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This L.A.-based experimental R&B artist delivers an inventive, sometimes lo-fi and muddy, groove-based take on the genre, invoking jazz and funk. From 2017 onward, Liv.e -- pronounced "Liv" with a silent "e" -- released a series of EPs on Dolfin Records before issuing her debut full-length album, Couldn't Wait to Tell You…, in 2020. Raised in Dallas, Texas, and born to religious parents, Liv.e initially focused on developing a career in visual arts, studying at the city's Booker T. Washington High School. Instinctively, she hadn't planned to follow her father and brother into a music-based vocation. However, when her studies became intense, she found music to be an effective stress-relieving outlet. At first, this came in the form of DJ'ing, but she soon started to explore her vocal and compositional abilities. Within months of writing and recording her first material, Liv.e's debut EP, F.R.A.N.K., was released in August 2017. The gospel-led church music that had been a regular feature of her childhood provided partial inspiration for her sound, as did the jazz, R&B, funk, and hip-hop played around the house by her older brothers. After completing her studies, Liv.e moved to L.A., gaining further independence. She was already familiar with the city from childhood trips to visit her father's family. By early 2018 she had released three more loose-sounding, but no less creative EPs: 3AMSPACECADET and Raw Daybreaks, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Next came June 2018's Hoopdreams EP, a collaboration with 10.4 Rog that led to an invitation to tour with the Chicago-born rapper Earl Sweatshirt. In due course, she guested on the track "Mtume" from his October 2019 EP, Feet of Clay. The connection gave her considerable exposure and from early 2020 onward, she began to release singles that ultimately appeared on her debut LP, issued in the summer of that year.
© James Wilkinson /TiVo
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