The LaFontaines
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The LaFontaines

Motherwell, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF

Motherwell, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Hip Hop Pop

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"Pick Of The Week"

Motherwell is not the most obvious breeding ground for music’s next white rap sensation. It’s a town more commonly associated with call centres and delicate indie bands such as the Delgados. Though, like Detroit, home of the world’s most famous white rapper, Eminem, it once had a thriving steel industry and still has a perpetually underwhelming football team.

All this clutching at straws has become necessary since the formation earlier this year of the LaFontaines, whose merry mincing of hip-hop, pop, rock and electro has stirred up all kinds of excitement. The five-piece band have already pushed their way onto the bill at this year’s Live at Loch Lomond Festival (they were immediately asked to appear at the after-show party for the Sex Pistols) and played to packed houses at King Tut’s and the Carling Academy. Named after the legendary Hollywood voice-over actor Don LaFontaine, who died in September, they take their musical cue from bands such as Faithless and N*E*R*D. It doesn’t quite add up, but it sounds fantastic.

“We’re not really trying to be a hip-hop band,” says the band’s drummer, Jamie Keenan. “There’s an element of hip-hop to what we do, but we’ve been playing to more of a mixed audience because there’s not a huge audience for rap in Scotland anyway. People just seem to like what we do — they might have thought it was a bit of a novelty at first, but it’s just snowballed from there.”

Fronted by 19-year-old Kerr Okan — who looks like a cross between Paolo Nutini and Zac Efron from High School Musical — the LaFontaines have a sense of humour that should stand them in good stead as they stride out into a world sceptical of Motherwell’s rap pedigree.

“Rap’s just for people who can’t sing,” it says on the band’s MySpace page — but this is, with tongue firmly in cheek, a vast underselling of their talents. Okan, who has been rapping since his early teens, when he went by the stage name Prime, has an effortless charisma and undoubted talent.

Given the lack of gang warfare in his neighbourhood (and with no ex-wife to rant at constantly), he has had to turn to teenage introspection to provide inspiration for the group’s lyrics. “Baby, listen, I’ve got no reservations/a relationship with me comes with certain complications,” he reveals on the single Superstar, which is released in the spring.

The other four members of the band — Jamie, Anna, Darren and Iain — provide jaunty pop harmonies to complement Okan’s raps, and there is just as much rock and electro in there as rap. It shouldn’t work, but it does. The LaFontaines are the real deal.
- Sunday Times


Discography

The band have just released their first single and have received national airplay which can be detailed more accurately on their website.

Radio 1 Scotland
Real Radio
XFM
Clyde 1

Photos

Bio


Combining portions of Hip-Hop, Rock and Pop into one melodic element of noise, welcome to the new innovative sound of The LaFontaines.
Hailing from Motherwell, the old industrial heartland of Central Scotland, The LaFontaines have already forged a dedicated following after showcasing their energetic live set the full length of the country, from Inverness to London, playing venues such as The Barrowlands, ABC and various 02 Academys. Their unique genre mash-up has gained critical acclaim from press and radio throughout the UK and continues to spiral as the band strive to conquer new ground.
“It shouldn’t work, but it does. The LaFontaines are the real deal” - Rachel Devine (The Sunday Times)
The young exciting five-piece were winners of “Best Live Act” at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA’s). Fronted by rapper/mc Kerr Okan, the band express their views on everything from partying too hard to the monotony of 9 to 5 life whilst rounding everything off by using their socially conscious lyrics to take pot shots at today’s social culture.

The bands name stems from no other than the late great Don LaFontaine. The band were huge fans of the voice-over legend and were thrilled when the man himself wanted to work with the guys on some voice-over material for their live shows and CD’s.

“I can't remember the last time I heard a song that so obviously screams hit, it has to be the strongest debut of the year.” - Steve McKenna (Real Radio)
At the tale end of 2010 after supporting such acts as “Pendulum” “Diana Vickers” “Example” “N-dubz”, “The Cool Kids” “Flobots” and Beardyman to name a few, The band took some time out to complete work on their debut album. Between recording sessions The LaFontaines in April 2011 embarked on their first tour of the UK as supporting act for “Twin Atlantic” on their debut Album tour “FREE”.

Then came their groundbreaking set at top UK festival “T in the Park”, where the boys attracted such a large crowd that the tent had to be closed and people denied entry, a first ever for any unsigned band to play the T Break stage.
Most recently however the band once again hit the road in support of UK pop act “The Ting Tings” for the duration of their UK tour and came home to the great news that their first headline show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s,, sold out in under a week. The LaFontaines set off on their own Scottish headline tour this summer. Watch this space!

“The time is surely ripe for the world to take notice of Motherwell’s The LaFontaines” – (The Herald)