Get to Know LAIVY [Interview]

Ian Hansen

While singer and songwriter, LAIVY, is new to releasing his own music, the industry is far from foreign to him. Son of Grammy Award-nominated singer Matisyahu, the New York-based artist has learned so much from his father and looks to follow the same successful path. LAIVY just released the anti-pop record, “Snow Days,” and it is full of passion and emotion. Get to know LAIVY below: 

You recently released, “Snowy Days.” Congrats on that, and how nice is it having it out after working on it for around two years? How did it come together?

How it started was, it was literally a snow day. I woke up, it was snowing outside, and I didn’t have to go to school. I felt this freeness. During that, I hopped in the studio and made a song. I had this dope bedroom setup, and I had two of my homies come over, kicked it, and found a dope YouTube beat, and I started writing away. I layered the hook a bunch, and it had this bit of a rock element, which my other songs don’t. I sent it out to a producer out in L.A. by the name of Aidan Laprete. He has worked on a few projects, and he is also an actor. I made all my other three songs with him. We put "Snow Days" together. It was a voice memo on my phone. We re-did the beat and wrote out the song and put it together. “Snow Days” has a meaning for everyone. It represents this idea of freedom. 

You recently started releasing your music for the world to see. What was that journey like to the point of feeling confident enough to release it?

I started around the beginning of Covid when I was like 13 or 14 years old. I was just grinding on GarageBand in my attic all day. I was pushing school to the side a little bit. I saw myself doing this a lot with us being locked down, so my mindset was why not take the time to put my own studio together. I asked my dad to buy me Logic and he was like, “I am not buying you Logic until you master Garage Band. That pushed me to evolve a lot on GarageBand and mess with the edits and master my vocals and writing. When I got Logic, I was obsessed. There was so much I could do that I couldn’t on GarageBand. I made a demo about my first crush and how we were best friends. I wanted her to be my girl but she friendzoned me. The chorus was, “I don’t want to be your best friend, I want to be your boyfriend and love you on the weekends,” or something like that. I made that song with Salt Cathedral, who did my dad’s most recent album. I never released the song, but I took it to Aidan and we ended up making the next four songs. My dad pushed me to step it up and not put it out until it is all of the way perfected. 

Your dad has a great ear for music, so how did he determine if you mastered GarageBand and if your music was ready?

My vocals were always there. It was more my writing and the song start to finish. Once I brought him the first three or four demos that were finished, he knew I was ready to give it to a producer to make it dope. 

What are some of the other big things he taught you and what was it like growing up going on tour with him? 

I like to always say I was born on a tour bus. My dad really started popping off, and he would bring me on tour. I was always around really dope musicians even if I didn’t know who they were. Music was always around me so I was brought up with it. I would always have a drum set on the side of the stage so I would always rock out during the show. That got me to pick up rhythm which always led to something else. It just grew with me. Now we are doing it full-time.

What was the specific moment where you knew for certain you wanted to be a musician?

When I was around eight years old, he (my dad) brought me to North Carolina, and I performed “Sunshine” which he wrote about me. I was so little and hit the chorus and during sound check, he was telling me to step it up. He said I need to go high, but super high. I went on stage, and he showed me this breathing exercise to help me extend my vocal range. I remember during the show hitting that high note and the crowd just flipping out. It was a couple thousand people and I knew I wanted this. I wanted to give my meaning to the world and help people get through stuff. I also remember people would come up to my dad and say his music helped them get through things. That is the real meaning behind it. 

How excited are you to perform your new stuff this March when you open for your dad?

I am so excited. I love performing, and I used to perform with my dad on stage. To sing my own music and hear the crowd react based on the message I am bringing is so dope. It is all practice and helping me get to a new level.

How did you develop your sound to what it is now? Where do you take inspiration from, whether it is another artist or people you have been around? 

I think the LAIVY sound is still developing. I don’t think there is a specific sound. I think right now, listening to Kid Cudi in the car. I am a big Kid Cudi fan. I like Koffee, who is a Jamaican artist. I also like Black Sherif, who is this guy from Ghana. Billie Eilish even. Listening to the right people is helping me. I am trying to carve my own path.

What is your favorite Cudi song?

I would have to say “Sad People.” Obviously like “Day ‘N’ Nite.” I love his melody and his tone and his deepness.

What are some personal goals you have as a musician right now?

I think I am dropping an EP soon. I want to do my own tour and have everyone come. I am in that building stage. I don’t have the most monthly listeners or fans yet, but I am just trying to build my music and hope the world hears it.

What hobbies do you have?

I am a big Ice Hockey player, I love to skate. Snowboarding is fun. I like hanging out with friends and freestyling. I like playing guitar and playing keys. I have been taking guitar lessons.

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