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NewTracks New Artist: Ives

NewTracks New Artist: Ives

A dancer since she was five, it was while studying dance full time over the ditch in Sydney that Liv Jones found music as an alternative creative outlet, and now in her mid-20s those two intertwined art forms have swapped place in the Aucklander’s life. Her first single, Callin’ Ur Phone, rang back in 2016, and February this year saw the release of a debut EP from Ives entitled ‘Romantic’.  All Night Long’s sensual, smooth synth-pop vibe enticed NZ On Air to feature the single on their NewTracks compilation this March.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

I’m Liv Jones, I was born in Auckland and I play the piano.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

During high school, I spent most of my spare time after school in dance class. Music was always really just a creative outlet for me. I started piano lessons when I was five, my family have a piano that was my grandmother’s and I have vivid memories of that always being where I would go to, whenever I was feeling – sad, happy, angry, etc. I learnt the piano on and off until the age of 16, but it was never anything more than an interest to me!

What’s the background story of how Ives came to be? Who else is directly involved?

While I was studying dancing full time in Sydney I found that, because I was dancing all-day every-day, I needed an alternative outlet. I found myself writing and playing the piano in my spare time, and began to rely on music for this reason. 

Like the piano, singing was never more than a creative interest for me, and it wasn’t until the directors of the performing arts school I was at encouraged me to channel my time and energy into singing, that I really began to consider it as anything more than it was.

At the end of that year, I had a handful of piano demos, that then became Callin’ Ur Phone & 172; with the help of my lovely friend Mark Perkins (Merk) who I met through our mutual friend Josh Yong. Mark & I produced all three of my previous singles & it was through him that I met Shannon Fowler (Shannon Matthew Vanya) and the three of us produced ‘Romantic’ and by proxy All Night Long.

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

Writing music is a very organic process for me – I am a very retrospective person, so everything I write about is either something I have experienced or am experiencing. I think embracing the way that I overthink and view things, rather than shying away from them – is something that has evolved since my first three singles.

My songwriting process, now always begins with poetry. All of the songs off ‘Romantic’ originally started off as poems.

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

Ives is the last two letters of my first name L(iv) and the last two letters of my last name Jon(es); I look at it like – ives is a small piece of me. 

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

The release of ‘Romantic’ is really the thing that I’m most proud of, to date. There are more times than I can count, that I seriously doubted my ability to release this body of work, and though it sounds ridiculous, now that it is here it now makes me think that truly anything is possible. Although, I was scrolling through Spotify the other day and found that All Night Long, was on the Vogue Paris Playlist for Feb 2020 – which was pretty cool! 

What is the story behind All Night Long?

All Night Long, is an ode to unrequited love. It draws on the feelings of doubt and longing you experience when falling for someone, and the broken flow of two people falling in and out of this infatuation.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

All Night Long, started off as a really sad song – but and because Mark and Shannon are both such positive people – I like to think that their happiness, rubbed off onto it, and as result has emanated in a blend of melancholy and contentment.

Who did you record/produce the single with and where? 

I wrote All Night Long in my bedroom in Melbourne and sent over the demo to Mark and Shannon. From there we set up some block sessions, in Auckland – at Okie Dokie Studio and Red Bull Studios. Over those weeks we recorded and produced All Night Long, and the three other songs on the ‘Romantic’ EP.

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

There are so many incredible NZ artists creating music, it’s difficult to narrow that down to just three songs…

Aldous HardingBlend 
Merk – H.N.Y.B
Jordan RakeiHiding Place

Who did you make the video with?

The All Night Long music video was centred around collaboration and trust within the creative process. It was incredible working with such a talented group of women and is the result of an accumulation of artistic efforts by – Emilia Gribbin direction, cinematography & post-production; Teanne Vickers styling & Jemma Barclay did makeup.

 

New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.