ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: La’Vonne
La’Vonne was born into a musical family – both of her parents and her grandparents play instruments. Her parents met in the marching band at Howard University. Coincidentally, that’s also how La’Vonne met her boyfriend. She began taking piano lesson at age seven. At 11, she realized she could also sing. A year later, she was learning saxophone. In college, she participated in chorus and band. Clearly multi-talented, she performs as a singer, a classical pianist, and sometimes both. Occasionally, she’ll serve the audience a side of sax. It was singer-songwriter Alicia Keys who inspired her to sing and play piano at the same time. La’Vonne cites Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as inspirations, as well, thanks to their authenticity and individuality.
At Howard, La’Vonne majored in music business with a concentration in piano. She’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Full Sail University. Not only does she have talent, but she also possesses a lot of knowledge about how the music industry works. She knows the particulars of the business, and is tuned into what it takes to stay relevant. She shares what she knows in an entertainment management class she teaches, and the private piano lessons she offers.
On March 24th, La’Vonne released her EP, FiveTwenty. Four years in the making, the project is named for the time she was born, and showcases her rebirth as a well-rounded artist. There’s a song for everyone on FiveTwenty, which takes listeners on a journey through love, relationships, and life. On “Let It Shine,” La’Vonne realizes she can only be herself, “Caught Up” conveys the ‘stuck’ feeling of a dead-end relationship, and “Love Encounter” is an ode to her amazing boyfriend. People connect to that song on a spiritual level. “Turn My Way” is one of her favorite songs to perform because the beat hits hard and the lyrics hit even harder — everyone knows the words.
La’Vonne had quite the journey releasing FiveTwenty – distribution, promotion, and hosting an EP-release party on her own. Lots of lessons were learned, and she’s still getting new listeners and feedback about the project. She’s grateful, as more listeners equal greater possibilities. Next year, La’Vonne plans on doing an Unplugged concert series with some of her artist friends, and is looking forward to using her YouTube channel to interact with fans by having them vote on which song they want her to cover each week. In the interim, she’s always writing and recording.
La’Vonne craves more opportunities to perform, though, and since teaming up with DCTOP20, she’s been booked up. She also wants to collaborate with more people — whether producers or rappers looking for a feature. Anyone who wants to come along on her musical journey is welcome. La’Vonne doesn’t think she’ll ever retire. She has so many interests related to the music industry, she’ll always find something to do.
Full of ideas, she can see herself with a fashion line and a home décor line – maybe even her own drink at Starbucks (that’s her favorite place). She’s always been interested in artist management, too, and would love to help people stay successful within the industry. It’s always been about inspiration and relatability, never fame. FiveTwenty is just the beginning.