Singer-songwriter Alivia is always looking to challenge herself, whether lyrically, vocally, or outside of the studio. As a child, she regularly heard the phrase “fill up your brain” from her father. As an adult, Alivia lives by that motto. “No matter what I’m doing, I always try to push past expectations, learn from my mistakes, and try new things,” says the Los Angeles-based pop artist, who recently relocated from her native Long Island, NY.
Alivia first discovered her passion for music in an unlikely place: her grandparents’ basement, where she unearthed a dusty, upright piano. She spent many afternoons down there—exploring the keys, playing around with chords and creating her own melodies. Eventually, the young musician—whose early influences broadly ranged from Judy Garland to Paramore to Chopin—was gifted a more practical, weighted keyboard (a hand-me-down from an aunt, which she still uses today).
Back then, the aspiring singer-songwriter wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about sharing her compositions. “It was as if I was letting someone read my diary out-loud,” recalls Alivia. The shy teenager found support from her brother, who encouraged her talents. To this day, he is still her sounding board for new material. Before long, a 14-year old Alivia gained enough confidence to sing in front of an audience at a school talent show. “It was literally the first time that I performed in front of a crowd without a towel covering my face,” she laughs. “I was scared out of my mind. But before I knew it, the words just started coming from my mouth. This still happens to me before shows—and then, the second it’s over, I would give anything to be back on that stage.”
Alivia’s fierce passion shines through in her music. The singer’s starkly honest lyrics are underscored by her emotive vocals and paired with tightly-crafted, R&B-influenced melodies. A prolific writer, Alivia jots down poetry on a daily basis and regularly incorporates those lines into her lyrics. Though she enjoys collaborating on songs —having worked most notably with the production team at New York-based hip-hop label, Future Fires Entertainment, as well as with AHM Media writer/producer Alex Houton and six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Brian Vibberts —Alivia feels most inspired when she has creative control. “I’m more connected to a song when I’ve been able to write all or most of the lyrics. At the end of the day, the song has to relate to the story that I set out to tell.”
Many of these stories are inspired by the singer-songwriter’s own experiences. Over the years, Alivia has learned to channel her stress into writing during life’s more challenging moments. The track “I Might,” off her 2018 debut EP, Hold Me at Two AM, recalls a toxic relationship that she had trouble ending. “I was going through a roller-coaster of emotions after the break-up and wrote the entire song in one night, documenting everything that I was feeling,” Alivia remembers. The powerful “Body Love” delves into the artist’s struggles to find healthy relationships. “It was a challenging yet beautiful experience because I finally allowed myself to open up. Recording it was an emotional release.” Other compositions are approached as artistic challenges—like “Regret U,” featuring rapper Dallas Geechi, which offered Alivia the chance to delve into hip-hop, or the expansive “Push and Pull,” written by the singer to test the boundaries of her own voice.
Now, as she settles into life on the west coast, Alivia continues to push herself creatively—experimenting with different styles of music, defining her own unique sound, and working on new material, like her effervescent, summer single, “Ain’t Nobody Ask For It.” Alivia has set the bar high for herself, but no matter what the future holds, her roots are still very much in the forefront of her mind: “I’ll always be trying to reach the next level of my career, but I will feel thankful when I can give back to the people who have been there for me from the very beginning, and have stuck by my side through all of the hard work.”