Posted On 12 Aug 2019
Rising R&B artist La Hara – better known as influencer Bri Hall – returns with the visual for “Unlawful.” From the opening sequence it’s clear that Hall’s patience has unraveled with her beau. Paying homage to groundbreaking film Waiting To Exhale featuring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, the songstress puts her man in check in a manner also reminiscent to Beyonce‘s “Irreplaceable” video.
Live Nation’s Ones To Watch calls the video “empowering” and “”wakening” while LADYGUNN raved “…brains, beauty, and wisdom. Now she can add sorcerer of music and magic to her list.”
The new single and video follows her smash debut “Mindful” which PopSugar revealed in their ‘F*Cking Awesome Females’ column. In awe of her “prowess,” they asserted that “La Hara is ready to make waves in the music industry.” Shortly after, the visual launched with NYLON. La Hara plans to release new content throughout 2019 but for now fans can watch “Unlawful” now, here: https://youtu.be/xwaTGFZN1yw.
Hall has already racked up over 1 million fans across social media and an impressive view count of 40 million on her YouTube channel independently. Using her platform and reach to go beyond beauty tutorials, Hall addresses a wide range of social issues from wellness and abuse to self-love and black feminism while also working with the likes of international names Calvin Klein and Google. After achieving such a massive level of triumph in the digital age at only 24 years old, most would be content to settle on their laurels – but not her. Possessing a natural inclination towards music, Hall started exploring another side of her creative personality, drawing influence from ’80s, ’90s, and contemporary R&B showstoppers from Denise Williams, Lauryn Hill, and Sade to H.E.R. and Ari Lennox.
When asked about “Unlawful,” Hall said: “Have you ever experienced a love so powerful, yet the world wants to see it fail? ‘Unlawful’ is about the choice to love and the fight that comes with it. Perhaps you’re from rival cultures or religions, are interracial, LGBTQ+, or from different social classes… It can be about fighting the outside world because of how you identify but it can also be about fighting for a relationship with a person who has changed, tough circumstances, or hardship. Like many of my songs, there is a duality of self reflection. All in all, sometimes the fight to love gets dirty, difficult, and ‘Unlawful.’ Whether it’s loving yourself or someone else. There can be so many meanings behind it – the listener can ultimately take it as they want.”
“R&B was a fuel for my art. All art blends fluidly together, so I listened to music a lot while I drew and painted.” From her musical inspirations sprung forth her La Hara persona, as well as her debut single “Mindful,” which she conceived out of a melody in her head and an accompanying poem she wrote on a flight from L.A. “I liked the poem so much that I transitioned it into a song.” All it took was the titular inspiration—literally—for that final piece to come together: “I saw the word ‘mindful’ somewhere and it was light bulbs all of the sudden,” Hall remembers. “I started humming, ‘I need you to be mindful of me,’ and I thought, ‘Whoa, this could be a thing.'” Thematically, “Mindful” finds Hall digging deep into her personal life to reflect on who she is and how she’s been shaped by the people around her: “I reflected about who in my life I needed to be mindful of, and who affected me the most as far as my relationships with people were concerned, and I thought about my biological father. It can go hand in hand with a relationship in which someone’s thinking about themselves and not your needs, or if friends don’t check in on you enough because you’re always okay. It’s what I would say if I was sitting in an empty room with the people who made me a second priority.”
The debut single took on new meaning as the songstress embarked on a humanitarian trip to Ethiopia. Hall had fundraised thousands of dollars to donate and collected school supplies plus vitamins for children, which she hand delivered herself. The lessons that came out of the trip were priceless and will forever be cemented in who La Hara aims to be and the stories she’ll grow to tell through her music and platform.
Connect With Bri Hall / La Hara Online Here:
Learn more about Bri Halle/La Hara in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Thank you for having me! My name is Bri Hall and my stage name is La Hara! I’m a musician and an artist. You can find me on YouTube at Bri Hall and under my stage name La Hara on all major streaming platforms.
Now that we are more then half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been a breath of fresh air! This feels like a year of major growth and transition for me. A major goal for the year was to reach 100k cumulative streams on Spotify and have my first live show! I’m so happy to say I reached my stream goal and that my first live show is August 10th at the Bungalow Music Festival! I also have the goal to do more public speaking and to get a major partnership for my artwork.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Growing up I remember being drawn to instruments at an early age. I started playing the clarinet at 8 years old, but then I found out after a few years I didn’t have the best hand size for clarinet which made lower notes harder. I later switched to keyboard! The first time I noticed how important music is for me is the moment in middle school where I noticed my line work on my drawing wasn’t fluid. I realized this was the first day I tried drawing without music playing. This is why today I believe visual art and music go hand in hand.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I feel like I was born with more than one calling. My main calling is helping others, which shapeshifts into many mediums. I would love to do hourly consulting with major brands on marketing and formulation diversity. Also, I would love to be an author (I have a few poetry books written already). I feel like releasing them will come with time and go well with my music. If I can give people experiences that help them become their best selves I feel this will give me so much fulfillment.
What name of yours do you find that you identify more with these days?
That’s such a good question! La Hara is still fresh and new, but I feel like La Hara is organically closest to who I am naturally. La Hara is who I am off-camera in my happiest state creating
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I’m surprised about how I feel. I feel like a kid all over again, like when I first discovered art. I want to do this and try that, I feel like a sponge! It’s awakening and I love it. Unexpected was the support, music can be a very hypercritical industry and world. I’m happy that my audience is open to me exploring and growing with me in music.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Unlawful.” What was it like putting this song together? How creatively involved with the making of the music video were you?
From beginning to end Unlawful has been such a gift to me! It came together so organically. Originally this was a poem and then I hummed it and I knew in the second line it was a song. I conceptualized the full music video getting inspired by the film, “Waiting to Exhale.” I brought in loved ones to help bring the vision to life!
How does it compare to your previous songs?
Unlawful has a funky feeling I love. It’s a little groovier than my other songs, a little more of my backbone. “Mindful” was extremely vulnerable. “Unlawful” is more like, I will get my hands dirty and put in work for things I love.
Do you have plans to put out more new music soon and a full collection of new songs?
Oh yes! I’m so excited for my new music, I plan to release a new single in August. A full collection EP is definitely coming too! Stay tuned
I would like to hear more about the non-profit that you were involved with in Ethiopia. How did you get involved with it?
I have a deep-rooted passion for humanitarian work. I feel that humbling yourself and seeing humanity as your family is where my peace exists. I went with a non-profit called the Table Initiative that brings people from all walks of life to the table to break bread and become neighbors. I helped bring 5 years worth of vitamins, school supplies, and recreational gear to 3 local non-profits in Ethiopia. The creatives on the trip gave free services to the nonprofits to revamp their websites, video content, and general marketing. We wanted to stimulate the local economy so that contributions made can exist and help when we were gone.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you plan to tour at all this summer or later this year? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
My first live show will be at the Bungalow Music Festival in Washington D.C. on August 10th, 2019! I’m so excited, once I release my EP I definitely plan to go on my first tour and I’m excited about the process of creating entertaining live shows.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
I’ve noticed that I’m getting into my groove and finding my style more. I think every artist should have room to play and see what sticks and makes them feel the most alive creating. I had a lot of fun making my first songs, but now it’s good to know some more of my strengths and having more uniformity in my sound.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career so far?
It gets challenging balancing two personas! Retweeting music and answering makeup advice DMs on Instagram feels like a double life. I hope to merge the two more in the future to make things cohesive and easier to balance. Thankfully I have an amazing team that keeps me sane with the workload.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’m so inspired by the artists that shaped my musical palette growing up like Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, and Deniece Williams. There are so many amazing and talented voices out there that inspire my music and art or just put me in the spirits of creating. I think now a Solange, Willow, or Smino collab would be amazing. Oh! Tame Impala too, that would be a dream come true! Right now I’m still experimenting with my own sound so when that day comes I can be ready.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
Oh man, my heart just did two backflips hearing this. My dream music video would be a short film with a huge narrative. I would definitely splurge on location, camera, and lighting. It would probably be for a 7 or 8-minute song and just really emotionally charged. I’m not sure if I would even be in the video I would probably direct it as well.
What has been the coolest place/TV show/commercial that you have heard a song of yours? Where would you love to hear a future song of yours played?
The coolest place that I have ever heard that my song was played was in a Caribbean infused yoga class I go to from time to time! One week, when I was traveling a good friend, said, “Hey you wouldn’t believe what happened! Your song was on today’s class workout playlist!!” I go by a stage name alias so it was such an honor to know the teacher chose a song not knowing it was me. I would love to get my music on one of HBO’s series such as Euphoria etc or even on Netflix! I’ve always wanted to curate or write for a major soundtrack.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
At the end of the day, I hope that my music can shape emotion and make people think. I want people to relisten to my songs a few times, the way I wrote them you may hear a completely different message each time.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
A big thank you for supporting me and my creative plunge into the music world. I’m so honored to be here and can’t wait honestly to see how my music evolves in the next year or even 5-10 years.