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Successful debut lets Lianne La Havas establish her name

For Journal Register Newspapers

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For someone who released her first music just a year and half ago, Lianne La Havas is making quite a bit of news.

"Is Your Love Big Enough?," the British singer-songwriter's debut album, was iTunes' Album of the Year for 2012 and was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and for the BBC's Sound of 2012 award. It's also spawned the singles "Forget," "Lost & Found" and the title track.

"It feels really good," says Havas, 32, who was born Lianne Barnes in London. "Right now I just have to go on the people that come to the shows, and they seem to like it. It's hard to really judge. My feet are firmly on the ground, so I'm not getting carried away by everything that's happened."

Havas says she feels "very privileged" to be playing her own shows in the U.S. after opening for Bon Iver here last year, and she's eyeballing a 2013 schedule that includes a number of prominent festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival and Bonnaroo. But Havas is also ready to start "writing more songs and experiencing some more feelings," which she expects will mean starting working on her next album sooner rather than later.

"There's tons of unfinished ideas that, for whatever reason, we didn't get finished for ('Is Your Love Big Enough?'), so that's a start," she says. "And then I just take everything as it comes. I just want to find a pleasing sonic way of representing these new songs and get into the studio to get some stuff recorded so I won't completely go off the radar.

"I can't really put my finger on what it will (sound like) yet. Sometimes I can't really trace it until right after the song has been finished. I'm just looking forward to that feeling of being moved by something again."

Lianne La Havas and Jamie N Commons perform on Tuesday, April 2, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-540-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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