18-year-old Pop singer, songwriter, AND producer, Livingston, recently hit the scene with his debut EP release, Lighthouse, with Elektra Records. Billboard announced Livingston’s signing to Elektra Records while also premiering his debut single, “Fairytale”.
Drawing inspiration from some of Pop’s biggest names and some of the most notable composers of our time, Livingston brings incredible, raw vocals to bouncy, Pop tracks, paired with relatable lyrics addressing loneliness, isolation, and feeling misplaced. Livingston describes it as “orchestral cinematic pop”.
BTS: Introduce yourself to the readers.
Livingston: Hi! I’m Livingston. I’m turning 18 this summer. Born and raised in a small college town called Denton about 30 minutes north of Dallas, TX. I started a little videography company on an old camera when I was 12, fell in love with writing songs, saved up a little money to buy a MIDI keyboard and the rest is history.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you before?
Livingston: I think my sound is something in between pop music and an orchestral film score.
BTS: What are/who are some inspirations for your music?
Livingston: I grew up on the Imagine Dragons albums, Black Eyed Peas, J. Cole, and Drake. I fell in love with storytelling and relating to other perspectives even if it wasn’t talking about my life experience. On the flip side, I’ve always loved the scores for movies like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc., so the orchestral elements followed suit.
BTS: You recently released your debut track, “Fairytale” that references many Disney characters. Tell me about the inspiration behind the song.
Livingston: Fairytale is about idealism. As I grew up, I had these fantastic ideas about what each age milestone would look like- and more importantly, I had larger than life role models that basically painted the picture of who I wanted to be. Portraying these role models as Disney superheroes was an entry point to say- “If you place your confidence in digital heroes (whether that’s a person- or just the feeling of validation you get from social media), what happens when the screen turns off?” – so to speak. These heroes seem all-powerful until you realize they’re flawed- and finding that out allows you to grow up a little.
BTS: Congrats on your debut EP release! Take me through the journey of creating your EP.
Livingston: Thank you! This EP contains a bunch of songs I largely wrote and produced over a year and a half ago in my bedroom. It wasn’t originally under this name (Lighthouse), but all of the songs with the exception of the last one (which is more recent) were me finding what I wanted to say, what my sound is- it was a discovery process. Before these songs, I was doing a lot of covers, a lot of recreating instrumentals for the music that inspires me. Essentially trying to figure out the anatomy of the music I love. Why is it so powerful & how does it create a lasting impact on me? The more I did this, I realized that all of the effects that my favorite music had on me boiled down to a great story and a great identity. Seeking to do the same, I thought about what story I could tell in a genuine way- and that’s when I started writing from experience, despite how really uneventful and normal my life had been. Telling the story of an outcast kid with anxiety and deep insecurity trying to find his way through a cesspool of high school drama and unrealistic expectations for life. Then it all just fell into place! Ha.
BTS: How do you connect with your listeners?
Livingston: Most of the time Instagram direct messages. It really surprises me to see how honest & vulnerable people are in these messages- a lot of the time it’s someone sending through what they think of a song, and if they tell me something about their life I’ll ask more about their story. I just love connecting with people, that’s the reason music exists. Along with that, Instagram posts. But I’m pretty terrible at social media.
BTS: What’s something readers should know about you?
Livingston: Hmm. I play the Trombone? The big trumpet thing with the slide? The only instrument I actually know how to play really well.
BTS: You’re also celebrating your high school graduation! What was graduating like during this pandemic? How have you been keeping busy during these unprecedented times?
Livingston: It was really fun. I went to the same school with the same kids since 1st grade, so I’m sad seeing them go. But definitely jump-started to run headfirst into music with all the free time. Lately, I’ve just been trying to figure out a really great album direction & concept and learn and grow as much as a producer and writer as I can.
BTS: What does the future hold for Livingston?
Livingston: Zero idea! The fact that I get to pursue this pipe dream in the first place is crazy. I just want to make music, direct movies, write musicals, whatever. Tabula rasa!
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