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Presented by Foggy Notions

Liv.e & Qbanaa

The Workman's Club

May 24, 2023

8 p.m.

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Liv.e & Qbanaa

Tickets are on sale now for the Irish Debut of Liv.e

Growing up in a family of musicians, contemporary neo-soul artist Olivia Williams, better known as Liv.e (pronounced Liv), spent most of her life trying not to get into music: “I really avoided making music for a long time because my family is so deep in it,” she joked. But when listening to the jazzy riffs, experimental production, and sprawling, expansive storytelling on her upcoming release Girl in the Half Pearl, it’s hard to imagine she ever considered being anything else.
The last couple of years especially, Liv.e’s been doing a lot: She’s performed alongside Earl Sweatshirt and Ravyn Lenae, appeared in a Miu Miu campaign photographed by Tyrone Lebon, and performed “Bout It”—a single produced by Mndsgn—on COLORS, to name a few. Precipitated by the cultural resonance of her critically-acclaimed 2020 debut, Couldn’t Wait to Tell You…, the opportunities—both in music and beyond—seem boundless.
Hailing from Dallas, TX, the 24-year-old producer and singer/songwriter has come a long way from the young child who was introduced to music through church, where her father and brother were both very involved in the gospel scene. “The older I got, the more I realized how much church actually played into my life,” she remembers. “Both musically as well as building the spiritual basis that’s been so important to my growth.”
These days, the Los-Angeles-based artist primarily draws inspiration from listening to old songs on repeat—she cites Dolfin Records, a Dallas-based label that’s been pivotal in her career, and other artists “with a great pen” like singer Lalah Hathaway and saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter as some of her favorites. That music influence and love for storytelling has persisted through all of Liv.e’s work to date—and Girl in the Half Pearl takes that one step further by exploring deep self-realization through an eclectic, immersive soundscape. “I was going through a lot of dark, traumatic shit. A lot of loss,” she recalls. “This album is really like a diary for me, the death of my past self and a bunch of other things I had to let pass on, to be able to elevate where I am right now.”
More specifically, the 17-track work talks Liv.e’s transformation during the journey of a years-long unsound relationship that lasted through her early twenties: “I started seeing the reality of my relationships, recognizing how easily I could be used and manipulated. I was vulnerable to the wrong people, but I had to learn that the really fucking hard way,” Liv.e explains. “So I started slowly creeping into having these realizations, and I started writing a lot.”
After some time and distance from that experience, she sees the time as a period of growth, forgiveness, and reclamation. Both GIHP and recent shifts in her artistry—like her London residency at Laylow this April, where she explored avant-garde performances like scoring a film during her set—are proof of that. “I’m getting my power back—my sense of self and my sense of strength and trust within myself,” she says. “CWTTY was coming into my independence. Now, I'm coming more into my womanhood.”

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