WORDS HUGO FERNANDES
Liv Dawson is the 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Shepperton, a small town in the South West of London whose incredible vocal range, emotional depth, and musical confidence make her one emerging artist to watch out for. Her latest single 'Talk' has got a great response putting it at number 2 on Spotify's New Music Friday with over 30 million streams. Dawson has also been asked to tour with Khalid and to open for Jessie Ware with other collaborations including with fantastic duo Disclosure, the man of the hour Sam Smith, ginger heartthrob Ed Sheeran, and many others.
Dawson ticks all the boxes as she brings together a youthful, fresh, and beautiful look combined with an incredible voice, lyrics that are heartfelt and beats soaked in this great vibe. In the past two years, Liv has been focusing on building up her confidence as an artist, not only vocally but visually, and that could be somehow due to the interesting family dynamic in which Liv was raised in. Her father is a performer himself, but instead of music, he takes it to the boxing ring to perform. This empowering and fighting spirit has passed on to Liv as we see the young artist quickly heading to success.
We chatted with the London-based artist to find out more about what drives her as an artist, music that empowers, and much more.
Hugo Fernandes: So Liv, you were born in South West London right? How was it growing up there? Liv Dawson: Yes. It was pretty dead, to be honest, you could literally walk around my town in about 30 minutes, but Shepperton Film Studios are there which is kind of cool.
H.F: What would you say has ignited your passion for music and songwriting? L.D: I've always been around music growing up but it was only when I was about 12 that I thought I'd give it a go properly, so I started writing songs and performing in local pubs, it was the only thing I could keep interested in for more than 5 minutes.
H.F: As a young female artist; what would you say is the most exciting thing about this age we are living in? L.D: I think being able to be free to write about whatever I want is really liberating. There are always things we can work on as a society, but at the moment I feel like we're going in the right direction.
H.F: Women are becoming ever so stronger and their talent, views and interests are becoming more and more influential than ever. Who would you say are your top three women heroes? L.D: Absolutely. My top three women heroes would be; Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and my best friend Sofia.
H.F: What part would you like to, or do you play in this wave of female empowerment? L.D: I would like to feel like I'm quite an uplifting person and totally support women supporting other women naturally. In the industry I'm in, surrounding myself with strong women on my team and writing with other females about topics relevant to us is important to me. It is a good way to encourage empowerment.
H.F: Can music empower? L.D: Music can definitely empower.
H.F: How? L.D: Just listen to the whole 'Lemonade' album by Beyoncé and feel yourself become empowered! [Smiles]
H.F: How is the creative process for you? Where do you get your inspiration from? L.D: I usually get my inspiration from experiences or events that have happened to me or people around me, life provides the best inspiration, that's for sure.
H.F: In your latest track 'Talk'; what is the core emotion you wanted to capture and transfer to your audience? L.D: With 'Talk' I feel like it's a situation we've all been in, it's about that time when you have just come out of a relationship and you see that other person out with someone else. I really wanted to make an emotional pop song with 'Talk', one that everyone can relate to but can also dance to.
H.F: MIXMAG has stated: "She's laying a strong foundation for what's certain to be a sterling debut album" Do you feel any pressure to succeed in the industry or do you think success is the outcome of something much bigger than success itself? If so; why? L.D: I feel like success is something that comes with living your best life and working hard; for me, I want to write the music that I love and hopefully reach as many people as possible.
H.F: Your vocal abilities are insanely good. The way you are able to range from note to note and merge different styles such as R&B and electronic is great! How would you describe your own music in just three words? L.D: I'd describe my music as; warm, electronic, pop.
H.F: Where does your artistic confidence come from? L.D: I can say that now, I genuinely write what I feel like writing about and that took me a long time to get used to. I think being in a room with professional writers can be really intimidating, to begin with, but over the years I've found my voice and my sound, I now have so much confidence in what I write. So just practice, more practice and learning, that's the key.
H.F: What is your advice to other young females (and male) creatives who want to get into the music industry? L.D: My advice to young creatives would be; just write the songs that you can imagine yourself performing live and don't change your style unless it's your own decision.
H.F: Anything interesting in the pipeline you could share with us? L.D: I'm currently writing my album and I will have some more shows coming soon, which I'm really excited for. I just supported Khalid and it was so much fun, I want to be back touring again!
H.F: Let's do a quick-fire round.
H.F: A place to call home: L.D: My flat. (Smiles)
H.F: Favorite artist: L.D: Beyoncé
H.F: Favorite movie: L.D: The Last Song. (Laughs)
H.D: Last dream you had: L.D: That someone was trying to burn my tongue with my straighteners.
H.F: If you could send a message to young people around the world; what would that be?
L.D: Be yourself!
H.F: If we press play on your playlist right now; what are we gonna listen to? L.D: Gummy by Brockhampton.
H.F: An icon: L.D: Beyoncé, obviously. (Smiles)
H.F: An artist you would like to collaborate with: L.D: Chance the Rapper!
H.F: For you, what does it mean being a woman in the 21st Century?
L.D:: To make a change and to be as empowering as possible.
H.F: A place you want to go to:
H.G: A place you've been to and people should definitely go and check it out: L.D: Prague.
H.F: The last series you binge-watched: L.D: Celebs Go Dating. (Laughs)
H.F: One thing you can't live without: L.D: Nintendo DS.
H.F: One thing the world could do without: L.D: The Jeremy Kyle Show.
H.F: Last but not least; favorite F-word L.D: Food!