We recently sat down with up and coming artist Liana Conway, who is releasing her debut album Sunrise on August 8th! She dished to TWIST about what inspired her to become a musician, how she convinced her mom to let her play the guitar, and her secret good luck charm that she carries everywhere she goes! Check out Liana's exclusive shout-out and a performance of her never-heard before single below! Make sure to check out Sunrise this August!
TWIST: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your new album? Liana Conway: It's my first album ever and it's called Sunrise. [I'm] super excited about it! I have been writing songs since I was sixteen. I taught myself how to play the guitar. I went to Boston College for two years and I ended up moving to Nashville for an internship the summer after my sophomore year. At about the same time, I had producers through a mutual friend. Initially, we weren't intending to record an album or anything. I was just talking to them, hoping they could get me an internship or something in Nashville and it ended up [that] they heard some of my stuff. It all worked out and we started writing and collaborating on an album and now we have a full-length album that we are really excited to get out there!
T: How did you become interested in music? LC: I taught myself how to play the guitar. I was randomly driving by a Guitar Center when I was sixteen. My friend had actually just picked up a guitar and she didn't really stick with it, but she thought that it was super cool that she could play songs that she liked and replicate them and she could do her own version of them. So I went over to her house one night and I wondered what she was doing and I thought it was really neat. I was driving by a Guitar Center and on a whim decided to go in there and came out with a guitar. I taught myself how to play. It was so maddening at first! I stuck with it and just within the first month, I had written my first song, although granted the guitar playing didn't sound too good.
T: You convinced your mom to buy you the guitar? LC: I was in Guitar Center and I was on the phone with her. My mom and I tend to have heated discussions. They actually sent me into the sound-proof room to talk to her at Guitar Center because we got so heated! I found this one guitar and it was like the angels descended from heaven when I saw it. It was that kind of moment. It was love at first sight! I loved it and it was a little bit on the pricey side so it took a lot of convincing and still to this day, I don't know how she allowed me to get it!
T: Was she supportive of you deciding to pursue a music career? LC: Absolutely! My parents have been so supportive since it was like a hobby that I had writing and playing. Even before anything, before I met producers or anything, they were really supportive of me just playing and writing because it was such an outlet for me. It was just a way for me to condense my emotions into a song and be able to just get it out. They saw that [it] helped calm me down. Instead of starting to get into a fight with them, I started to just go to my room and channel my energy into writing. It was great.
T: What is your song-writing process like? LC: I started these notebooks when [I was] eight or nine years old. Before then, I had written in little journals and stuff what I did that day, all the fights I was getting in, and all that middle school drama. I still have them to that day. It started being my thoughts and my feelings. Sometimes, something will happen to me and I just don't want to forget it. I will write out every single detail as if it were a movie script and I'm writing down a scene and I'll write down every single detail. A lot of times when I write down or I sit down to write a song, I always have my notebooks right around me because it's always such a big inspiration. I usually get inspired in the middle of the night or really late at night. I always sit in my closet when I write. It's not like a tiny little closet! It has a light. It's kind of like a little mini-walk in closet. For some reason I just feel safe in there.
T: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you pick and why? LC: I really like Hot Chelle Rae. I really like their music. I think they're like pop rock and I really love their songs. I think they are really fun and upbeat. I would love to collaborate with them. Also, Michelle Branch. She's always been one of my favorite writers and musicians.
T: Do you have any upcoming tours? LC: I'm paired up with an organization called 12 to 20 and I'm going to visit different high schools all around the nation. That'll be about three to four weeks. We're pretty much going to hit up everywhere.
T: Is there anything weird you take with you when you travel? LC: I always take my baby blanket. It's this yellow blanket that I've always had since I can remember.
T: Do you have it now? LC: Yeah, it's in my hotel room! Haha! My sister has a teddy doggie. It's this little teddy bear that looks like a dog. She's older than me! She's 23. It's still in her bed. She's going to kill me if this goes anywhere. Hah! She's very discreet about it. She's not going around telling everyone that's she's got teddy doggie. I love my blanket. It makes me feel safe. I take it on the airplane. I cuddle it. I'm going to be doing that when I'm 30!
T: Do you have any other embarrassing quirks that you would like to share with our readers? LC: I had this stage [where] I skateboarded everywhere. I had this black baseball hat and I remember I always wore it backwards and I wore my hair in low pigtails. I would literally skateboard around our neighborhood [and] the amount of times that I fell off that thing in front of people... I went through this phase and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Skateboarding is fun but I didn't know how to do it! So I would just make a fool out of myself.
T: Haha! Thanks for speaking with TWIST today Liana! LC: Thank you, TWIST!