Liv Austen~ Q & A!!

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  1. Hello Liv, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became country singer?

I grew up in Norway and from a very young age I was fascinated by performing arts. I wanted to be an actor and a singer. I couldn’t really decide which of those two paths to take, so I trained to be a musical theatre performer. It taught me tons about performing, but I also realized that it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I wrote songs from a very young age too – it just sort of came naturally to me. That’s not to say all the songs I wrote were great from the start, I had no training in it – but I did it for myself, just for fun. It took a few years before anyone heard the songs.

  1. How did you get into country music and how did you know you wanted a career in it?

As I got more serious about my songwriting I was looking for more inspiration and artists who sang the kind of songs I wanted to sing and write. More and more I moved in the direction of country – I had a friend introduce me to Carrie Underwood, which changed a lot for me. I was like: “this is exactly the kind of stuff I want to write!” I also started listening to country radio and found new artists to listen to. In terms of seeing myself as a country artist… It sort of just happened. The UK country scene was just about starting to wake up so to speak when I released my first EP, and I got a lot of great reactions from fans and musicians alike.

  1. Who are some of your musical icons?

I have so many, in all different genres. When growing up Michael Jackson was everything I wanted to be. A writer, a performer, a singer – with a unique image. I loved Stevie Wonder, and still do. Now that I work as a singer and songwriter I am hugely influenced by the people who actually write the music, like Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby, Jessi Alexander… I could go on. Some of the performers I look up to are Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, LeAnn Rimes and Cassadee Pope.

  1. What is your favorite song off your latest EP “Who I Am Today?”

It’s been really exciting to see how much people love Don’t Regret a Single One. It was a bit of a risk for me to release that song, as it is quite feminist and punchy – but people have reacted so well to it, and it was the first song I ever got played on Radio 2. However I think my personal favorite is “I Just Want to See Him.” I feel it may be one that not as many people know that well, because it was never a single. But I am proud of the lyrics and how the meaning of the words in the chorus changes throughout the song.

  1. Is there anything new coming up with your career for 2017?

Absolutely! In January I signed a record and publishing deal with a label called NUA, and I am now in the studio working on my debut album. I am beyond excited about it – it’s a lot of hard work, but seeing it all come together is a dream come true. My new music has a slightly different flavor to it. The production is inspired by a mixture of my pop and country influences, and I’m curious to see how people respond to it!

  1. What is one accomplishment that you are most proud of so far that happened in your music career?

Being asked by Ben Earle (The Shires) to sing the song he wrote and release it through Decca Records was a big moment for me last year. It’s wonderful when someone who has had success recognizes your hard work and wants to highlight you to a new audience. Also being signed was obviously a big moment! It just felt like someone believed in me enough to spend their resources on me – and that was very motivating.

  1. Where do you see your music career in the next 5 to 10 years?

I have huge dreams. I want to go on big tours – not only in the UK, but also around the world. I want to connect with other great artists and collaborate and tour with them. I want to make great albums and write for other people as well. Exactly what happens at what time is not completely clear to me, but I want the next 5 to 10 years to be filled with songwriting, performing and connecting with fans!

  1. If you could do a duet with famous singer or group whom would it be and why?

I’d love to do a duet with Tyler Hilton. He has such a soulful voice and is in that perfect land between country and pop where I feel so comfortable. I guess I also feel connected to him because he is an actor as well as a singer, just like me. So that would be fun!

  1. If you had to give advice to up and coming country artist what would you tell them?

This is going to sound so cheesy, but be yourself. Every day I am learning more and more how important that is. If you are yourself – and do what you truly believe is right for you, I believe there is no way you can fail. I think the struggle for many of us is to really discover what your authentic self really is. We get so easily distracted by other people’s opinions, trying to replicate other people’s success – when really no one is on the path you are and you can only discover it yourself. You also need to have relentless faith in yourself and what you do – even on the really tough days. Which is easier said than done.

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Go where you’re celebrated – not where you’re tolerated”. I love that one. I believe that we can get stuck trying to get validation from someone who merely tolerates us, when there are people out there who are ready to celebrate you and help you move forward. Find those people instead! And through those times where you feel like you’re only being tolerated, be your own cheerleader. Celebrate yourself.

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