Lianne La Havas (born 23 August 1989) is an English folk and soul singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. On 5 December 2011, the BBC announced that she had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. La Havas was born in London, England to a Greek father and Jamaican mother. She was raised in Tooting and Streatham, spending the majority of her time with her grandparents, following her parents' separation as a child. La Havas' cites her parents' diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her music. She began singing at seven. Her mother played Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige, while her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Lianne wrote her first song at the age of 11 but did not learn to play the guitar until she was 18 years old. At 18, Lianne began attending Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls in Croydon, where she studied art and planned to take her A-Levels in art foundation. However, she left college and decided to pursue a career in music full-time.