LIVIA LVX is an Italian-born singer songwriter. At 19, she moved across the world to pursue her passion for music, determined to tell the world about her story and share her sound. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She released her first EP “The Empress” in the fall of 2014, followed by a music video for her track “Suspended”. Continuing to follow her instinct and vision, LIVIA LVX released the more intimate and personal video for her song “Home” on Valentines day. Her music meshes dance beats with strong R&B vocals, all the while staying true to her roots steeped in pop.
Entertwine: What was it like growing up in Rome, Italy? What was the music scene of Rome like? What led you to move across the globe to New York City?
From my completely bias point of view, growing up in Rome was amazing. I grew up in a city overflowing with history, beauty, art and inspiration. The Italian culture cherishes the small things in life, and you learn to look at things in a different way.
Ironically though, the Music scene in Rome is quite small, mostly rock-inspired indie bands. There aren’t many clubs and outlets for young performers to get exposure, and its hard for young musicians to be taken seriously. One of the only ways to get visibility is by competing on a talent show, and I felt like I needed time to discover myself before getting that type of attention.
Which brings me to why I came here. I felt like with its rich and bubbling music scene, New York City would offer the space, time and resources for me to explore my music. Here I could focus on sharpening my talent and learning about this crazy industry at my own pace and on my own skin. I wanted to experience the process and grow on my own.
What does a day in the life of LIVIA LVX look and sound like?
While I have had a life-long dream of being a superstar, I am a bit of a nerd and a total housewife. I work full time to support myself and my music dreams, so during the week I work in an office. When I get out of work I hit the gym, walk my foxy lady (my dog), make dinner and watch an episode on the food network. These days I am substituting my usual ipod session with podcasts, but when the music is on its going to be top 40, disclosure or hot natured.
What experiences and events inspired the writing and recording of your debut album “The Empress”? Could you tell us about each of the six featured tracks? You produced the album too?
“The Empress” was the culmination of the cumulative process of learning and growing that I was mentioning earlier. The empress has a mix of pure commercial dance (Go! and Colors), pop (Suspended), rap (Red Carpet Cool), jazz (Sunday Blues) and minimal house (Summer of Love). It really was a moment for me to coherently bring together all the crazy contradictory music genres that define me. It was extremely fun to explore all the different styles in my own way, leaving my own mark on their outcome.
=The album was self-produced, which was challenging but also extremely rewarding. What you don’t realize when starting out as an indie artist, is exactly how many random things you have to do OUTSIDE of the actual music. Being an independent artist with a self-produced album really meant having the reigns to the whole creative process: music, lyrics, visuals, content ecc.
What went into the making of the music videos for your songs ‘Home’ and ‘Suspended’? What went into the making of the artwork for “The Empress”?
Wow, so much went into these different projects! Like I mentioned, as an indie artist I found myself suddenly launched into what it means and takes to make a music video, an album cover, a website, promotion…its basically insane.
The album art for “The Empress” was born out of my desire to give homage to Livia, Empress of Rome and wife of Augustus, in a pop version of an ancient bust. My artist name “LIVIA LVX” was what inspired the name of the album. I wanted to give homage to an influential historical woman who holds my name. A woman that has been remembered through the centuries for her power and influence in ancient rome. I felt like “The Empress” was my cry of battle. So we did a shoot with gold body paint, replicating what might have looked like a more sassy version of an ancient bust. We used a still from the video footage of that shoot for the album art.
Of all the tracks on the EP, I felt like “Suspended” was the most visually evocative, and also the most radio-friendly. So I went for it. I interviewed tens of producers, directors and DPs until I found someone I felt I could trust with my vision. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy given that I knew basically nothing about shooting a video! I had a great time shooting though, and I definitely learned about the process. We were able to bring together a dancer, an aerialist, find two locations to shoot, get make-up artists, camera, lights, props, assistants, food and all within the budget (that’s just a short list of all the things you need to plan for).
Shooting “Home” was a completely different experience. I knew exactly what I wanted: A video that would make the viewer feel like they were with me the entire time with my friends, with my family, seeing what I see and feeling what I feel when I’m home. I wanted an “eye” spying on my happiest moments to share them with the world. The director, producer and DP was one guy, literally the crew was him. He completely got my vision. For two days we scavenged the city of Rome through my favorite places and with my favorite people. It was amazing. It just felt completely right and I think the vision was 100% achieved.
What does 2015 hold in store for LIVIA LVX?
This year is all going to be about performing, gathering feedback, building a fanbase, getting my name out there and proving that I am serious about my craft. I am putting together a live show that should be hitting the NYC streets soon! Now that I have proven to myself that I can trust my vision, I hope to be more adventurous with my sound exploration and with my lyrical content, I am excited to grow and evolve as I share my music with the world!