Confidence comes from hard work and practice. Know your songs inside and out so that you don’t even have to think on show day — you can put on a show and do what you do best! The more prepared I am, the more confidence I have in my performance.
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing critically acclaimed country singer and songwriter Liv Charette. Her most recent single“Break Up Party”just came out November 13, 2020.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/8689194ca23f2e3cc99aa036d3467749
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. I grew up on the ice and spent 11 years as a competitive figure skater with huge dreams of skating my way to a medal someday. My grandfather is a singer, so I also spent plenty of time listening to music and loving it! He was the vocal coach for a local musical and, after watching him coach other kids, I asked if he could do the same for me. We bonded over ABBA songs and it wasn’t long after that my passion for skating was dimmed by my passion for music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to be a singer/songwriter?
Music has always been in my blood, but I think I really embraced it around age 14 when I hung up my skates and shifted my focus fully towards music. I like to say that I traded gold medal dreams for GRAMMY dreams! I grew up listening to artists like Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood and they, along with countless other artists, inspired me to learn to play guitar at 16 and start writing songs. I made my first trip to Nashville in 2013 and moved here full time not long after. The journey has been full of hard work and some ups and downs, but I definitely feel with this new music and the team I have behind me now, I know in my heart that I am exactly where I need to be.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Timing is everything and Nashville is full of full-circle, meant to be moments. One of the coolest things that has ever happened to me was finding my debut single, “That Kind of Song.” The song itself was written 10 years ago by Barry Dean and the late Andrew Dorff. My producer (and Andrew’s father), Steve Dorff, a legendary songwriter in his own right, cut the track 8 years ago. He held on to “That Kind of Song” for all those years and tried it with a few other artists before it found its home in me. To have been entrusted with being the voice of this song means more than I can ever put into words.
Tell us about your debut single “That Kind of Song”.
From the moment I heard the demo for “That Kind of Song”, I knew it was something special. As an artist and songwriter, it is rare to find outside songs that connect to you on a deeper level and truly represent who you are and what you want to say but I felt an instant connection with this song. Though I never got to meet Andrew, I feel like I’ve gotten to know him through his music. He has so many songs in his catalog where you say, “I wish I had written that.”
Since I released the song in late July, it has been a dream come true to see it stream well, but even more so to know that, as an artist, others have connected to this beautiful song and its story as much as I have. I am beyond grateful!
Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville? Why did you decide to move from Canada?
Nashville is the epicenter of country music and I knew that if I wanted to make an impact in this industry, I needed to be here. There’s so much collaboration that happens here that I don’t think happens like that anywhere else. It’s not uncommon to be at a show or an event and meet somebody else in town who is a writer and an artist and the next thing you know, you’re scheduling a write and creating music together. Moving from Canada was a no-brainer. I knew I would miss my family and friends like crazy, but I also knew that big dreams take big risks, so I took the jump and haven’t looked back!
I love that there’s so much history here. A few years ago, I had a private tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame with my team. To be among memorabilia from so many legendary artists and know that I’m paving my own path here much like they did was both humbling and impactful. At the end of the tour, I stood by myself in the Hall of Fame Rotunda surrounded by plaques featuring some of the greatest legends in country music and really soaked it all in. Patsy, Loretta, Dolly…does it get any better than that?
Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.
The best parts of Nashville are the music, the kindness and the food! There are so many incredibly talented artists, writers and musicians in Nashville and on any given night, you can see several of them playing around town (or at least you could pre-pandemic…now you can see them all playing livestreams!). The food is also amazing! Nashville has become such a foodie town and I love it! Any night of the week, you can try a different cuisine and it’s all so good! But my favorite part of Nashville is the kindness of its people. Whether somebody’s been here for a year or a lifetime, you can pretty much bet they’re kind. If you are short a bandmember, somebody is going to be willing to step in. If you forget a guitar pick, don’t worry, somebody else on stage will give you one. If your tire is flat, somebody will help you there too. I can neither confirm nor deny that all of these things have happened to me. Okay, okay, I’ll confirm it. People are just really, really nice here and it’s awesome!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I remember playing a show early on where I wore some fabulous red lipstick. I got a little closer to the microphone than anticipated and managed to spread lipstick all over my chin, then walked straight off stage after the show and took pictures with fans. I’m sure somewhere out there, there are still some photos floating around of a blissfully unaware me with lipstick on her chin! Ladies, trust me when I tell you, liquid lipstick is your friend. I have yet to make that same mistake again!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I don’t think there’s a one-person answer to this question and I have to give serious props to my entire team. Finding the right management team and the right producer has been key to getting me to this point. From a production standpoint, Steve Dorff understands my voice and we get each other on a workflow level. My management team at The AMG works tirelessly and understands what I stand for as an artist. I’m grateful to have found a team that works as hard as I do to achieve our collective vision. We also have a lot of fun and my philosophy is, if you’re not enjoying the process, go find people who will help you enjoy it!
Can you tell us about your new single “Break Up Party”?
This song is a fresh take on the feeling that comes after a breakup. It’s about enjoying newfound freedom and celebrating the end of a relationship that’s outlived its expiration date! I am so excited to have this song out in the world and I hope that it empowers anyone who is going through a breakup or has gone through a breakup in the past! Even if you are in a solid relationship, it’s a fun song that will have you singing along.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Take care of your voice and it will take care of you — see a voice coach for tune ups, be sure you’re singing properly, rest your voice when necessary and drink lots of tea with honey.
- Great things take time — work hard and keep moving forward. You never know what life changing opportunity is right around the corner. Some of the greatest moments in my career have come after a season where I had to practice patience.
- There is beauty in imperfection — I’ve always struggled with needing things to be perfect but have come to realize that some of my best work has been when I didn’t overthink, went with my gut and let my experience take over.
- Celebrate the little things — the journey is the destination. Go to dinner, have the glass of wine and cheers to your achievements.
- Confidence comes from hard work and practice. Know your songs inside and out so that you don’t even have to think on show day — you can put on a show and do what you do best! The more prepared I am, the more confidence I have in my performance.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Celebrate every milestone as it comes — I truly believe the destination is the journey itself. For me, the day I release a song is as exciting as the day it hits 100K streams. Writing a new song is equally as exciting as recording a new song. Taking time to celebrate each step is a reminder that really cool things are happening, no matter how small they may seem.
I also highly recommend the practice of “Three Ps” to keep from burning out. From the day we started working together, my manager has encouraged the “Three Ps” and now I make it my mission to accomplish all 3 every day. They are: Professional, Personal, and Play. Every day, make sure you’re doing something for your career, something for yourself and something fun.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Spreading kindness, more specifically on social media. The internet can be both a wonderful and destructive place. In uncertain times, I think we all need to be a little easier on one another and practice some grace. Through my social platforms, I hope to bring joy to my followers through my music and spread positivity. I also make a conscientious effort to do the same on others’ pages.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
A quote I try to live by is, “If you don’t ask for what you want, the answer is always ‘no’.” Though it sounds simple, this motto has helped me realize that being intentional and asking for what you want can lend to opportunities you never thought possible. If you ask and it’s a no, keep working hard and asking until you get a yes.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
100% without a doubt, Meryl Streep. I have been a Meryl fan forever and I would love to pick her brain about choosing iconic roles, maintaining success across her career and creating a legend that is unmatched in the acting world. If I can create a career that touches half as many lives as Meryl has with her talent, I will have done my job as an artist.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!