Interview: "Who You Are" - Livvy Lauren
“Who You Are” is a lovely song, relatable to people on both sides of this situation. On the one hand, you have a party that is overly guarded due to past experiences. On the other, you have the individual who is trying to be patient and understanding yet feels like their efforts are in vain. What is the story behind this song?
Livvy: "Who You Are" is the fastest song I have ever written, and I think this is because it does not come from a place of hurt or hatred, but actually from being so frustrated at the fact that I could not get the person I loved to open up and take my help. The story behind the song comes from when I dated a guy who had a lot going on in his family life that he couldn't cope with. Instead, he pushed everyone he loved away, one of these people being me. All that I could feel at the time was frustration and desperation to help him, to get him to talk about things and to work through it together, but it was impossible. The only time I managed to get him to talk was when we were in the bath drinking wine together. This seemed to be the only place he would feel safe to speak about everything going on in his mind. This is where I got the inspiration for the music video.
I see that you have both a lyric and an official music video for “Who You Are.” Of the videos you have created, which do you like the best, and why?
Livvy: Personally, I always prefer a music video over a lyric video because it is more visually engaging for people to watch and also allows people to feel a stronger understanding and connection to the song. The lyric video for "Who You Are" definitely demonstrates the desperation and detachment felt by someone whose partner is distancing themselves, which I believe is an important factor and one I couldn't portray through my music video due to it being a solo character shoot.
What is your songwriting process like? What are three must-haves for you to help get the creativity flowing?
Livvy: I don't really have a must-have for creativity because, to be honest, it comes at the most random times. I can't put time aside or pick and choose when I want to write a song.. when my mind is in the right place, it just happens. Quite often, I write the best music, and I am more creative when I am driving. I also write a lot in the middle of the night because I lay in bed, my mind won't switch off, and suddenly my brain is overthinking and creating lyrics or melodies.
Congratulations on completing your first headlining gig in London! What was that experience like, and what are some of your favorite moments from that performance?
Livvy: The headling gig was so much fun! I had such a good crowd who all knew the words to my previously released songs which was such a surreal feeling. I also got to sing "Who You Are" for the first time and managed to teach the audience apart from the song in seconds prior to singing it, so that was really cool. I can't wait to do it all again, and next time on a bigger stage.
What first got you into music? With voice lessons starting at age 4 and lyric writing beginning at the age of 8, it seems that you knew this was something you wanted to pursue from an early age.
Livvy: I have always been passionate about music and have participated in it in some way. I did classical singing for years, I was part of many choirs, I performed in a lot of musicals, I learnt to play piano and guitar at a basic level... and I couldn't stop taking qualifications in various forms of music. After doing my A levels, I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to go into straight acting (something else I was really passionate about whilst growing up) or music, and I couldn't pick between the two, so I decided to train in Musical Theatre at university. At uni, I continued to write music as a form of stress relief, and when I finally graduated, I realised that writing music and performing was definitely what keeps me at my happiest. From here, I decided to pursue it as a career.
If you had the opportunity to collab with any artist, past or present, who would you choose, and why?
Livvy: I would love to collaborate with Ella Henderson. Her music has inspired me from day one, and she has definitely had a massive impact and influence on my writing. Sam Smith too!
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass