Following her support of 90s renaissance man Craig David across his national tour and collaboration with Canadian producer heavyweight Kaytranada last year, Lauren Faith’s debut headline show came with a significant layer of expectation. Sold out in hours, the sniff of a potential star had gathered the industry players in full effect, alongside fans who’ve been following the British R&B star since her co-write credit and feature on Kaytranada’s ‘Got it Good’ last year.
From the first track ‘Pressure’ though, Lauren showed why there’s so much hype around her at the moment: a throaty, silken vocal combined with a stage presence that fluctuated from calmly composed to a fierce ball of bouncy energy, Lauren exudes a seductive, real tone that interestingly and genuinely recalls The Weeknd or even dare we say it, Aaliyah? It’s a bold statement, we know.
With only a live drummer together with an instrumental overlay, her usually more straight-up, jazzy brand of R&B was given a rockier edge, but it works, the off-kilter rhythms of her current, debut release ‘Let Them Talk’ really moving the crowd (their heads, anyway). Shouting out to both her longtime producer Lostboy and her co-writer (both in the crowd) was a nice touch.
It’s a presumably strange transition to move from Arena crowds to an intimate basement in Stoke Newington, but Lauren’s local-girl charm and clear ability cuts through from the outset; finishing off with what she described as “Hopefully my next release”, ‘Rush’ was a slow R&B groove with a serious chorus both arch and sexy at the same time. If this was a taste of Lauren’s material to come, it was an exciting one: it’s a seductive combination of pop stylings and real hooks bedded in inventive R&B production. It’s a tempting combo and we’re down to hear more. It’s not going to be long before Lauren starts making some serious news.