From singing groups in Shepperton to touring with Khalid, Liv Dawson’s life has changed a fair bit in the past year or so. We sat down with her to discuss how someone with severe anxiety manages to get up on stage in front of thousands, and she lets us know who her ‘number one fave superstar queen’ is.
Hey Liv, how are you? For those who are unaware, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
Hey, I’m good thank you! I’m Liv Dawson. I’m 19, a singer-songwriter and I like to make R&B and electronic pop music.
You grew up in a small town in Surrey called Shepperton. Was there much of a music scene there or is that something you had to seek out for yourself?
Growing up in Surrey is so different to growing up in Central London. There [weren’t] many opportunities other than a small singing group I went to every Saturday. That’s where I slowly realised I wanted to do more singing and take it up as a full time career.
You’re still only 19, but your latest single Talk has been described as a ‘coming of age’. Would you agree with that, and if so do you think it was a necessary process?
My music has definitely developed over time, and it’s taken me since releasing Tapestry and way before that to discover my sound, and I’m still growing! Talk is the most ‘me’ track I have out at the moment.
Recently, you’ve opened for Jessie Ware and toured with Khalid. How was that?
Touring with Khalid was insane! Playing huge shows for me is my dream so to have the opportunity to play with them was amazing. Khalid is really nice as well, his whole team were so inviting. The Jessie Ware show was so much fun also! She’s such a sweet person!
You’ve gone on record to say that you count Lauryn Hill and Beyoncé as big influences in your music. How have they shaped the music you make?
I take so much inspiration from Lauryn Hill’s runs and adlibs, her songwriting is perfect. I grew up listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, so I’ve taken so much from her vocal delivery. Beyoncé has always been my number one fave superstar queen. She has such a professional, sassy and skilled work ethic and I admire it so much.
How did you overcome the shyness and anxieties you’ve experienced in the past?
I’ve always suffered with severe anxiety and anxiety on stage was a massive hurdle to overcome for me. The Khalid tour helped me so much as it made me tackle it head on and learn to have fun with it! Since then I’ve found I’ve been able to overcome the worst of my anxiety when performing live.
Watch the lyric video for Talk now.