Music with a Magical Twist...
Hello, my name is Livia and I am a singer/songwriter and hoop dancer from London. I make music with a magical twist – it is pop, but I am inspired hugely by the supernatural, gothic and alternative worlds and I try to bring elements of everything I have discovered on my musical journey, into my music. Making straight pop doesn’t really interest me, so I try to fuse different and interesting sounds from other musical cultures and genres into what I do.
I have been singing since I was a child, performing in musical shows and concerts at school and then starting to write my own music when I was in my teens. Though I loved to perform, I was extremely shy; I was badly bullied at school for being ‘too quiet’ and from the age of 16, I started to develop the symptoms of OCD as a way of coping – a problem which went on to rule much of the next few years. I finished school and decided I wanted to pursue music as a career, so I started performing my own songs at various venues around London. I was able to keep my OCD hidden and largely under control, but the pressures of performing and then a failed relationship became overwhelming and I had a nervous breakdown. Though this was easily one of the most harrowing experiences I have ever been through, in some ways it was also the start of something amazing. I spent a night in a mental health hospital and what I saw there really opened my eyes to the way people view mental health problems and how people are treated. It made me absolutely determined to channel my experience into something positive and write meaningful songs with uplifting messages. My album ‘Journey of an Empath’ is the story of all the things I learned on that path - of overcoming obstacles, dealing with grief and learning to heal a broken heart and a shattered mind and spirit.
When I perform live, I am joined by my Elementals - a group of dancers and performers that I have met on my gigging travels. In the pop music world, we are used to seeing an artist perform with nameless, faceless, streamlined dancers, all giving the illusion of perfection, but my show is about real people suffering with real problems, making the best of real life. Not all disabilities are visible. In my current squad alone, the various physical and mental conditions they are fighting through include: scoliosis, non-epileptic seizures, Type 1 diabetes, prolapsed spinal discs, neuropathy, neurofibromatosis, Behcet’s, ME and various other auto-immune and degenerative conditions. They have battled anxiety and depression, self-harm and survived suicide attempts. More than one Elemental is suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from the loss of a close relative in recent years. Despite all of this, they still get up and perform regularly and I have never had to cancel a show. Their stories are inspiring, not stage managed, and I am proud to share the stage with every one of them - it is a wonder they are still standing, let alone performing on stage and spinning fire!
This is what my music stands for - courage through adversity, continuing despite everything. My group is about rehabilitation and re-finding yourself through creativity. Together, we are advocates for mental and physical health issues and the Flow Arts - a group of performance arts and props that facilitate ‘flow’, helping to achieve a state of both mental and physical wellbeing. These include props such as hula hoops, poi, staff, fans, fire spinning and aerial arts. As a collective, we not only perform with these props, but we also teach them, helping children and adults alike to get active, especially if more traditional methods of exercise are not possible or appealing.
We are Alternative, Other, slightly ‘broken’ and proud to be so! We want our legacy to show that you CAN still achieve whatever you want to, even if you suffer from serious problems. We do it, so can you!