Please tell me the last time you heard something so soulful, sincere and sweet on the radio… because I haven’t heard anything like this since India.Arie. I’ve adored this young woman and her voice from the first chord strummed and note sung. You can’t find this within the mainstream world anymore. She strives on her music being authentic and genuine. She does not disappoint when it comes to either.
Lets welcome this amazing singer/songwriter to the AEMNYC Alumni Family. Live Hart Tells Her Story…
I adore you. Let’s give AEMNYC something to read. Tell me just who you are as an artist/songwriter & why you choose Live Hart as your moniker.
Thank you! As an artist and songwriter, I’m someone who enjoys creating moments in music. As I’ve journeyed through my career, its been more about creating the perfect moment in a song or performance. The second you’re able connect with your audience is when the magic really happens. It’s so awesome!
About my name… well, I choose Live Hart because that’s my name, lol! “Hart” is my real last name, however “Live” came from the girl group I was in prior to me going solo.
Girl group? Tell me about them.
When I first moved to Orlando, I meet these three amazingly talented girls. We became friends pretty quickly and decided to start a singing group. We recorded our first album, released two singles and a music video while working with Veit Renn. We had a pretty big following at the time. One of the best experiences of my life.
Why aren’t you with them now?
We had been working together for 5 years and it just got to a point where we all wanted to explore different ideas and career opportunities. We’re all still very close and support each other’s careers. These girls are my family.
How does your music contrast to the music you made with the group?
The music we created during that time was very pop driven. My album and the music I’m inspired to make now is a little less pop and more soulful; acoustic sounds.
How does your upbringing influence what you write/sing?
I was raised to be respectful and to take pride in your work. So, when I began writing this album, I wanted to be as authentic and transparent as possible. It was important for me to write about experiences that everyone could relate too, because I’m no different from the next person.
What does your writing process consist of?
When I begin writing, it’s important for me to be relaxed and comfortable. Writing from this place allows me to remove any blocks that may hinder my creativity. Authenticity is what I strive for when I’m writing something new.
Authenticity in music is something I feel is lost. How important is being authentic to you?
I think it’s very important to come across as authentic as possible in music. It’s you’re only real way of connecting with your audience. Most people are listening to you because they have found something in your music relatable. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to get to know you better.
Where does your music take you when you’re recording a song?
It takes me to a place where I feel free. Free to express myself fully. When words aren’t enough, my music always fills in the gaps.
Where do you want your music to take people when they hear it?
I’d like people to feel good when they listen to my music. I want them to all of a sudden feel a sense of awesomeness come over them.
I got a chance to preview the album & “This Is Me” is amazing. Let our readers know how this song came together and the meaning behind it.
I wrote “This Is Me” during a time where I really felt alone; physically, mentally, emotionally alone. I knew deep down I couldn’t be the only person to have ever felt like this, so I picked up my guitar, worked out a few chords and started writing. The first verse came pretty quickly. I guess, because I was writing about myself. The rest of the song naturally flowed once the chorus was written. Writing this song really helped me get through that period in my life.
Was “This is Me” hard to write while going through all of these emotions?
Yes. It definitely was. I think I spent almost two weeks writing that song, which at the time was very challenging for me, as I was trying to really expose myself as a songwriter and as an artist.
The energy your voice adds so much to the melodies strummed on the guitar. Tell me how this separates you as an artist.
My voice separates me because I’m not trying to be anyone else…I’m me and this is who I am and this is my contribution to this art form. I love music and I’ve carved out a lane for myself and hopefully for many other independent artists to follow their dreams.
Who are your musical influences? Who do you feel like your music emulates more?
There are so many artists past and present who have inspired me. My family is from the islands so, there was always reggae music playing in our home. From Bob Marley, Peter Tosh to Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston….I grew up on all of that. Artist like Bruno Mars, Sara Bareilles, India Arie, John Mayer; are all artist I truly admire. I think all of these artists had a profound effect on the shaping of this album.
Bob Marley is definitely a staple. What does his music mean to you?
Bob Marley and his music mean a lot to me. My family is from Jamaica so I grew up listening to lots of reggae music. It’s the music of my country. Sharing his sounds and influences in my own music allows me to pay homage to one of our music history legends.
“From the first cut on the album to the last, real music lives inside Live Hart”
Michael A. Saunders, Program Director WCFB-FM
Where do you see this marriage between you and music in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself having done some really big and amazing things with music one of which will be winning a Grammy!
I’ve recently started this journey myself… so tell me about yours and the beautiful locks you bear.
My lock journey has been awesome. I started growing my locks about 14 years ago. They started very, very short and I had a hard time adjusting to the awkward stage your hair goes through. However, it taught me patience and forced my to develop a more healthy hair care regime. I love my locks!
“I think of myself first and foremost as a songwriter. I love to tell stories through song and melody, simply using the guitar as a vehicle to convey those stories.”
There are some folks who feel a deep sense of calling, to pursue a passion that lies within them no matter the cost. For some, those passions lead to religious pursuits, for others it’s a journey into a life in medicine or theater. For rising New Jersey-born singer-songwriter, that calling has and always will be a life in music, of unveiling her heart’s stories through song. And on her début solo recording Honesty, Hart does just that, delivering rich, heartfelt tales alongside a rich combination of Soul, Folk, Pop with a pinch of R&B that she’s dubbed, “Alternative Soul.”
It’s a record that has literally been a lifetime in the making, with Hart’s first exposure coming as a youngster in school, taking up various instruments with her parent’s encouragement and support. But it was when she joined Pop/R&B girl group Urbanesque that the thoughts of a life in music took greater hold as for four years she collaborated, performed, and earned valuable experience working with the likes of producer Veit Renn (Backstreet Boys, N’Sync). But when the group came to its end, Hart found herself back at the beginning and doing some real soul-searching.
“Once the group disbanded,” she shares, “I really started taking my solo efforts seriously because music is what I’ve always wanted to do. And there was nothing else that was really completing me at the time. I went back to school, I worked different jobs, but ultimately, I was left feeling empty and unfulfilled and it was because music wasn’t part of my life full-time.”
With that realization, Hart set about focusing on her music, writing, recording, and continuing to hone her skills on the guitar. She teamed with producer Shaun Fisher (Mandy Moore, Gloria Estefan), who, over the course of three years, would pour his knowledge into her, giving her the needed confidence and tools to press forward.
“Shaun Fisher is my true mentor and is someone who really believed in me three years ago, really taking a chance writing and creating the album with me.”
It was time well spent as Hart’s newfound dedication found her slowly climbing the ladder, garnering high profile opportunities to open for artists like Monica, Jagged Edge, David Cook, and Jon McLaughlin, among many others. Each and every opportunity found the artist adding to her toolbox, learning each time out and honing her chops that much more.
And it’s on Honesty that all of that hard work pays off.
Boasting influences and sonic textures that recall artists as diverse as John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Sara Bareilles, and India.Arie, Hart’s debut ripples with its namesake, the songs featured showcasing slices of the artist’s life experiences. Throughout tracks like the warmly colored, emotive “I’m Gone” and “Please Don’t Say It’s Over,” the album’s first single, Hart lays bare tales of broken relationships and love gone wrong. In contrast, highlight “Take Me” delivers a high energy rock edge alongside tales of her parent’s support of her dream while “Summer Love” continues to deliver diversity, an electronic Pop vibe rolling over an autobiographical tale of early love and infatuation. The result is a record that showcases many sides of the same prism that is Live Hart, each facet unique and shining with promise.
And it’s that promise that keeps the artist going.
“That’s my thought process when I wake up every day,” she offers. “It’s like, ‘Okay, music is my life and I’m about to go touch people with it, move people, and inspire people with it.”
With Honesty, Live Hart is living out that dream and she invites you to come alongside her, connecting with the music and drawing encouragement from her heartfelt tales of love, loss, and that ever present search for independence.