By Aida Toro
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much if those words are in a song and the music in your heart? Liv Kennedy can tell you. Nestled in the heart of Nashville, she has a story to tell. A story to be sung.
“There are singers who song write and then there are songwriters who sing,” stated Songwriter, Liv Kennedy.
Kennedy is indeed a songwriter who sings. She is a native of Los Angeles who decided to pack her bags and move to Nashville, Tennessee to follow her dream of becoming a songwriter. Right after pursuing her degree in Spanish Literature and Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University in New York and saving up some money, she hopped in her car and drove off.
“L.A., N.Y.C., Austin, and Nashville are all wonderful places to write and perform music,” said Kennedy. “Nashville — in particular — caught my eye because it was a self-proclaimed ‘writing city’.”
Kennedy enjoys writing songs for herself and others. At times, the messenger is more important than the message, she says.
“If I write a song that is a better fit, I’m inclined to have another artist perform it and so on and so forth,” she said. “Nashville is a community of writers and dreamers and living here is very inspiring.”
During the day, Kennedy writes music solo or in a co-write and serves at Zanie’s, a comedy club, at night. She co-wrote a song titled “Leave” with Kelsi Mayne and KD Amond, which has actually been performed by Mayne at various concerts and festivals. Kennedy, currently has about 90 to 100 songs in her catalog. She taught herself to play the guitar, ukulele, and banjulele, and has recently been teaching herself how to play the piano.
“I, by no means am a talented musician,” said Kennedy. “But I’m good enough to lay chords down for a co-write or producer.”
Every day, Kennedy feels she is close to reaching her potential as a writer and artist.
“I won’t stop until I’m the best version of myself,” she said. “I’m always open to collaborating with people who think, believe, and feel differently than me, whether it be a live or studio producer.”
Kennedy has also been exploring her sound for the past years.
“As a writer, songs can vary,” she said. “For example, if I co-write a song with someone who has an extensive background in country, the song will probably be a country song."
What matters is capturing the essence of a song, stated Kennedy. She always asks herself: Does it feel authentic? Does it come from a place of truth? Does it move you? As a vocalist, she has a lower register, so she’s been drawn to artists like Tracy Chapman and Billie Holiday.
“Everyday, I get closer to defining who I am as a singer-songwriter,” said Kennedy. “For the time being, I self-identify as LEFT of pop, perhaps Indie Pop.”
“I write music that is somewhat non-traditionally ‘pop’, that still manages to be accessible to a mainstream ‘pop’ demographic,” continued Kennedy. “ Think of Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, and artists who don’t get a crazy amount of radio play but still have an extensive following.
The process of discovering her sound is a continuing journey. Most importantly, Kennedy believes that the individual listening to the song she’s written should feel something.
“If I write a song that doesn’t move you in some way, I have failed,” expressed Kennedy.
Kennedy finds the opportunity to share her music every single day. Although she doesn’t work a regular 9 to 5 job, Kennedy is still able to provide for herself and live the life she envisions living.
“I’m surrounded by truly interesting people who challenge what I think and believe,” she said. “I’m in a city that is quickly growing and changing every day. and I’m truly blessed to be in love with my best friend, who incidentally has inspired the vast majority of my music this past year.”
“Life is great,” said Kennedy. “I haven’t met my career aspirations YET but I’m putting in the work — and time — to be the best writer, singer, and the person I can possibly be.”