Hailing from Hackney, East London with roots in Mauritius, Lavaud began her musical journey guided by her father, who exposed her to various genres like Zouk and R&B. Get familiar with this VIPER interview…

What five words define your sound? 

I would say my sound is Eclectic, Feel Good, Honest, Colourful and Universal. 

Tell me something unique about your creative process  

I love to talk about what my year or week has been like to all the creatives in the room, so they can gage what the story behind the art will be like. I get deep, very personal. We watch and listen to things that inspire me. I also highlight key words from my journal and make topics out of that. I live with it a little then make music with intention behind it.

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?

One of my favourites ‘Oh My’ featuring Reekado Banks. I just love the way I feel when the song comes on, and it’s a great blend of genres from Zouk, Afro, R&B and Pop!

What inspired you to make that song? 

Love inspires me the most. Seeing love, being in love, witnesses a loving act of kindness. Love really makes the world go round in my opinion and I wanted to be able to capture that same feeling in this song. It’s about praying for your dream person and you actually manifesting them. In terms of the sound I wanted a mixture of my two cultures. I grew up in London and the beautiful island of Mauritius. I wanted a fusion of Séga, Afro-beats, a bit of lyrics in French, the second verse and some North/ East London energy with my delivery. I wanted to make something to make people feel good and be happy especially cause we were in lock down at that time. To create a movie in 3 minutes 03 seconds through music and a place for people to escape to that adds to their safe space. 

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music? 

I would say making a song called ‘In This Room’. I wrote and recorded it in my room in lockdown. I was really missing everything that I no longer had access to even not being able to see all my loved ones. So I wrote a really honest song about how I was feeling. 

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?  

I’ve always been taught from a young age in all my performances from musical theatre to performing my own songs that the show must go on and you give the best you can. I wouldn’t call it my worst experience, just a learning experience. I had lost my voice the day before my performance in Vegas in 2016. I was there attending the Billboard awards for the week and I had been over using my voice. Talking in loud places and drinking tequila. Next day I woke up hoarse and didn’t feel like it was really Lavaud singing. I cried after and learnt that partying the day before performing isn’t for me. And I’ve really enjoyed the rest of my performances since then and before. They’re all experiences that I’ve learnt from and I value them both the same. I’ll be back on the stage very soon and I’m so excited. 

What is your favourite song to perform? 

I love performing, fast lane. It gets me in my feels and I really transcend into my own world singing it. I feel sexy and so empowered when I perform this. There’s so many textures and layers to the song.

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music? 

It was actually my dad. He is a true visionary, a living musician and artist who may have not had the success of Prince or MJ. But he reinvents himself and the way he loves music and still practices all his instruments and is always learning new things at the age of 53. He truly has always inspired me to create and want to be greater. Mariah Carey was definitely someone I was obsessed with as a child growing up. I loved how flawless her vocals were. Her sassiness and confidence in the booth and the stage. Her effortlessness.I wish I could still whistle tone the way I used to. Definitely working on that one, I have faith I can get it back. 

What’s the meaning behind your name? 

It is actually my surname. My family name. It’s the name of a road somewhere in France I believe, but I’m just gonna say it means voice. My first name actually means star and my last name I say means Voice. My own definition [laughs]. 

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead? 

I had to really think because I really don’t know however, since I’ve been in therapy with the amazing Lynne Scott for the past two years I’ve had an interest in therapy. I think I would have trained to be a therapist or become a Dermatologist. I think I may get into this later on in my career in a different way. Maybe my own skin care brand and find a way to help young upcoming artists process their feelings and emotions in a healthy way.

What’s success to you? 

True peace, happiness and love in your heart. You genuinely have that, everything else will follow. I’ve learned that if you can vibrate at a higher frequency while asking for what you want and visualising that for yourself it really does come true. I’m learning how to be more specific with what I want in the next coming years.

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?  

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever changed direction, but I had a side job being a supporting artist in movies and TV series. I couldn’t live off my savings anymore and had to find a flexible job that wouldn’t sway me from making music and creating. Although it led me to doing featured acting roles and now I’m taking acting workshops. Working on my acting craft and sharpening that tool. Shout Out to GOHUB and my acting mentor Jaz Hutchins and director Sebastian Theil for supporting and believing in my talent as an actress.

Where can people keep in touch with you? 

You can follow me on all social platforms @ IAMLAVAUD. Thank you so much for having me. 

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