Lyves is exhilarated to be entering this new era of her artistry. “It feels incredibly exciting! This new music feels so authentically me and a fusion of the genres I’ve been listening to since I was a child. I feel much more confident as an artist and producer – more curious than ever before and excited to see how this new music keeps developing and changing as it feels like it’s just the beginning! I also envision a very different type of live show to accompany it – a full band and theatrical elements. I’ve always loved the theatre so I’m hoping to fuse these worlds and tell a visual story that complements the musical one.”
Having the opportunity to co-produce alongside Dave Okumu was a dream come true for her. “Working with Dave was a truly incredible experience. I’ve been a fan of his beautiful work for a long time. There is something profoundly magical about his songs that has always spoken to me on a deeper level so having the opportunity to work together was very special. I sent Dave a whole bunch of demos at the start of the process and interestingly he picked out the same four that were my personal favourites from the lot. Already, I knew we were on the same page. Working together felt very natural and we would often have similar intuitions and feedback about what we felt a particular song needed. It felt like we were very in tune and together we built an intrinsic trust in the process and each other.”
Something powerful happens when they collaborate. “The four songs we worked together on are probably some of my most raw, personal and most powerful I have ever written. They’re also more daring and experimental in production than I’ve allowed myself to be in the past. Dave’s musical contributions and presence gave me the confidence to really hold that space, to be fully myself, and not shy away from it in any way. He encouraged me to let things be the way they were. Energetically, working together felt like such a positive exchange – his presence added a sense of protection over the music allowing it to reach its full potential.”
Lyves’ new single, “Change,” is “the most deeply personal song I’ve ever written,“ she says. “‘Change’ tells the story of my personal journey and experience learning to let go of the past and surrendering to the truth of the present. It was written very quickly – I think the chords, melodies and lyrics all came about in under an hour. It’s very honest and unaltered. My hope is that it connects with others facing similar things.”
The music video is an ode to her love affair with theater and an honest bearing of her soul. “I knew I wanted something set on a theatre stage as that’s where I feel most at home – I’ve always had a burning passion for the theatre since I was a child. The concept was born out of the idea of a woman who lives in the theatre. The music video treatment was developed alongside director Reece Selvadorai. Reece was very sensitive to the personal story behind the song and wanted to capture that essence truthfully and powerfully. I think he did such a beautiful job. It was the first time I’ve also featured in my own music video.”
It’s a culmination of many difficult lessons over time after feeling taken for granted. “I feel that all realisations and conclusions about something or someone are very personal. What we believe to be true may only be our experience of it but it is true to us nonetheless. The most healing has occurred in my life when I have had the courage to see things for what they are, to take responsibility for my part, and then to decide accordingly how I choose to relate to that person or situation moving forward. I try not to be judgmental and take things personally. There is a school of psychology that says that the way people treat us is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. I try to live by this and forgive and let go.”
Her relationship to change remains in flux. “Change is a tricky one. I’ve always loved new experiences and adventures and new beginnings but I think what I’ve found hard is endings more so than change. Endings naturally catapult you into change and that’s what’s been challenging for me, especially when I haven’t wanted something to end. But what I’ve learnt is that change is wonderful – it’s powerful and it enables something new to enter. It provides the space to get to know ourselves better. It’s funny how life brings about the things we resist – change was that for me – but I now embrace it with open arms as my life has grown so much more rich through accepting it. I think it’s taught me to embrace the moment more because you don’t know what tomorrow could bring. I’ve learned to try to control outcomes less and just allow things to be what they are.”
In the spirit of change, she’s eager to share her brand new EP with her audience. “To say I’m excited about releasing this EP is an understatement! I’m genuinely very proud of the songs and feel they hold within them the personal growth I’ve experienced over the last few years. I’ve taken so many many more risks in writing and production and tried to really hone in on the message and the lyrical journey. The music feels exciting and I’m so excited to bring people into this new world!” Stay tuned.
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Lyves Comes to Terms with Endings in New Single, “Change.” Photo Credit: Nicole Ngai.