During only a brief conversation with Lyves, a British-born Italian Australian, you quickly realise she is an artist that operates on high emotional intelligence, explores the duality of hope, and believes in the good of inevitable existential change.
Finding her most authentic self, Lyves releases her long-awaited sophomore EP ‘Change,‘ which acts as an empath-narrated journey centered around healing and transformation. This alt-R&B wonder soundtracks the not-so-linear progression from loss to joy through this five-track-long project.
Lyves introduces ‘Change’ as a ‘reflection of her love of mixed media and “sound collage”‘ that is circled around a crucial quote by Franz Kafka: ‘Everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.’
Dive into the world of Lyves and her new masterpiece project, ‘Change,’ as she details the EP with a track-by-track, elaborates on her previous position as a mental health advocate, and reveals future plans.
Where are you based at the moment? Could you describe your surroundings for our readers?
I’m based in East London (UK) at my home studio currently. Really enjoying writing from home at the moment – my home is my sanctuary, a calm, peaceful, colourful place filled with plants, memories and inspiring corners.
Congratulations on the release of ‘Change,’ how are you going to celebrate?
Thank you! I celebrated with some close friends over the weekend. It’s been a joyful month on so many levels!
What is the prevailing theme of the project?
Embracing growth, healing, and road back to my most authentic self.
Could you share what each of the tracks is inspired by?
Was inspired by the complexity of hope and longing in the early stages of dealing with loss. This song was very visual for me – I imagined it was about this woman at sea – a modern mermaid of sorts, awaiting her long-lost love that never returns. This track was one of the first written for this EP and looking back I now see how it foreshadowed what was to come both sonically and thematically.
Shame was inspired by strength and feminine power. I remember wanting to create something fierce that represented a side of me that I don’t often express musically. It just feels raw and unfiltered and somewhat chaotic, which I love, but the lyrics behind it are very meaningful to me.
The System feels like the most empowering song I’ve written about love to date – an ode to self-love, growth, and healing. The song came about after recognising I no longer wanted to choose pain in love and consciously started choosing away from unavailable people and situations that hurt. I learnt that sometimes we are subconsciously drawn to love that is painful, but once this is uncovered and understood, you can’t unsee it, and eventually begin choosing better and higher for yourself.
Blindfold is about uncovering denial and the role of hope in sometimes keeping us stuck in situations or relationships that aren’t right for us. I’ve always struggled with the duality of hope – in most ways hope is deemed positive, but the shadow side of hope can perpetuate denial and keep us stuck if it becomes disproportionate. Musically; I love the sound of this record and feel it touches on my love for folk music – an area I would love to explore more in the future.
Change tells the story of how learning to accept and embrace change, after so much resistance, became my saving grace, and ultimately, my way back to myself. I learnt that change is inevitable, the only real constant in life, and that by welcoming its flow we are freed from the burdens that holding on unnecessarily cause.
In your new EP ‘Change,’ you used a few samples, why did you choose these live recordings, what emotion did you want to capture?
The EP is a mix of samples, live recordings, voice memos, and audio snippets I captured over the last 2 years. I wanted it to reflect my love of mixed media and “sound collage”. I got into sampling over lockdown when collaborating wasn’t possible and wanted to retain this part of the process which holds true to the time in which it was written.
You use Franz Kafka’s quote to introduce the EP, what is the significance does the quote hold for you?
I heard this quote just after I received the finished mastered EP, it felt timely. It feels so true to me that loss is an inevitable part of life. Life changes undoubtedly and constantly, we all lose people and things we love but in the same breath, new unimaginable forms of love and joy can also enter our lives when we least expect them.
What did it take to learn how to produce yourself, and how did it affect your creativity?
Ever since I started writing I was interested in arrangement and production – the two go hand in hand for me. I’ve been lucky enough to observe many talented producers over the years and gradually became more interested in learning myself. It’s been a gradual process and I still have so much to learn but I absolutely love the freedom and expression production offers! It’s opened up my creativity hugely with experimenting with new techniques and nontraditional ways of writing and recording.
You’re based in London, what are your favourite things about the city?
I love how vibrant and diverse London is. All the different cultures and food. That you can be yourself here and that uniqueness is celebrated. I love the forward-thinking nature of this city. And that it celebrates theatre of course, I’m a huge theatre lover!
You’re British-born Italian Australian, do you have a chance to visit often and if yes, what are your favourite things about each culture you hold close to your heart?
I do visit Italy often and Australia as much as I’m able to. I feel very connected to both cultures – the warmth and family-oriented Italian values, the history and the attention to art and detail and the nature in Australia blows me away. I also love Australian humor!
Previously you studied psychology and worked as a mental health advocate for sectioned children and adults, why did you initially pick this direction?
Being an empath I’ve always felt drawn to those who need support. It just feels natural to me to reach out to those in need. I absolutely loved my previous job and being able to connect to people on deeper levels. Human suffering is a similar experience for us all, in some ways it brings people closer. If I can offer even an ounce of my time and energy to alleviate someone’s suffering then that’s what I would do. I like to hope that although I no longer work in those settings that my music might be able to offer something back to those who listen.
How did this occupation affect your life long term, including making music?
It broadened my perspective on life, humanity and connection. Again, I suppose it made me raise how similar we all are at our core and it’s opened up my heart even more.
What was the main driving force behind the career change shift?
I didn’t deliberately make a “shift” as much the pull to music became so loud and apparent, I just couldn’t ignore it any longer. I was getting very clear signals that this was the path I was meant to go on. Looking back I’m glad I followed my intuition. I’ll always trust where my intuition guides me 🙂
What are you manifesting for next year, personally and professionally?
My goal is to finish the album I’ve been working on by the end of March and hopefully release it next Autumn. Personally, I’m the happiest and most calm I’ve felt in a long time so I’m curious to see how that translates into the new music to come.
On a personal level I would love to see South America next year and might be starting my own label 😉