Pop singer-songwriter Livvia had a whirlwind 2019 when she went on tour with the Jonas Brothers. Now that the world has changed so drastically, she’s been staying optimistic during but is very open about the tough moments we’re all feeling as well. During this time, she’s recorded, released, made a music video and released remixes for her new single, “Beautiful Escape.” Although it was written as a breakup song, it’s special to Livvia and her fans during this time of turbulence.
Taking a break from spending her days writing on Instagram lives, listening to Taylor Swift‘s Folklore, finding unique ways to stay connected with her fanbase and studying for graduate school, Livvia chatted with us to speak about staying creative and positive during quarantine.
How have you been staying connected with your fans during this crazy time?
One thing that I just recently did was I created a close friend story on Instagram, which has been really fun because I can post some sillier and more nostalgic things that people who opted in to be part of the close friends story engage with well. We have a nice little conversation there, which I really like. I also created a group chat on Twitter DMs for people as well. I think it’s more important than ever to have that online social media connection with your audience because we’re not having the meet and greets and concerts that we used to have. Obviously, that’s my favorite part but we have to work with what we’ve got!
What project or album has been getting you through quarantine?
I always like to listen to new music when it comes out and I’ll just play that one album for a bit. So, most recently I dove, as we all did, into the new Taylor Swift album, and I just think it’s so perfect for this time because it has such a mellow, contemplative, introspective theme and feeling to it. Also, this is very different but the artist Sophie Tucker, DJ duo, are doing live streams every day on Twitch, Instagram and Facebook live. I watch most of those and have a little solo dance party to that. So, on the opposite end of the spectrum from the more introspective, melancholy, Folklore album.
How have you been finding ways to be creative and stay inspired during this time?
I feel like that creative inspiration comes in waves. The range of emotions, that I’m sure we all have right now, has impacted the content of my music. And actually, I did a handful of Instagram lives where I wrote songs with my best friend, who is an incredible songwriter and producer. That was really fun because he’s my best friend and we haven’t been able to see each other so we got to go on Instagram live and write a song together and ask people’s advice and input!
What does “Beautiful Escape” mean to you now versus when you recorded it?
It’s obviously a breakup song reminiscing and having nostalgia about a relationship that’s over. Since we recorded it during quarantine, I always felt like it was really special because it has a double meaning, which I definitely relate to, about that nostalgia for the past — which we all have now. Also, the realization that there were major problems with the past that we had in our society, culture, country and world that are coming to light now. Yes, it’s a difficult transition but it’s something that I believe and hope we can get through and become better on the other side. So, I think the song also subtly contains that message, too.
If quarantine was over tomorrow where’s the first place you would travel to either to play a show or to visit?
It’s really hard because I love traveling so much and I’m so used to always being in a different place. It’s been so long since I’ve been in one place for this long, so I can’t put my finger on one place I really want to go. But I know if I had the chance I would just be on a plane right now going somewhere because that’s my nature.
What has your daily routine been during this time?
It involves a lot more cooking than it ever has — I’m sort of the designated very amateur chef for my family now. I guess I will wake up, get up — I have to eat first thing in the morning. I’m one of those people who can’t understand how people wake up and are not hungry or skip breakfast — like I wake up earlier than I need to because I’m starving. So I have to wake up and make a protein shake and breakfast. From there, the day can very much vary until me making dinner or going on a walk.
At the end of the day, since all of my best friends happen to be boys, they have been trying to convince me to go on The Elder Scrolls, which is a video game on Xbox. I originally said no because I didn’t want to get addicted to this video game, and of course, that’s what happened. So every night, I get on my headset and play with them, which has been great because we obviously can’t be together in person and this is the next best thing. I’m looking at our characters like running around going on adventures. So now that’s my nighttime routine. I know I skipped over most of the day because it varies, but it usually consists of interviews, performances, hanging with my family and studying for the GMAT because I’m planning on going to grad school.
Do you usually set aside a time during the day to work on music or does it come naturally? Do you prefer creating on a schedule or freely?
As far as the songwriting goes, I have a note on my phone with song concepts. I’m adding stuff all the time and then when I have time to dive in I go back and use those ideas. But, there’s not really an allotted time of the day where I’m like, “OK this is when I’m going to work on music.” I know that works for some people and I’ve tried it in the past — and sometimes I revisit that tactic — but, in general, it feels too forced and then I’m not inspired in that moment so I have to wait until I really want to write something. My best ideas come really quickly when it’s a stream of consciousness, you know? But, when I have scheduled sessions with people, getting in the room with new people usually gets me inspired!
What would be your one piece of advice for an artist right now?
It’s a really turbulent time to be an artist without opportunities to be performing live, and I’ve heard a lot of stories of people who had opportunities that were just about to finally come through for them and then that’s all on hold. That must be so frustrating. At the same time, with any type of shakeup, there’s always an opportunity to be innovative and to reach people in a different way.
My advice would be to use this time to improve your art and improve yourself. The more you learn about yourself, the better your writing will be as a result. Embracing it, rather than fighting it, and knowing that this will make way for new opportunities. That’s obviously easier said than done. I have my moments where it’s possible for me to see it in that positive light, but sometimes it’s really hard to fathom the scope of all the changes happening.
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