Saturday, September 21, 2013

What We're Listening To: Livvy & Anna

Livvy & Anna are a  recently formed high school duo from New Zealand. I found them this summer when I became obsessed with Lorde. I listened to her song so much, YouTube started recommending covers for me and one such cover was this school group from New Zealand. The lead singer was Anna, and I was impressed by her skill as were all the commenters. Digging a little into Anna, I found her YouTube account with Livvy which had the videos they had made for a music competition in New Zealand. I started listening to the songs and got a tad bit obsessed. I loved the harmonies and how Livvy's light soprano voice intertwined with Anna's fuller alto voice. I contacted them about doing a little interview and here's the not so little interview that came out of it. 

How would you describe your musical style?
We would describe our music gendre as folk-indie. We really use our harmonies to build the dynamics in our songs and create a unique sound which adds to the melodic feel to each song.

How long have you been interested in music? How much have your families influenced you?
We both come from musical backgrounds so music is something we have been brought up with.

Anna: For me, music has been something I have been passionate about from a young age. I think I might of been 3 or 4 when some opera came on the radio, mum and I were playing with some magnets on the fridge and I suddenly stopped what I was doing and became very interested in the music. Mum did hope I’d become an opera singer after that incident. Unfortunately for her, that didn’t happen haha my grandmother was very musical so I think the musical ability has come from her and also my mother who learnt up to grade 8 on the piano. My mother has also been very influential in my music as she got me into playing the piano for a year when I was in year 8, I stopped having lessons but continued to play by ear and also from youtube tutorials. I then went into year 9 and had 3 or 4 lessons of the guitar and then left it for 3 years and started playing again by ear and also through youtube tutorials which I found very helpful! My biggest influence would definitely be my family. My mum and my sister have really supported my music and done a lot for me. My dad, who died when I was 11 years old, was and still is a massive part of my music as he gave me a lot of confidence, love and support before he passed. He taught me to just go for it and never give up so I think thats where alot of my motivation behind my music comes from. He really gave me a lot of confidence to do things that I thought I couldn’t and he is still very present in my music.

Livvy: I have always been interested in music ever since I was a young girl. My family has been brought up with music for many generations and continues to be passed down to further generations. My grandad David is a very musical man and inspired all of his children to get into the musical side of things. My dad Garry (one of his sons) played in the ‘Family band’ along with his other brothers, and his sisters all sang. My mum Paulette is also a very good singer and is very musically talented. My family is very close and i think music has made us this way. We all feed off each others feedback which helps us all to grow. Given that everyone is so supportive it is very easy to express yourself in my family which is a gift some don’t have. I myself have found that my older brother Caleb and older sister Georgia have been my biggest inspiration for they have shown me how to really express myself when it comes to music and how to write from the heart. They have influenced me the most and have helped make me so passionate about music. They are very successful themselves with having won rockquest nationals in 2011 as The Peasants and coming second the year before as The Peasants of eden. I am inspired by their success and I am motivated to be as successful and talented as the both of them one day. I read that you only started collaborating two weeks prior to entering the Smokefreerockquest.

Was it difficult entering as such a newly formed duo? Did you know each other well before your teacher recommended you collaborated? We did start singing together only 2 weeks prior to the Smokefree Rockquest Heats. Our music teacher, Kyle Proffit encouraged us to get together and just give it a go and so we did just that. For us, we didn’t have that much experience with performing live and so we just went with it knowing that the other acts in our category had been performing together for longer than us. We didn’t find it a difficult process being so newly formed as our friendship through college of 4 years prior to rockquest helped us bond musically.

From what I've gathered, you write your own music and Anna even won an award for her lyrics in Intertwined. Lyrically, where do you find most of your inspiration? 2013 has really been the year for both us when it comes to songwriting. We’ve found ourselves becoming more comfortable with writing our own music and creating our own sounds and its also something we really enjoy doing. The majority of our music is influenced by relationships and how we view and have experienced them as we are only young teenage girls ourselves, though we try to be as relatable as possible so our music can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Do you have any more songs written that you plan on sharing as Livvy & Anna? 
We will definitely be writing more music and uploading originals and covers to our youtube and facebook page though school has been really hectic lately so it is something we will be getting onto very soon!

Do you plan on continuing on together as a duo after the competition?
The competition has now ended for the both of us as we made the top 10 but didn’t make the top 2 (nationals) though we did get highly commended. We will be doing it next year though which is something we really look forward to as this year we have gained a lot of confidence and experience so we now have gained more skill in that area to put it towards doing better next year hopefully

Do you both plan on pursuing music professionally? If you couldn't pursue music, what would you do? 
A: Music is definitely something I hope to pursue as it is something I am extremely passionate about. I can’t actually imagine wanting to do anything else as no other profession compares to my love for music though in the realistic case that I didn’t make it into the music world, I’d have to start thinking about something else to pursue though music will always be something I do in my own time if not as a profession as I love everything about music; the performing, others hearing your work and appreciating what you do and just being able to be myself

 L: I would love to be able to have a career based around music which really pushes me to be the best and to express myself to the wider world. It has been my dream for a long time to get my music out there and share it with others, show them what I can do. To perform for people and have them appreciate what you do is such a great feeling and I can't imagine just stopping what I love. If musically it didn’t work out I would like to become a teacher because it is another area where you can inspire people and help them grow.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences? 
A: My biggest musical influence would be passionate musicians in general. Just seeing them getting up on stage, enjoying what they’re doing and being able to see that passion. Seeing that really inspires me to do well in my music so I can get that experience. Some artists that inspire me would be lyrics wise; Kodaline and The Neighbourhood. They are both amazing artists who put a lot of thought into their music especially their lyrics. You can really feel the story behind each song which leaves the listener amazed and that is a skill I would really love to acquire with time. A performer I look up to is Beyonce as she is not only an incredible singer but has a lot of stage presence and puts a lot of emotion into her singing. You can see that passion in her eyes and you can feel it in her voice. That alone is an amazing skill and is something I would love to be able to do with time.

L: Some of my biggest influences are the artist who started from the bottom but have reached their goals in time because of their passion and will to succeed. Musically my influence is my sister for she is constantly writing music which not only expresses her feelings but also the emotions of others, something I hope to do one day. She has shown me that even though things don't go your way you keep going and keep creating, for the ultimate goal is not to be famous or be rich because of your talents, but to share yourself with others and create a life which you love and appreciate every day.

How would you describe your clothing style? 
A: Describing my clothing style is pretty difficult as it depends on the occasion but I’d describe it as vintage.. I also like bright/pretty colours especially during the summer. I LOVE cute, girly & vintage dresses... dressing up is just so much fun! I like having an original dressing style thats different to other people though I do get inspired from different celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Troian Bellisario (from pretty little liars) - I love her dressing style, so vintage and chic!

L: Depends where I am going/what I am doing but I enjoy the vintage feel and also just the relaxed plain colour blocking style. If the shirt or dress has a cool and unusual pattern on it then I love it. Different is kinda what I look for, op-shopping is always fun and when money is tight it's the perfect option. I also enjoy the preppy kind of look... This is so hard because I love clothes!!!

Who are you some of your favorite designers? 
A: I like a lot of different designers. Some of my favourites would be ‘bluejuice’ from a little shop in Nelson called ‘The Rock Box.’ The have some really girly, cute dresses there.. I also like ‘Dotti’ which is a clothing store full of really gorgeous and affordable clothes. They often have some really gorgeous stuff!

L: I like the New Zealand stylists for they are different and funky. I like the designer Melissa (shoes). I have some heels from her and they smell like lollies! I also like Evil twin and anything my brother likes (he is very fashionable and knows what's good and not good). The designers that I mostly like are all in the little boutique in town called ‘Trouble & Fox’.

What are your top played songs of this month? 
Anna’s September playlist: 
1. Foals - My Number
2. Jason Derulo - Talk Dirty
3. Frank Ocean-Lost

Livvy’s September playlist: 
1. Frank Ocean-anything from him (favourites are lost and thinking bout ya)
2. Lana Del Ray-National Anthem
3. Jason Derulo-Talk Dirty (weird but so catchy!)

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