“As an artist, I want to be a living representation of everything that has shaped my creativity.”: A Conversation With Lavaud
Lavaud (pronounced La Vo), born Estelle Lavaud, is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Hackney, East London, with roots in Mauritius. Beginning her musical journey with guidance from her dad, a trained musician, she has successfully blended genres to be a powerhouse in music. With a list of genre-bending singles and a critically acclaimed debut EP entitled “King Vaud,” she is on a path to share her music with the world. The year 2023 came with new music from Lavaud titled “Roll On Me,” partnering with an all-star team of Tiwa Savage, Kanis, Reekado Banks, and Patoranking.
Brian Benjamin caught up with Lavaud to talk about her heritage, the new single, and her journey so far.
iMullar – “Roll On Me” blends Afro-R&B and dancehall influences. What led you to combine these particular styles, and what do they mean?
Lavaud: I grew up in a Mauritian household that listened to genres like Sega, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Pop, Zouk, and more… To me, mixing these styles is a natural part of who I am and feels instinctively right.
iMullar – The collaboration on “Roll On Me” boasts an ensemble of notable artists, including Tiwa Savage, Kanis, Reekado Banks, and Patoranking. Could you shed some light on the genesis of this remarkable partnership and the artistic synergy that ensued during the creative process?
Lavaud: It was a very organic process; Kel-P and Trakmatik created something that felt authentic, diverse, and musically intriguing; it inspired all of us to bring our cultures, feelings, and perspectives to the table. I had the privilege of recording my verse last, so it was easy to feel the energy everyone came with.
iMullar – Could you describe the contributions of Kel-P and Trakmatik to the production of “Roll On Me” and how their skills played a pivotal role in transforming the song into an irresistibly infectious party anthem?
Lavaud: I love working with them because they’re not afraid to experiment and try something new and out of the box. They’re very talented musicians and love to delve into my culture and understand me as an artist, so that helped in terms of getting the right sound for this song. Kel-P brings that global anthemic African sound, while Trakmatik gave us a US/Latin cadence, which brought a new dimension to the song and who it appeals to.
iMullar – Your dual heritage, embracing both Mauritian and British roots, carries a palpable presence in your music today. How has this duality shaped and enriched the sonic tapestry of your work?
Lavaud: First of all, thank you so much! That’s a huge compliment. I’ve always wanted that to show in my music. Being intentional is significant in everything you do, from fashion to your image. As an artist, I want to be a living representation of everything that has shaped my creativity. Being able to blend my Mauritian heritage with my British edge makes me Lavaud; it’s my superpower, and I’m learning more and more every single day to embrace that.
When you experience and learn from different cultures, you begin to understand how special diversity in this world truly is. I feel like it’s my mission to push Mauritius to the forefront of the music scene, and I don’t take that lightly.
iMullar – Your ascent in the music industry has garnered commendation from publications and radio stations. How has this recognition influenced the trajectory of your musical journey and your artistic evolution?
Lavaud: More people are watching now, and it’s beautiful to feel a global audience celebrating the little wins with me. It feels great because now people are getting to know me as an artist who has something different to bring to the table. It makes me more aware of what it means to be an artist, the responsibility of my voice, and the impact I want to make in this world as a woman. I’m so grateful to God that things on my mood board are finally coming true.
iMullar – With your debut EP, “King Vaud,” you solidified your standing as an emerging star. What exciting prospects can fans anticipate from your forthcoming musical endeavors, and how do they build upon the foundation laid by your previous work?
Lavaud: King Vaud was and will always be the first jewel in my crown—something so special I got to share with the world. As my first body of work, it allowed me to express my vision as a recording and visual artist, and to be honest, it prepared me for the journey I’ve been on in making my new music. I would say I’ve grown a lot artistically. This new music comes from a place of complete honesty and vulnerability, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.
iMullar – Could you share any poignant personal anecdotes or moments from your musical journey that have left an indelible mark on your artistry and career?
Lavaud: This new single is one of them! ‘Roll On Me’, being blessed to be on a song with icons like Tiwa Savage, Kanis, Reekado Banks, and Patoranking on a song produced by Kel-P, is a dream come true, and I am so appreciative.
Another core memory happened when I was 20, living in LA in 2016. I met one of my biggest inspirations, “The Queen,” ‘Rihanna’, at the Billboard Music Awards. She doesn’t even know how much that moment inspired me. Maybe one day she’ll know, haha!
iMullar – Lastly, as an artist, what underlying message do you aspire to convey through your music to resonate with your discerning listeners?
Lavaud: Put yourself first. Never second guess who you are. Trust yourself and keep striving to be the best version of yourself. Move with love
The iMullar is the voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.