Lava La Rue

Healing, Power, Community

Lava La Rue is doing it their way or they’re probably not doing it at all. Born Ava Laurel in West London, the young rapper, producer is not shy about who they are. Whether it's shopping discount CDs and records or hanging out at a queer strip club, Lava La Rue is absorbing influences everywhere they go. Though they didn’t set out with the goal to make "queer" music--they wrote bars about their own life, with the help of their growing fanbase, they noticed they were catering to the absence of queer love songs in pop and hip hop.

La Rue draws a lot of inspiration from Black icons that had an outwardly queer presentation but weren't living a moment where they could be explicit about their identities. The likes of Prince, Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry or Jimi Hendrix being chief among them, Lava La Rue tries to bring attention to the fact that the foundations of modern alternative genres are inherently black and have only been "white-ified" to sell the aesthetic as a genre. And so La Rue's visual aesthetic, as much as their sound, aims at a reclamation of a myriad of British sub-cultural movements for the people that created them. Joining the foster care system at age 14, La Rue learned a lot about identity from West London, a place where Spanish, Caribbean and Morroccan folks are constantly displaying and celebrating their culture. So they too learned how to do the same.

Their lyrics became their sword, inspiring the title for their Letra EP and a tattoo of knife that they’ve got.

In their neo-soulish, rapsodic flow songs, they’re always discussing the liberation of femme, queer, trans PoC, for example on the song 'Lift You Up' from their Butter-Fly EP.

La Rue is an active participant in the revolution outside of making their music, giving whenever they can. The proceeds from a zine that accompanied their track 'G.O.Y.D.', a collaboration with Atlanta's Clairo, produced by VEGYN, were all sent to For Our Sibs, an Atlanta based collective providing mutual aid to Black trans and non binary folks in Atlanta and the UK. Always repping London, Lava is a founding member of NINE8 collective, London-based artists “coming together to develop a scene of underground art, music and fashion.” We can expect to see more from La Rue, who doesn't show any signs of slowing.
Statement by Omar El-Sabrout

A conversation with:

Lava La Rue

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Lava La Rue

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