Somerset House Studios resident

Lafawndah

Musician.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Lafawndah's journey to her current incarnation as a devotional pop polymath has wound as unpredictably as her compositional style. The ceaseless artist returns in 2020 with ‘The Fifth Season’, due later this year on Parisian label Latency. In contrast to the precision-tuned industrial productions of debut album ‘Ancestor Boy’, her second album breathes a different kind of volatility, inviting a new degree of spontaneity into her process, as reflected in collaborations from live sessions with tubist Theon Cross from Sons of Kemet, trombonist Nathaniel Cross, percussionist Valentina Magaletti, Nick Weiss on keys and additional production, French rapper
Lala &ce, and with visual artist Marguerite Humeau.

2019 was a banner year for Lafawndah. ‘Ancestor Boy’, released on her own imprint Concordia that spring, was met with enthusiastic acclaim. A record loaded with trap doors, Lafawndah’s intricate production style marries with her vocal performances which oscillate between the warm secrecy of a whisper, and a loud and generous rallying cry. Co-produced with fellow travellers Nick Weiss, ADR and L-Vis 1990, and featuring performances from the likes of Jon Hassell, Kelsey Lu, Gaika, and more, it featured on ‘Best of the Year’ lists from the likes of Dazed, Resident Advisor, Bandcamp, Dummy, and FACT, as well as collecting praise from NPR, Vogue, and The Guardian.

Her work as a director continued to expand, too, with films for her lullaby ‘Joseph’, standout single ‘Daddy’, and the captivating ‘Substancia’ showcasing her cinematic eye, selected for presentation by Nowness and Boiler Room’s 4:3. ‘Ancestor Boy II’, released at the end of the year, proved her curatorial ear and passion - a call for collaboration across peers at the forefront of new music, and from across the world.

The release also heralded the announcement of a new production & DJ chapter with Cõvco, as the duo stepped out as Fara Fara. Further, a long-awaited live performance of ‘Le Renard Bleu’, her 2018 record with Japanese ambient master Midori Takada, took place in the form of ‘Ceremonial Blue’, commissioned by the Barbican, London, as well as new incursions into contemporary art and fashion, with Laure Prouvost for the Venice Biennale and with Jeff Mills for Courrèges.

This year anchors Lafawndah as a descendent of forbearers Brigitte Fontaine and Scott Walker - a born theatric who finds her imagination more agile than ever, with a drive to push her compositions into live iterations ever deeper and more aflame.

Lafawndah's residency is supported by Jerwood Arts' Development Programme Fund as part of Sonic Terrains.