Interview: Liv Wood
November 15, 2022
I was fortunate enough to interview the one and only Liv Wood, an up-and-coming AU Pop Star. Here is the background, the future, and the reasoning behind this great voice. Liv, a broadcast journalism major here at AU, has always been a part of the music world. Starting music theater at just seven years old marked the beginning of her career to now working with Second District Records, the AU student-run independent record label. They have a great voice, both in singing and communicating with others. This is why letting you hear what she had to say, from her, makes the most sense.
Aidan Jacketta: So I hear you’re a pop star, could you tell me a little bit about that?
Liv Wood: Yeah. So I guess I’ll start out by talking about my music background. I’ve been performing since I was really young, my parents got me into it when I was about seven or eight years old, I did musical theater starting out. And then just like taking music lessons, I did that for a really long time before I joined a music school after regular school. So you know, I’d be doing science and math and English and stuff like that, in the morning, and then around 3 pm up until like, usually six or seven, I go to a separate music school where I would start, you know, working on all sorts of different things like, I was in a rock band for a few years. So doing that, and then doing like, on the opposite spectrum, Italian arias and just kind of expanding on music and theory. So I did that probably until I think like the pandemic, I was doing that type of music stuff. And then once the pandemic hit I started getting into writing music because you have literally nothing to do so you know, you kind of find your new niche, and that was crochet and singing. And just like writing, so I had like a little keyboard. I wasn’t great. I’m still not great. I’m working on it. It’s a thing. And I just kind of played with different melodies, listening to new artists, both like singer-songwriter stuff. And as I said, like, I was in a rock band. So kinda like, I listen to classic rock and you know, some more alternative stuff. But then, I don’t know if my voice definitely fits more of a poppy vibe. I always describe it as bubblegum pink. Like, I think that’s what my personality is. And just the way I know, I like to sing music. And it’s kind of my, the song I have out right now is called “Home to You”. It’s definitely more of a pop singer-songwriter vibe. Kind of like I would say ethereal in a weird way, like the music, like the background. And I had a great team that was helping me with that. But I got into SDR last year. So my freshman year, my boyfriend, he was going through all the clubs, and he was like, Oh, my gosh, you need to do this. I think you’d really like this because he knows that I’ve been writing and that I’ve been doing music since I was really young. And I was like, okay, sure, why not. And I got out a song last year, which was super duper exciting. But yeah, I guess Yeah, pops definitely more of what I like to do. But I also like to kind of be relatable. I feel like that’s really, really important. Especially because I am, I’m not a teenager anymore. I just turned 20. I’m a young female. So I kind of wanted to relate to that audience and just like talk about, like, I don’t know, like becoming a woman I don’t know, like, kind of like the struggles you deal with or like the fun things you deal with, like my new EP that’s going to be coming out at the end of the semester. So probably towards like, December is all about breakups and getting through that type of stuff. But then like the song that I just released was about finding love. And so it’s kind of like just that basic kind of stuff. But yeah, I guess that’s an overall just talking about my music and where I came from.
AJ: So what was your initial interest in music?
LW: My Grandmother sings and she has a beautiful voice. And she would always sing in the kitchen, and I was like, Oh my God you have such a pretty voice. And she’s like, well, you try singing so I would just sing with her. My Mom can’t sing to save her life. My Dad did musical theater as a kid. And the reason why I actually got into musical theater was because my Mom was like, you need an extracurricular something that you enjoy. And she saw that I like singing around the house and I’m very creative and very much like an artsy person, sports are not my thing. But she saw that I was just so happy when I was doing it. So she started me singing lessons, but the same, like the same place where I did singing lessons was at a theater so it just kind of worked hand in hand. And the way that I got into that was my Dad was like, I’ll do it with you if you do it. And if you like it, you can do it yourself. But I’ll do the first one with you so we can do it together. So we did Fiddler on the Roof together and it was so fun. It was a professional production. I was just a background character like the ensemble wasn’t anything big. But after that I was like ,oh I love just harmonies and these like exciting melodies that just went all over the place like a lot of range which I think is what makes a song dynamic and that’s what musical theater is. So I kind of related that and like belting and you know that type of stuff to just music in general. And I also listen to it all the time like that’s like in the car. My Dad and I are very, very close. All we do is listen to these pop icons like early 2000s, like, you know, like Britney with her peak, like classic Lady Gaga, The Spice Girls, we’ve listened to “Wanna Be” too many times. But like that type of influence, and then also like, oddly musical theater, they kind of don’t really, I mean, they work hand in hand in a way, that’s just kind of how I got started. And just like that, my parents seemed to be excited about it.
AJ: What does your Dad think about you now making your own music seeing that he’s the one who sort of got you started being interested in music?
LW: So my Dad, he’s supportive, but it’s actually my Mom who’s like my biggest cheerleader like my Dad, of course, he’s like, very, very supportive. He listens to it all the time. I worked at a restaurant this summer and he showed it to my co-workers. He’s like, look at the songs, there’s a song my Daughter did. And then all my co-workers, like, we’d be in the back of the kitchen. And you know, I’d be getting drinks to serve to people, and then I’d hear them just playing my song. And I’m like, Oh, my God, this is so embarrassing, like Expo, which is like blasting it. But my Mom, like, she’s the one that’s like, putting it on Facebook and like trying to like talk to her co-workers or friends. So he’s really supportive. But it’s my Mom, she’s like, very much excited. And my Grandma again, like she’s the one that literally has a beautiful voice. And I think that’s where hopefully it got passed down from, but like, you know, they just always keep asking and asking, how’s it going? What are you doing? Send us demos. I mean, all of them are just so supportive, which is really, really fun. Especially because sometimes people don’t have that. So I’m lucky that they’re always asking, and sometimes suggesting ideas, which I either take or don’t take, but you know, it’s a good system.
AJ: What’s next for your music career?
LV: Yeah. So right now we’re, we’re heading in a bit of a different direction. I was in the studio with my new team. And originally, I was only gonna put out one song this semester, I was like, I’m just gonna do one, but I have a few written. And they’re like, no, look, we can definitely get out three, we can get our three songs. I was like, oh, okay, so we’re doing an EP now. So that’s
what’s coming up for the end of the, you know, this semester. And as I mentioned, it’s going to be like breakup kind of stuff, not necessarily my personal experiences, always, some of them are, but like, you know, friend breakups, I went through when recently, and that was really, really hard. And I was like, Oh, this could be a really good song. Because like, everybody goes through that where like, you kind of have to, like, leave a part of yourself behind and then move on to become a new person. Sometimes that means like, leaving behind, like toxic friends, or just people that aren’t going to be helpful, or, you know, it’s just like, it’s just a part of growing up. Again, like breakups isn’t like a literal breakup, like a relationship, like, you know, boy, whatever. And it’s based off of both my stories and my friends stories, you know, just kind of, again, like things everybody goes through very relatable. So I’m super excited for that, it’s a little bit more higher energy, fast pace, more than my first song, and it’s going to be definitely more pop, but also, one of my producers, he was like, oh, there’s this. There’s this British kind of music that I think would sound super cool to your voice that’s called, they say, it’s garage, but they call it like, Garage or something. I don’t know how the British pronounce it. But. So that’s kind of like, again, very, there’s a lot in the background. So, like, a lot happening, if that makes sense. I don’t know if it does, but that’s kind of the style that we’re going for. So like for inspiration. As I mentioned earlier, like me, my Dad uses Lady Gaga, but like her hers, she’s kind of an inspiration. Just like people that have really powerful, interesting voices, but like, don’t let the background or the backing tracks overshadow what they can do. So again, it’s just gonna be fun. It’s gonna be kind of dancy. But that’s what I have coming up.
AJ: Have you done any live performances?
LW: I’m a journalism and musical theater major so I’ve been doing performances in that sense, but also from singing performances last semester, we performed at Union Stage. And I was able to sing a few songs. One was my original and I sang a few others that I just enjoyed singing and I was like, why not? Because I had more time on my set. And that was so much fun, like Union Stage. I don’t know if you’ve been down there. It’s very underground. It’s kind of small, but it’s just the people that were there were so excited. And we’re giving off again, like great energy and that was amazing because it’s different from performing on stage and acting, it’s like a completely different thing. So I did that. And then a few weeks ago, they had the Ego. It was like a flea market vendor fashion show that was going on at the amphitheater. And SDR we were fortunate enough to have some people perform. I performed again, like my original song, and then just a few other songs that I enjoyed. But I’m excited because actually, we’re gonna have more upcoming performances and more live performances, which is amazing. Like, just like letting go at first, it’s a little bit nerve-racking. It’s like, oh, my gosh, what if these people don’t like my voice? But then once you get into it, and you kind of let go, it’s very much interactive. And I do karaoke, like every Tuesday, and I literally, it’s so much fun. I feel like it’s prepared me for dancing and being whatever on stage. But yeah, there’s that. And I’m excited to actually share some of my new songs.
AJ: You said you’re a journalism and music theater major, how has that impacted your music?
LV: Journalism, not so much. But that’s okay. I feel like it’s allowed me to be comfortable on stage, which is very important. Obviously, you know, you can put out a song and sing a song, and then people can listen to it like on any streaming platforms, Apple Music, Spotify, whatever. But when you’re actually performing this, the songs and stuff, you need to be able to show your personality and like, you have to have a brand. I will say journalism has helped me with branding myself, because, you know, I’ve had to, like make websites and, you know, show off what I can do. It’s like a portfolio and in music, you have portfolios, you have your creations and things that you’ve done. So, I will say that that has helped with that. But again, just like having stage presence and being able to command a crowd, and even in your voice, like when you listen to it on an Apple Music, you know, sometimes you listen to songs, and you’re like, oh my god, I love this song so much. You just keep replaying and replaying it. So if you can captivate your audience, then it’s like, they’re gonna keep listening to your song, and it’s gonna be great, because, you know, that means streams, okay. So I think musical theater has helped me with being able to like, again, command a crowd and keep people engaged. So I think that’s just like, all-encompassing.
AJ: Can you tell me about some of your goals as a musician?
LW: Well, going into college, I didn’t even think I was going to do musical theater. I was just coming for journalism. And I was like, Oh, I’ll probably do like a minor in I don’t know, like graphic design, or PR, political science, which I have no desire to do political science. I don’t even know why I thought that that was so silly of me. But you know, we’re at AU. So I thought that my music stuff was done, I thought it was over. Because you know, you don’t really know what opportunities you’re gonna have when you come here. And then once I was able to figure out that I do have this outlet, and I can do all these amazing things. And then I joined musical theater. And then you know, finding SDR, it was kind of like an eye-opener for me. And it I mean, my goals have kind of shifted and changed throughout the months, because I’ve grown, you know, that I now have all these different paths I could take. So my goal again, I’m getting out that EP, which is super fun. And then hopefully, like, by the end of like, probably, maybe like first semester, next year, I would love to have an album. I think that’s my ultimate goal right now.
AJ: So after college do you hope to pursue a music career?
LW: Probably not, which is really sad because I want to. It’s just so difficult. So I want to do broadcasting. That’s my end goal when I went to college, I was like, oh yeah I’m going to be on TV. But like, again, if things happen, and if things work out, then who’s to say, hopefully, I can keep making music, but it might just not be to the extreme of making a full-time career but like, performing in places still, I will gladly, you know, sing live if the opportunity comes up.
But I don’t know if it’s actually going to be a full-time career. But again, we never know. But right now, it’s just something that I’m very, very, very passionate about. And I guess it’s a journey and I’ll see where that takes me.