West London Rapper Lava La Rue Talks Björk, Bahamadia, And Badu For The Bustle Booth

Betsy Johnson & Luke Nugent

For Bustle UK's music issue, Noisemakers, we wanted to spotlight the new talent you're destined to find on your playlist in the next 12 months, as well as the industry heavy hitters you know and love. Bustle UK's social media editor (and all-round music super-fan) Charlie Mock scoured the scene to find the finest up-and-coming artists to take on the Bustle Booth. Read on to find out how West London rapper Lava La Rue left her mark.

The British music scene is booming, and while it hasn't always been been plain sailing for women in music, Lava La Rue is part of the new scene driving change for women in rap. With songs like "Widdit," "Burn," and "Letra," her sound is wise beyond her 21 years, with melodic flow and instrumentals reminiscent of youthful soul and jazz tracks. Her inspirations are not all that surprising, then.

"The holy three Bs: Björk, Bahamadia, and Badu (Erykah)," La Rue tells Bustle. "Björk for her artistic and far-left expression; Bahamadia for her ability to create lyrically complex raps with the coolest flow in the world; and Badu for her representation of self-love and identity in the most unapologetic way."

These three artists are also united by a relentless originality, and it's a cause La Rue has adopted for herself. "Even though it's helpful to be aware of the 'industry' — and I like to think I'm quite aware of the happenings around me — out of self-preservation (and let's say... not getting too caught up in the sauce...), I like to stay in my own world and just create my own movements, community, and subculture... let the industry catch up with me rather than me catch up with the industry."

Betsy Jonson & Luke Nugent

With such confidence and clear self-determination — "I realised I just needed to make music my full-time responsibility" — it's unsurprising that La Rue felt destined for a career as a performer. "I think you really know that you're meant for a career as a musical artist/performer when every time you go to a show, you imagine yourself on that stage," she says. "And when you're in class, you spend half the time writing lyrics and humming melodies, and you know deep down if you had the chance to do it as a living, you'd never stop."

La Rue brings a voraciously creative approach to the work that she does on and off the stage. "All my passions that I have outside of music, like fashion, filmmaking, graphic design, etc., I do alongside the music anyway just to keep all parts of my brain ticking," she says. "I actually would love to collaborate with some filmmakers and designers more than anything and make some sick music videos and clothes." She cites Illegal Civilization's Mikey Alfred, Nigo, Liam Hodges, and Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold as ideal collaborators. "I've really only just started this journey, and only shown a fraction of my capabilities, as I grow I'm really trying to push the world," she adds.

Her self-assurance and confidence is palpable and inspiring. Check out La Rue's answers to our Bustle Booth below.