West London native LAVA LA RUE is a true creative powerhouse. A defining talent on London’s music scene, Lava is now ready to take it global. Newly signed to Dirty Hit, Lava’s new single RENEGADE lands in the wake of two stellar Coachella performances as well as support slots with SG Lewis and Remi Wolf across the US West Coast.
We now welcome a 2.0 Lava La Rue sonic, one that all those years of self-discovery and expression have birthed. It’s Psychedelic Rock at its core but flecked with Brit Pop, Indie and more. Long highlighting the lack of role models in this space when they were growing up, Lava has morphed into someone that they always wished they could look up to – a queer rock star with an epic band, hoping to bind together a generation of listeners who have long sought something queer and gear shifting in that space.
“When I was at school, I didn’t have anyone who looked like me making alternative music.” Lava reflects. “Being able to provide that for a younger version of myself? That’s my main motivation.”
Lava’s recent Hi-Fidelity EP – a guitar driven, transitional project that featured collaborations with Foster The People’s Isom Innis and Biig Piig – acted as “the bridge between the Lava that debuted, the one everyone knows, and the person they’re becoming” with Renegade.
Speaking on the single Lava states:
“Renegade is the beginning of a wider concept and narrative, from the perspective of a character who is talking about an infatuation that’s vital to the storyline. The song was made out of a jam in LA with my friend APOB – I knew I wanted a big glam guitar solo in it so I called up Stolen Nova (Josh Landau) who I’d met at a house party the previous week, as I knew he had the minerals. When I came back home to finish the song in the UK we got Luca Caruso (Beabadoobee, Orlando Weekes) to track in live drums and the song was pretty much done after the third bounce. It was important for me to not oversaturate the vibe you can hear in the song, that was basically created within the first hour of conceptualising it.”
The accompanying music video, directed by Lava alongside production from MrMr Film, is a deep dive into the new world of Lava La Rue. Think robots, space, guitars and general magic. Lava explains:
“The music video concept came to me after I’d just visited my old friends in Japan who I hadn’t seen since I was living in Tokyo in 2017. I was on the plane home and I started to think about the details of how influential mid-century Japanese sci-fi narratives like ULTRAMAN TARO and their Kaiju monsters have been on western sci-fi tropes we know today, from Star Wars to Doctor Who.
“I’d been doing some deep dive research into this world and knew that I needed to make a nod to it for this ‘New Lava’ era, as it will visually give a little context and backstory to where I’m going with the music that’s to follow. By the end of my 14 hour flight home, I had written the script to the music video and sent the whole idea to my producers Katie, Martha and Rosie at MrMr Film the next day to start production. Within two hours of sending them the concept, they were on the phone to model villages and I was mocking up alien costume ideas.”
Without a doubt one of the UK’s most exciting artists, Lava’s musical accolades far outweigh their young years. Since their 2018 online debut performing the single Widdit on Colors Berlin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-x6sBYbmbM – Lava has released four critically acclaimed EPs, each navigating their upbringing with influences that range from Gorillaz to the Clash to David Bowie.
Equally recognised for their artistic vision, Lava’s multi-hyphenate talent has also led to directorial work, a co-sign by the Tate Modern, heading talks at the BFI and even creatively directing a live TV performance for the 2023 Brit Awards with Wet Leg.
Premiered via BBC Radio One as Claire Amfo’s Hottest Record, Renegade is available on all streaming services now: https://lavalarue.ffm.to/renegade Welcome to Lava La Rue 2.0.