about 18.

Having worked with Prince, what was his influence on your music?
Prince’s influence on most artists is undeniable. I loved his approach and serious work ethic. He was also kind and generous, particularly to young musicians he thought highly of. He wanted us to go far and always made me remember to be myself and trust my gut instinct, and have a more forward-thinking outlook.

How has your Jamaican background and your travel there influenced you?
My fondest memory of Jamaica was walking along the beach with my mother arm-in-arm just talking and realising that I was having the best trip of my life with the most beautiful woman in my life. I think my Jamaican background and travel has influenced me in a big way. I love rhythm and I love to dance. Working with Jamaican producers, I found that I was able to inject this mentality into my music.

Do you prefer song writing or live performances?
No feeling compares to the feeling of making new music that you love and creating something that’s never been heard before. I also love hearing how the music I listen to and my life experiences manifest themselves into the music I make. I absolutely love performing live though, but the two are quite different things.

What are your travel essentials?
Baby wipes, a pillow from home, notebook, pen, headphones, moisturiser, eyeliner, toothbrush, highlighter, eyebrow gel, eyelash curlers, high heels and some good sunglasses.

What are your impressions of Hong Kong?
To me, Hong Kong was beautiful. I loved walking around on my own and exploring all the little pockets of the area I was staying in. I also ate some of the most amazing food and saw some incredible unforgettable views from high up. I loved it and can’t wait to come back again!

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