Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Liyah Bey shares some facts about herself and the groovy new single “Million Dollar Girl”. Unquestionably, her natural talent leads her to create amazing songs that have some soul feel to it. Check out this exclusive interview and find her honest answers here!
1 – How does living in Los Angeles influence your songwriting, lifestyle, and desire to be a singer?
Los Angeles is so different from New York City, where I lived for five and a half years before moving to LA. Los Angeles is more laid-back, it’s a totally different energy. I have much more quiet time to write and to record. I’m still crazy about New York and visit there at least twice a year! But I have found more relaxation here in LA.
2 – Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new music?
It can be different every time. I’ll walk down the beach. I’ll spend time by the water, sitting alone. When an idea comes to me, I’ll record it. Sometimes a melody or piece of melody will just appear. I’ll be sleeping, and suddenly, I’ll jump up and write it down or record it. Other times, you’ll just sit with a writer and work through it together. We ask ourselves what we want to write about. We draw on subjects from our lives. Inspiration can really come from anywhere. There is no limit for writing, there’s no limit in music. You just need to be open and ready for when inspiration hits.
3 – How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
I would say: soulful with some pop flavor to it.
4 – How would you interpret the music video for your latest single “Million Dollar Girl”?
I would say it’s really feminist. Three beautiful girls working together against the bad guy. It’s also a very sexy video, but watch out!!
5 – I noticed this song features a vintage sound that fits pretty well with your soulful vocals. What kind of retro music and movies do you like nowadays?
I’m really old school, I’m listening to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Nina Simon, Led Zeppelin, Prince and Pink Floyd. As for the newer artists, I really love Adele, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, Jeff Buckley, and, dare I say it, Coldplay.
I love movies too! Really liked Shape of Water, Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Almodóvar’s All About My Mother and Talk To Her. Other good movies are The Matrix and the brilliant animated film, Spirited Away. There are so many movies in different genres that I like.
6 – When you are not in music making mode, how do you enjoy your free time?
I love walking on the beach, listening to music on my headphones, good restaurants (there are so many great restaurants in LA), going to the movies, or staying home to watch one of the TV shows (there are so many good ones lately). But my favorite thing is to take off on a little trip up the coast to Northern California, driving to Santa Barbara and from Santa Barbara to Moonstone Beach up Highway One to Big Sur and Carmel. Just love that drive!!!
Lately, I’m back to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Prince.
8 – What has been your top career highlight so far?
Finding who I really want to be as an artist and to go for it full power!
9 – Do you have any favorite producer and recording studio that you like to use?
My dream is to work with Mark Ronson and to record in the UK. I love their sound.
10 – Are there any upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us?
There are some really cool beautiful songs that I’m working on right now that I would love to share with you in the future. A lot of good stuff coming up!