Name: FLOetic Lara
Repping: NLT Collective
Birthplace: South London
Lives: On me Jack Jones in Bricky (Brixton)
Poetry Debut: Brixton Art Gallery, 2001
UK Youth Ambassador at the age of 18. Shipped to America to shadow Colin Powell. Musically, I supported and opened the show for artists Jaguar Wright and Dwele. In 2005, I won Best Poet at Kojo’s Comedy Rooms. Also, having Omar produce one of my tracks for my first CD project - that was lovely, and having Don-E produce a track for me was a blessing too.
Here at ONiT! PR, we're excited to know that you're having an album launch concert on Sunday 5th June, and because we're eager [laughs], we thought we'd touch base with you before hand to get a little insight into the lady that is FLOetic Lara, so.....let's go!
Describe FLOectic Lara in 5 words...
Are you a night owl or a morning person?
I am a moon baby (so yes, Night owl).
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Oh bloody hell… [laughs] ermm… The chicken, the chicken.
I like purple , green and gold.
If you were a fruit what fruit would you be and why?
I know this one, I am a mango! Because I am juicy, I am exotic, suckable (am I allowed to say that? [laughs]) and I’m large, and large mangoes are nice…
We understand that you recorded your album ‘For Lovers Of...’ at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica. Tell us about your experience of recording in a space that Bob (Marley) and so many other influential reggae artists have used?
It was amazing! It was good to have that ancestral energy, seeing all the medals and platinum records was definitely inspirational and I felt homered to be there.
What can we expect to hear on this album?
You can expect to hear my usual soul, eclectic mix of Jazz and hip hop but it’s fused with a reggae undertone and it was recorded with a full, live band.
You’re well known in the industry as a Singer/Songwriter as well as a Poet. Do you have a preference of the two?
Oh boy, boy, boy [laughs] No I don’t have a preference, no. I’m a Poet, who likes to use sound I suppose. I’ve always loved messing about vocally, but yeah, I can’t say I have a preference.
What inspired you to start performing and actually pursue it as a career?
Initially, it was just about sharing some of my creativity and I suppose what inspired me, was seeing some of the other artists on the scene doing their thing and making it their career. I didn’t really know Poets could be so, powerful. It made a big impact on me – especially the spoken word scene. As for singing, I was 11 years old when my favourite artist (Erykah Badu) bought out her first album, Baduizum. I played it non-stop and I just loved it, so I suppose it had quite an impact on me.
Describe your style…
I’d say its thought provoking, passionate, youthful, cheeky but with an underlying message from an old soul.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals that you like to do before a show?
Before I get on stage, I like to prep myself up by visualizing what I’m going to do, I like to give thanks that I’m about to go up there and do my thing, and tell myself to breathe and not to worry [laughs] because sometimes, I can get quite nervous.
Who are your greatest influences?
Erykah Badu, I like Busta Rhymes because of his energy, I’ve always loved Busta. I’d also claim AmeN NoiR as one of my influences; he’s a spoken word artist from the London scene. I just think he’s amazingly powerful and has a great stage presence, so yeah. Also, sorry I can’t forget my jazz influences, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday - love them.
If you could collaborate on a track with any other singer, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Dead or alive? Erm.. Fundamentally I would like to do something with Erykah Badu but for someone that’s passed I’d like to do something with Billie Holiday because her pain was immense, and really came through in her sound and her tone, so yeah, I’d work with her.
Is there an artist or performance that you’ve recently seen that blew you away?
I saw Damian Marley not too long ago and he was tight, really good.
We know you’ve performed internationally, from New York to the Far East (Jealous!) What’s been your greatest performance experience that you’ve had outside of the UK?
Once, I was in New York and, because I do a lot of youth work as well, I mix music with youth work, I performed for a school of supposedly 'naughty' under privileged youths, and they went off their heads saying “oh woooow you should be on American Idol” and so on, so that was nice, definitely. Mostly, because they’re children.
Musically I’d say Bangkok - I performed with Thailand’s top Saxophonist (sorry, I can’t remember his name). He was amazing and the vibe that we had was just incredible because we both shared a deep appreciation for Jazz, which was nice.
What do you do in your spare time to relax when you’re not hard at work?
I like to hold a juice, kick back, light candles and enjoy a hot bath, using some of my Naturally Divine Oils from my own product range [laughs], and just chilling with my bredrins. We like to talk over good food, discuss a good book and so on.
What can we expect from your Album Launch at Plan B on the 5th of June?
Ooooh some exciting surprises! Expect me to utilise my creativity in various styles of art, put it that way… (hint, hint, hint – I’m not giving anything away [laughs])
Where can fans buy your album?
Firstly it will be available at the launch, following that, on FLOeticlara.com, also, it will soon be available on iTunes.
Outside of the stage, where can we find you?
You can see and hear the enigmatic and vivacious FLOetic Lara perform tracks from her latest album, 'For Lovers Of...' at her launch concert at Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, LONDON SW9 7AY on Sunday 5th June.
FLO will be supported by guest artists AmeN Noir (Best Kept Secret), Comfort - Art without Apology, LeeN, Mandisa and Mikel Ameen. This live extravaganza will be compered by the hilarious Kat Francois (Kat's Got Your Tongue, Word4Word, INTIMATES)
Tickets: £10 in advance from TicketWeb or in person, from the following outlets:
More on the door, on the night.
This is one not to be missed!
Words by: Shorntay Allen