Sometimes a musician comes around to make you question what you’ve been doing all your life, and how you haven’t achieved more. 18-year-old Liv Dawson is one of those. She’s sold out headline shows, collaborated with Disclosure, and has millions of listens on Spotify (633,000 listeners a month to be specific, with 5,981,311 listens on her 2016 single ‘Reflection’). Despite only releasing her debut single ‘Tapestry’ last year, she’s no beginner to music, having been playing around for the last few years. I ducked into a Westminster Starbucks to chat about her latest work, inspirations, and – most importantly – if she’d found somewhere to get her eyebrows done that morning.
First and most important question: did you find somewhere to get your eyebrows done this morning?
Oh my god, yes I did – they actually aren’t bad!
Oh good! How has the fan reaction to ‘Painkiller’ been?
It’s been really good actually. We haven’t really pushed it that much so it’s nice. I get quite a lot of messages from people saying that they like it, and people are enjoying the video so yeah, it’s been really good.
What was your inspiration for the song?
It was kind of from an event that happened not long ago, about getting drunk and being really hungover the next day, realising stuff happened and… yeah, being really hungover! It was something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, something that isn’t touched on in a lot of songs so honestly it was quite nice to do that. I love writing about things that have happened to me, about my friends and my family and about myself. I do love a good love song, and writing about a break up.
It feels like there are so many songs about drinking but never the aftermath!
You had Davina McCall shout out ‘Something Good’, Ed Sheeran shouted out ‘Painkiller’ – what was that like?
It was really nice. I was on holiday at the time it happened and I didn’t realise because I had no WiFi, I eventually looked at my phone and was like “Ooh, wow!”. It was a bit weird; nice because obviously they have so many followers and I was getting quite a lot of messages afterwards. I had a lot of people go to my video on YouTube and comment on it and be like “Ed Sheeran sent me here!” so it was kind of weird but really nice, really really nice of them.
Does it feel weird that someone like Ed Sheeran is hearing your music? That hundreds of thousands of people are watching your videos and listening to your music? That must be a weird feeling.
It is weird, but it’s very nice. I’m very grateful that someone like him posted it because I know he doesn’t post about a lot of artists. I felt really special.
When did you start writing and singing?
I started writing and singing when I was about 12 or 13. I used to do a lot of gigs so I wanted to start writing my own songs to break it up from being covers all the time, and that’s what made me really want to write music. Because I was so young I needed a bit of guidance so I had help from a few people, like people who came to my gigs.
Are there any artists at the moment who inspire you?
There are loads actually. I like a lot of new artists – I love Jorja Smith, I love Raye, I just love loads of new artists. There’s a lot of girls supporting girls nowadays which is nice. I feel like few years back there was a lot of competition and bitchiness which was just not very nice but now [the music scene]is very supportive.
If you could work with any singer/writer/producer, who would it be?
Final question – what’s coming up next for you?
I’m working on my album at the moment. It’s quite long, but I’m just finishing off loads and loads of songs, and then kind of hoping for the best!
Check out ‘Painkiller’ below: