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The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

Sitting with a Songwriter: A Conversation with Liv Byrne

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Marymount Manhattan College has been graced with many exceptional artists, and Class of 2023 alum Liv Byrne is no exception to that. 


Byrne, who double majored in Acting and Business (with a concentration in Advertising and Promotion), as well as minored in the Music Industry as a student at MMC, is now a NYC-based recording artist. On 2/22/22, Byrne released her debut album titled Growing pains.


Byrne was born in Toronto, Canada, but moved with her family to Michigan then to South Florida where she settled in and grew up. 


Though she has lived in America for most of her life, she prides herself on being from Canada, even joking that she should be the famous Canadian artist in the United States rather than the world-famous Justin Bieber. 


In her youth, Byrne was brought up with her mom pushing her to try new things and figure out her interests. By the time she was 8, her mom had signed her up for many extra-curricular, which would in fact lead her to the path of music. 


Byrne started out in the world of cheerleading, which then led her to start dancing. This later turned into a hobby of musical theater. In the process of developing her skill set for musical theater, Byrne took voice lessons. This opened Liv’s eyes to the true passion inside her: being a singer-songwriter.


“I started [song]writing when I was 11. I was struggling mentally in school, and it was sort of a way for me to process things that my brain wouldn’t let me process” said Byrne. 

Album cover of ‘Growing Pains’


Byrne has always found music as a way for her to process her feelings and communicate those in ways that she wasn’t able to yet. 


Now, in 2023, she considers herself as an “R&B and Pop artist, with alternative and rock influence”.


“That’s 4-genres-in-1 because I can’t pick. *laughter* Also it’s 2023, I don’t have to pick!” said Byrne.


“Unintentionally I think I’ve ended up being this dorky, but cool girl in a way. I’m into fashion and into this sort of dark…creative aesthetic that people think is cool.”

When speaking on which artists influenced her as a singer-songwriter, she instantly shouted out Birdy. Byrne discovered the market and dove head first into the desire for “Billie Eilish/Birdy-inspired music” rather than loud songs featuring singers who are belting, which is when singers produce powerful vocal sounds. 


Byrne also talked about the influence of the Toronto music scene. Many Toronto artists have adopted that alternative, chill vibe that Byrne was yearning for, so she was heavily inspired by artists like Daniel Caesar, Charlotte Day Wilson, and Charlotte Cardin


The release of her album growing pains has been credited by her as beneficial to her personal growth. 


“I learned so much about the music industry and how things worked. I didn’t know what to expect going into it so it was like an experiment. It helped me connect with people, both professionally and personally. I got a lot of friends out of it because, with every release of every single, I would host a party” said Byrne. 


“[It helped me] earn more respect within the industry,” she added. 


Byrne describes her songwriting process as an “out-of-body experience”. She sits at the piano and finds chords she likes. By repeating those chords, lyrics just start to flow out of her, which she records to be able to workshop after. 


Byrne also prided herself on writing songs quickly. 


“The writing part has always been easy for me. It doesn’t even feel like I’m thinking about it, but also I’m an overthinker. So the way I phrase it is “I think so much in my head, that when it’s time to let it go in music it just comes out. My brain is already forming thoughts because it’s thinking so much.” chuckled Byrne.  

Liv Byrne (photo courtesy of Liv Byrne)

One thing that has been helpful to the start of Byrne’s career has been the non-profit collective Women in Music.


Women in Music is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to uplifting women in the music industry. It’s defined on the website as “Established in 1985, Women in Music is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to advancing equality, visibility and opportunities for women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition.”


Women in Music features a diverse demographic of artists that it supports, from big names to lesser-known ones.


“I love the mission and what it stands for. I love what they do. They have forums with huge email blasts of a huge network of people. People can respond to you, and give you tips. They also put on events to meet others and network.” said Byrne.


“[They’re dedicated to] empowering that you can do it if you want to, and it doesn’t matter where you come from,” Byrne added.


For now, Liv is still figuring out what her next steps as an artist are. “[Just figuring things out] should be more normalized. You don’t have to have a plan 24/7, and if the album process has taught me anything, it’s that there’s no use in doing something if there’s no meaning behind it.”


With many personal and business explorations to come, we’ve only just begun to see what Liv Byrne is capable of.

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