Lianne La Havas: Matt Hales helped craft my sound
Lianne La Havas had "no idea" what she wanted to sound like until she met collaborator Matt Hales.
The 'Unstoppable' hitmaker has heaped praise on the singer/songwriter - who goes under the name Aqualung - and considers him one of her key influences after he helped her arrive at her jazzy style.
Asked who her major influences are, Lianne exclusively told BANG Showbiz: "One is my long-time collaborating writing partner and my dear friend Matt Hales from Aqualung - almost a member of the family.
"I was a big fan of his and I was listening to a lot of Aqualung when I was 13/14. Then one day I got the opportunity to work with him and he was everything I hoped he'd be and better. He just knew how to and where to take my progression and my style - I had no idea what I wanted to be or what I wanted to sound like. I just knew that I liked playing guitar and singing and he celebrated that."
The pair have worked together on both of Lianne's studio albums, 2012's 'Is Your Love Big Enough' and her latest record 'Blood', and the 26-year-old star insists she likes working with him because he'll "never ruin" her songs.
She added: "We've written so many songs together now, I've written both my albums with him and we've become family friends now to a point where I'm excited to see him. His musical ear is a force to be reckoned with. He's so sensitive to any artist and has such a wonderful ear for harmony, he will never ruin your song."
Lianne features in the third film in Guinness' John Hammond series, exploring the music producer's lasting legacy, and is available to watch now on www.GUINNESS.com