Livvi Franc, born Olivia Charlotte Waithe, is one of the most promising acts to launch their career this year. The immensely talented singer/songwriter signed a record deal with Jive Records, which makes her label mates with superstars such as Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake and Ciara Harris.
In this exclusive interview with "Monica Mania", the Bajan beauty talks about the process of recording her debut album, passion for cooking, inevitable Rihanna / Shontelle comparisons, dream duets with Kanye West / Estelle Swaray, and so much more …
Hamada: - Tell us more about yourself?
Livvi: - I have always dreamt of being a professional singer from as long as I can remember. I love the idea of sharing music with the world. Music is one of the universal languages.
A great day for me includes liming with friends, sharing a good meal and having a laugh. I love to laugh!! I am always interested in having a conversation with someone … You never know what you are going to learn or how you just might make a difference in someone else's life.
I like to read. Getting into a really good book that can make 10 hours of flying seem like 2 (smiles).
I LOVE movies just as much as I love the popcorn which is a MUST when I go to the movies … They should make that a rule! (Sweet popcorn in UK movie theatres is the best!!!)
I love food! All different types, but my favorites are Italian, Caribbean and Indian. I'm a great cook/ baker. I'm famous for my yummy pasta dishes, baked chicken and coconut bread (a Bajan specialty).
I love, love being silly! Pranks, being quirky-that's all so LIVVI!
Lastly, I try not to get too stressed, as I believe everything happens for a reason.
Hamada: - You're currently in the process of recording your debut album. Does it have a title yet?
Livvi: - We have a couple titles in the running but haven't committed to one yet. They're all cool though, so it'll be a hard pick!
Hamada: - What can we expect from it?
Livvi: - All aspects of my personality compiled into one colorful, fun and relatable album. It's the true essence of me.
Hamada: - Have you decided which song is going to be the lead single? If so, give us all the juicy details (smiles).
Livvi: - The first set up single is called "Free". It's a song I wrote very early in my career, when I was just so excited about what was to come. It's all about being free! It's about doing anything you want, saying whatever you feel like saying and being everything you ever dreamed of being with nothing in the way to stop you.
Hamada: - List some of your favorite songs recorded so far, and what's the story behind each one of them?
Livvi: - Hmmmmm … I would not know where to begin … I have recorded over 50 songs!!! My favorite songs are the ones I had the most fun writing and recording, and that is still such a massive list!!! I have no clue of the final 12 that made my album, so I would hate to list favorites that the public will never hear. Can I answer this question in a couple of months when we have selected the final songs??? I promise I will!
Hamada: - Whom did you collaborate with in terms of songwriters and producers?
Livvi: - Throughout the process of recording and songwriting for my album and beyond, I've worked with a bunch of amazing producers and songwriters! Including: Salaam Remi, Greg Kurstin, Angela Hunte, Eg White, Amanda Ghost, Ian Dench, Tawanna "Frankie Storm" Dabney, Toby Gad, James Fauntleroy, Cathy Dennis, Jonathan "J.R." Rotem, Brian Kennedy, Warren "Oak" Felder, SRP, Stargate, Nadir "RedOne" Khayat, Future Cut, The Rural, Steve Booker, CSP, Grind Music, Trackmasters, Reginald "Scyience" Perry, The Underdogs, De Red Boyz, Stereotypes, The Runaways, The Writing Camp, Supa Dups, Tiffany Fred, Laura Evans, Inkwell, Heidrun Bjornsdottir, Nina Woodford, Bruno Mars, and Paul Lawrence .... I hope I didn't miss anyone, but it is quite possible I have. I have met such an amazing bunch of people who have all contributed to my growth as an artist and as a professional!
Hamada: - Which musicians you'd love to hook up with in the near future?
Livvi: - I had great experiences with each and every one of them so I'm open to future collaboration with everyone!
Hamada: - What was your reaction when you first got signed to Jive Records?
Livvi: - "I'm over the moon and I'm jumping from star to star!" (a line from one of my songs) … I could not stop smiling!!! It has been like a beautiful dream that continues when I am awake. Aaaaaah!
Hamada: - How does it feel to be label mates with Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Ciara Harris?
Livvi: - It's amazing! I haven't met any of them yet, though, but I hope I will soon. They're really talented artists who have had great careers to date! I'd love to pick their brains sometime!
Hamada: - How would you handle inevitable comparisons between you and other Barbadian artists like Rihanna and Shontelle?
Livvi: - Hey, it's a compliment!!! They are doing awesome things!! I have met Rihanna, and her work ethic continues to astound me! I also know Shontelle, and like Rihanna, she is so committed to excellence! They are also both very nice! I would not mind the comparisons at all - especially if we are compared that way! But I know the fact that we are Barbadian women with record deals who sing pop music, all around the same age and height, will be how we are initially compared, but eventually, as people dig a little deeper, they will realize we each have our own sound and style.
Hamada: - If you could record a duet with any living artist, who would be your first choice and why?
Livvi: - I would love to work with M.I.A or Estelle Swaray ... They have such a cool sound and style to their music, which I would love to tap into. For male artists … Hmmmm … Justin Timberlake or Kanye West … They are just giants! So super talented!! Wow!!!
Hamada: - Your birth name is Olivia Charlotte Waithe. Why did you choose to go with Livvi Franc as an artist name instead?
Livvi: - "Livvi" is what my friends call me, which is short for Olivia. I thought of Franc because it's my late grandfather's first name (his was with a 'k', but I thought 'c' looked a little cooler … He wouldn't mind) and he was the first person to notice I had music in me and told everyone one when I was 2 that I would be a musician. I'm sure he's looking down on me now smiling!
Hamada: - Describe yourself in 5 words.
Livvi: - Silly, Fun, Easy-Going (let's just say that's one word haha!!), honest, caring and moody (I'm a Gemini; can't help it!!)
Hamada: - What do you look for in a potential boyfriend?
Livvi: - Too busy for a boyfriend now … I'm enjoying single life!! But when the time comes, I'll be looking for someone who is passionate about their calling; someone who loves and appreciates music; someone who knows how to have a good laugh at himself and at life in general.
Hamada: - Tell us something that most readers will be surprised to learn about you?
Livvi: - I can cook a whole Christmas Lunch spread for 15 people and feel completely de-stressed at the end of it! Cooking soothes me. It's my therapy!
Hamada: - Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Livvi: - I see myself happy, doing what I love to do and sharing my music with the world. I'll have my own bikini/underwear line with my own fabric designs (I did that in school). I'll be in movies too as I've always wanted to act.
Hamada: - Any message you'd like to convey to all your fans throughout the world?
Livvi: - To all my fans throughout the world, I'm so grateful for your support and I love you all!! Let's have fun in 2009 and beyond!!!
[Visit] Livvi Franc @ MySpace