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Slidin’ Thru: LV

September 11, 2019

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

LV is an artist who’s out here trying to connect with all the young females in the world. Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona but finding her way to Miami, the urban pop singer is as real as it gets, writing all her own music and giving relatable content for everybody to love. Contrary to what you may think, LV is far from a “new artist.” The “Love You A Lot” singer has been doing music all her life. Read more…

It was at a young age she began taking vocal and piano lessons, eventually making music videos with her neighborhood friends. She eventually began doing covers of songs from the likes of The Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, channeling her inner pop star. Now, she finds her home under the same management team as Flo Rida.

How would you describe your sound?
It’s pop with an urban twist. It’s a little bit edgy, but pop for the most part.

You’re from Phoenix, Arizona, what were you seeing growing up?
A lot of cactuses. [chuckles] A lot of deserts, a lot of heat, but also a lot of talent. Being from Phoenix, I was fortunate enough to do a lot of big things in the city before I left. It’s not really the best or easiest platform for artists and singers such as myself. There haven’t been too many people to really break out of Phoenix, I was blessed to team up with the right people in the city and make the right moves. It’s home, it’s always going to be home.

Yeah, which artists come out of Phoenix?
The only person who really massively did something with CeCe Peniston, but that’s so long ago. According to my people over at Power 90.3 (the biggest hip hop station over there), they were telling me about a girl named Kiana Lede.

I just interviewed her today!
Bro that’s crazy. I actually didn’t know about who she was until I came back to Phoenix to do a show. According to them, she’s from Phoenix too. She’s probably one of the current people right now.

How did you end up in Florida?
Long story. I actually signed a deal with a company in Atlanta in 2015. They found me. I had a show in Phoenix, one of their artists was out there doing a show. I got so much love in my city at the time that they had me performing after these artists. They were very big at the time so they got all mad about it, they’re like “we’re not performing, we’re going back to my hotel if she goes on first.” It was a whole ordeal but ended up being a blessing in disguise because they were already there. I’m like “nah it’s cool, I’ll go first.” They saw my performance, went back and told the label “you gotta go check out this girl.”

I ended up going back and forth to Atlanta for 6 months, then we did a deal. It just wasn’t the right time, right place, right home for me. It didn’t work out, so I ended up moving to Florida from there. Because I didn’t really want to move back to Phoenix and I was already right next door to Florida. I already had a ton of DJ friends in Florida, I’m like “you know what, I’ma go to Miami.” I love it there.

What do you like about Miami?
Miami is the shit. The atmosphere, the culture. It’s so cultural, everyone there is from all around the world. You’re right next to all the Carribean islands. There’s so much culture there, I love it so much. Of course, the beach is incredible. The water’s warm year-round. If humidity doesn’t bother you, you’ll love it.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s really important. I was just telling my manager that I wanna get a spot out here. I want to have a place I can come back and forth to — if not maybe one day permanently live here. It’s all what God has in store for me. Obviously everything is right here and LA is beautiful. What’s not to love besides the cost of living? [chuckles] But hopefully that won’t even be a factor soon…

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
I’ve pretty much known since birth. I’ve never wanted anything else. I was never one of those kids that wanted to be a vet or a doctor, like I knew. I have videos of me at such a young age singing on stages and performing. When I really knew it was real, I was 15 when I recorded my first song. I started making a name for myself in Phoenix very early on. I quit college and just made it full-time.

What were you studying in college?
Just business. I didn’t really want to go to college to be honest. I went initially to get a singing degree, I don’t even know what you call that. I was in the choir — basically it wasn’t what I wanted to do to become a pop star. “Okay I’m going to be singing in the women’s choir, singing opera today.” So I quit that right away, I’m like “okay let me get something generic like a Business Management major.” After one semester, I realized things were picking up with my music. I’m like “if I’m gonna do music, if I really want this, I’m gonna have to give it 110%.” Fortunately I was able to start making money pretty quick because I gained a name for myself in Phoenix. I was booking shows and doing features, so it ended up being lucrative.

Is LV your real name?
Yes, it’s just my initials. Laura is my real name.

You just dropped the visual for “Love You A Lot.” What or who inspired the record?
Honestly, I just heard the beat. KE on the track, he’s actually a really dope producer out here. It gave me that vibe: a happy, positive good feeling. I didn’t really have a plan for it. I wrote it in 10 minutes and it just came out that way. The video was not really supposed to be the way it ended up, but we wanted to have some kids involved and have a younger crowd. I have a little bit of a risque persona on social media and I wanted to try to cross over to get some of the younger fanbase as well. I wanted to involve kids with it, make it more of a PG type of video and song. That way I could get it out to broader masses like TV and radio.

Best memory from the visual?
My boy DJ Affect, he’s a big DJ in Miami, has an ice cream shop in Wynwood called Mr. Kream. He’d been telling me about it for a while. I’m really good friends with his wife, who’s also from Phoenix coincidently. Just shooting there ‘cause I hadn’t been there yet. Doing something for the kids. We had these group of kids called the Hip Hop Kids and they were dancing in the video. It was cool, I could see the excitement in their eyes. The feeling it gave them, gave me a good feeling.

Talk about the creative process behind XCITED?
Honestly, I recorded like 50 records. I recorded so many songs. I picked a name for the EP first before I picked the songs because it’s my first body of work I’ve ever put out. I wanted it to have a name with a story. Even something as simple as XCITED, the story behind it is important to me. Because as an artist, there’s so much uncertainty and so much beating yourself down. Will I make it? Will I not? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my money? I’m sacrificing my friends, my family, my time, money, so much stuff. A lot goes into being an artist. You never know if you’ll make it or not, you just have to hold the faith and keep believing that you will.

The only thing that really kept me going (and still keeps me going) is to have something to look forward to. For me, that feeling is to be excited about something. If I have something to be excited about, I stay happy. I wanted that first and foremost to be the story behind XCITED because it’s genuine and it’s real. It’s what I feel every single day. It’s what I really need to stay happy and continue pushing towards my dream. I picked songs supported that. Some of them are sexy, some of them are super innocent, some of them are scandalous. It’s a collaboration of a bunch of different feelings but nothing on there is down and — I don’t want to say depressing because I have very sad songs and ballads that are very emotional. That’s a whole other side of me. I want to do a whole body of project that shows that side only, but I didn’t want to put those records on a body of work called XCITED. I wanted everything to be a vibe, everything to be good feelings.

How important is social media for your career?
Very important. Nowadays, it’s everything. A lot of artists back in the day broke because they walked into a record label and they had a good look or they could sing. That’s not really happening nowadays. Maybe it still is here and there if you’re lucky, but most of the time you have to do all the groundwork yourself. Social media has become the main tool that makes it possible for independent artists. If you can brand yourself first, you can get buzzing first, then a label can get behind you and put the machine behind you — if you so choose to do that. A lot of people are still staying independent and making a way for themselves without having a label. It’s important regardless because whether you decide to go with a label or stay independent, nowadays you have to have a buzz on your own. You have to already be selling records, you have to already have fans, already be selling out shows, so it’s #1.

Favorite person to follow on IG?
I actually follow a lot of workout girls because I’m super into fitness myself. I don’t really promote it because I want my music to be the staple. I follow a lot of fashion blogs. Cardi B, she’s hilarious. I follow a lot of comedians too. Anyone who makes me laugh and anyone who inspires me to get my ass up and go to the gym. [laughs]

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I wake up, I snuggle with my cats for probably 25 minutes. I check all my social media. I usually make a light breakfast, I go to the gym, come home, shower. I do whatever’s on my schedule that day. My team and I have a whole platform with a to-do list, things that have to get done now. I’ll pick things off the list. A lot of it is social media content. A lot of times, I have studio. I spent a whole 9 months in the studio a month ago. 9 month prior to that, I was in the studio every single day for 12 hours a day. I cut back a little on the studio because I have so much music, but I’m always in there. If somebody’s dope who’s in town and they say “let’s get in,” the studio’s always there. That’s always in the schedule. Always music. First I take care of myself in the morning, then I get right to it.

3 things you need in the studio?
1) Water. A clear mind — actually maybe not though. Sometimes when my mind is on something so crazy, it makes for the best inspiration. 2) A jacket because I’m always freezing in the studio. 3) My phone because I write all my lyrics on my phone. I used to do the pen and paper thing even though I didn’t need it. Even when there were smartphones, I like to scribble things out and get messy with it. Now I just use my phone.

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I remember one time at the big Back To School bash in Phoenix the radio station does every year, I was pulling up just as a guest. A friend of one of the performers. I came through the back. A whole crowd of people who didn’t have tickets into the show came into the back entrance just to see the artists going in. There was a whole crowd of people screaming my name. That was a very surreal feeling for me because I didn’t even realize that I’d be recognized like that. That was a moment.

Then there was a show I did not too long ago with Flo in South Carolina, which I don’t think any of those people knew who I was. I was going on stage literally coming out at the end of the Flo’s set, but he was over his time. They were cutting his time off but his DJ was like “nah fuck that, I’m gonna throw the song off.” So I went out there and was literally on stage for one minute. When I got off stage, the whole festival was chanting LV and that was crazy. That was a really dope feeling. Aside from that a personal moment, I get some really nice, inspirational DMs from people telling me I’m a big inspiration for them and they’ve been following me for a while. Those are special because it’s a one on one thing.

 

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