We’re heading to the nation’s capital to kick off your Monday as we get to know Liv Li, who recently dropped her latest single ‘Silhouette’.
But just who is she? What makes her tick? How did she discover her sound? And what about her latest release?
Scratch the Liv Li surface in our latest feature here.
01. Name : LIV LI.
02. Where are you based? Canberra.
03. How did you get your start in music? My friend had a bunch of songs he had written and had formed a band. He was the lead singer by default but all he really wanted to do was play epic guitar solo’s and have his original music heard. He wasn’t really a singer, so they asked me. I was keen but incredibly shy. We really had no idea what we were doing, our songs went for seven minutes and we had no clue how to get a gig so when the local university advertised a band comp we decided to enter.
It was the National Campus Band Comp which was a pretty big deal at the time. It was our very first gig and we won the state final. It was a step learning curve for me. My stage fright at times was debilitating but with each gig it got easier. So that’s how I joined a rock band and got to tour the world. My own stuff came much later.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Raw, emotive, haunting, honest, story teller.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. I started out messing around with guitar and piano so my sound was always very organic. But I’ve always been drawn to music with an electronic edge. The memories that surround my most formative years are intertwined with sounds from Lamb, Portishead and Massive Attack.
So after a decade of being in a band and singing rock I felt ready to change it up and started to incorporate some beats and elements of electronica into my sound. The pop landscape was changing, and I wanted to be a part of that. My music has and always will be anchored in piano as that is the instrument that speaks to my soul, but fusing it with these new beats and sounds has really brought it to life. It was just a matter of finding the right collaborators to take it there.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? Obsessing over The Little Mermaid.
07. Who have been your musical influences? Umm… Ariel! They have evolved ofcourse. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Vera Blue, Wafia, Joy and Sasha Sloan but growing up Lamb had a big impact on me. I lost my mind when ‘Teardrop’ came out. I love the poetry of the Chilli Peppers. I love the vulnerability of Damien Rice and the rawness of his vocal. He emotes so well and his lyrics bring me undone. Joni Mitchell is a great story teller. I learnt a lot from her.
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen. ‘Brick’ by Ben Folds Five. ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? Bed. I love that feeling of drifting between dreaming and awake and being lost inside a song.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling…
Happy : The Weekend, Sigrid, Vera Blue, Sigrid, Astrid.
Sad : Sigor Ros, Damien Rice, Graace.
Exhausted : Post Malone, What So Not, Broods.
Introspective : Sasha Sloan, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? Mariah Carey ‘Music Box’. Looking back now I don’t think my obsession with her did me any favours. I listened to that album on repeat for a year, I plastered my entire room with pics of her but as as result I thought that if you couldn’t riff like her or didn’t have a range like Mariah you couldn’t really sing.
It was only much later when I started to discover artists like Missy Higgins and Sarah Blasco who were all about tone and emotion that I realised there was a lot more to singing than just a big range and lots of runs.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. My hero is my brother Ethan. He has down syndrome and has taught me more about life than anyone else. He taught me what a beautiful thing it is to be unique and to embrace the things that make us different to everyone else. They are the keys to our successes.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? Maybe some kind of therapist. I really enjoy listening to people and trying to help them through their struggles. Empathy is important to me. Or maybe I’m just fishing for inspiration for the next song!
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? To always put your family first. You can’t build anything substantial without a strong foundation.
15. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? Billie Eilish. Everything is just a little bit left of centre. She’s making really interesting decisions creatively and I’m digging it. And obviously so is the whole world. She’s breaking fashion rules. She doesn’t over sing which is a breath of fresh air.
When I think of a traditional pop star you can’t help but conjure up the image of a big singer wearing skimpy clothes. She’s made it to the world stage on her terms. She’s pop but with an edge and her lyrics are layered. They make you think.
16. Tell us about your latest release. I wrote ‘Silhouette’ at a time in my life when everything had changed. My environment, my social life, my body and I was exploring how much of those things my identity was wrapped up in. How secure am I in who I am? Or one step further. Who am I? All interesting questions to ask yourself. :)
17. What do your future plans involve? I’ve been working on the LIV LI project now for over two years but circumstances have keep me from being able to share it. I don’t want to do that again. If you can’t share what you create, it doesn’t exist. I just want to keep creating, sharing and I don’t want to stop.
I think the music climate now is such a freeing one. Gone are the days of albums. To be able to release at whim, not having to reconcile every song to a album concept, sound or idea is wonderful for a creative.
18. Where can our audience catch you live? We’ll play wherever there is demand. Hopefully Australia embraces LIV LI and we get that chance!
WEBSITE : www.livli.com.au
FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/livlimusic
INSTAGRAM : www.instagram.com/livlimusic
TWITTER : www.twitter.com/livlimusic
SOUNDCLOUD : www.soundcloud.com/livlimusic
YOUTUBE : https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC2q6OAAoIWH142zeUTDIWPw