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South African singer-songwriter Cara Frew mesmerised music lovers when she was featured on Black Coffee’s hypnotic I Will Find You. The Joburg creative has jetted to Los Angeles for a short stint where she will be writing and recording new music. She shares her LA diary with ELLE


My A&R earmarked Dan Heath as the ideal producer for this project and Dan is based in LA. I’m super excited because Dan co-produced and co-wrote Blue Jeans for Lana Del Rey and had a hand in Young & Beautiful, which are two of my favourite tracks of all time.

ELLE: How long will you be there for?

I’ll be in LA for three weeks, but will have been away for six, as I made my way through London, Normandy and NYC on the way.

ELLE: What’s on your to-do list (aside from recording)?

I used to live in LA so I will definitely catch up with three of my close friends living there. I’m keen to revisit my favourite restaurants and nightlife spots as well as check out any new spots that have come up, and do some vintage shopping!

ELLE: Your top spots for sightseeing, dining and socialising?

I love walking in Runyon Canyon; it offers breathtaking views of the whole of the city. There’s a great hiking trail past the Hollywood sign that I plan to explore. I find that nature heals the soul and inspires deeper inner creativity. I’ll definitely dine and socialise at Soho House, eat truffle and goat’s cheese pizza at Cecconi’s and have a chilled lunch at Urth Caffe, as well as get my daily smoothie from both Earth Bar and Beverly Hills Juice Bar.

ELLE: Tells us about the shopping?

I love walking down Melrose Avenue browsing in vintage stores, such as Reformation, their concept is incredible where they merge vintage fabrics and new designs. I love the Sunday Market on the corner of Melrose and Fairfax avenues. A local brand that I love is Paige Jeans, I’m lucky enough to be sponsored by her and am kitted out in her trendy styles. If you haven’t seen her lovely threads, keep an eye out on my Instagram (@carafrew), I will be sporting some of her goods and bringing some of her latest collections back to SA.

ELLE: What’s the one fashion item you brought with you to LA?

My All Saints combat boots, leather jacket and Ray Bans … couldn’t choose one!

ELLE: What did you pack in your make-up bag?

My Woolworths Primer and light day wear base because I can’t get that in LA as well as my red lip stain.

ELLE: What’s the one thing about LA that’s surprised you the most?

There’s nowhere I haven’t been to in LA that doesn’t remind me of home!

ELLE: How long are your days in the studio?

I’m in the studio from 12pm to 12am.

ELLE: How many tracks are you hoping to write and record?

I’m really hoping for four tracks.

ELLE: When will your next single be released in SA?

I’m aiming for June or latest July.

ELLE: What’s the one piece of advice you were given, and by whom, before you boarded the flight?

My mom told me to be present and take as much from my experiences as possible, learn, grow and continue to be grateful that I’m able to do what I love.

ELLE: What do you miss most about SA?

I miss my family but luckily this time I’m only away for a short period!

ELLE: And it being LA we can’t forget celeb spotting – so who have you seen?

Well, on Mother’s Day we ate at Soho House and were seated at the table next to Jennifer Lopez, her manager and family, and last night we ate dinner at Tower Hotel and Gerard Butler was right next to us.

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