If you take a quick look, you may mistake this 21-year-old Bajan songstress for Rihanna. Sure, the two ladies are both from Barbados, the same age, and even the same height, but a double take should reveal that this multi-talented songwriter is no other than Livvi Franc. HelloBeautiful interviewed the “Now I’m That B*tch,” singer about the controversy over that word, the comparisons to Ri Ri, and the fashion tips that make her unique.
HB: You popped up out of the blue, into the music scene, how did you get your start?
Livvi: Ok, well I signed to Jive Records in October of 2007. Since then I’ve been recording my debut album. I finished it now and…we have the single coming out “Now I’m that B*tch.” On the album I worked with some really, really great producers and songwriters such as RedOne, Star Gate, and Future Cut. The names always tend to go out of my head as soon as I mention them to somebody…J.R. Rotem, who else did I work with? Some really, really talented producers and I’ve been lucky so far to have worked with them.
I had a really good experience from the album and it’s definitely going to be great, because I’m a songwriter as well. So, people will definitely get to know, I know u said I popped up out of the blue, [but] people will definitely get to know who Livvi Franc is when they hear my music. There are definitely very personal things and I write about things that go on in my life and things I experience. So, when you hear the music you’ll definitely get to know Livvi Franc
HB: I understand you are from Barbados. I want to know how would you explain your transition, musically, from Barbados to America?
Livvi: Well in Barbados the music is definitely a lot different, but we still have quite a big presence of music from America and Europe in Barbados. We do listen mostly to…over the Corporal Seas, which is a big festival down here during the summer. We listen to a lot of soca music, like the typical Caribbean music, soca and calypso. So, I think the transition was pretty easy, because I’ve definitely been exposed to different types of music like pop, rock, and alternative. I think what really is cool about that transition is that I bought a lot of the different flavors from soca and calypso music, which made the different rhythms and different sounds. The different flavors from that into my music which is more commercial, more western, more pop sounding music, so its pop music with a Caribbean fusion, you’ll definitely hear some island in the music I definitely wanted to bring together two worlds, and put a lil’ Livvi stamp on it as well.
HB: In an interview with the R&B singer Cassie, DJ Charmalagnet told Cassie ‘You live in a Rihanna-Beyonce World,’ how would you respond to that comment? Have you heard the interview?
Livvi: I think I heard part of it. Well, to a comment like that I would definitely respond saying, ‘You know each artist is an individual. Beyonce and Rihanna are the most, there pretty much the superstars that are running the game right now, but in order to be noticed and in order to be respected, I think its definitely really important to embrace your style. Embrace your sound, embrace whatever you do best instead of trying to imitate someone else and for me you know my music is different, its not different as in over your head. I think I will definitely stand out among maybe the Beyonce songs and the Rihanna songs and the Ciara songs. So, I think with the way I’d respond to it is, you know embrace your own sound and just be unique and don’t try to imitate just be genuine, just be yourself which is exactly what I’m doing.
HB: You face several comparisons to Rihanna, what struggles do you think you will face distinguishing yourself from her?
Livvi: Well, I think the struggle is only going present itself in the beginning stages, when people only hear the first single. The album is not out yet and they sort of base, you know, their judgment of me on the first single. I’ve seen some comments on the net ‘O, that sounds like Rihanna,’ you know, so I can understand why people would make those comparisons. We’re both from Barbados, we are both 6 ft high in our heels, we both sort of look a like as well but you know we both definitely are individual, musically, and when the album comes out and maybe when some other singles come out people will get to hear the difference. The music will pretty much speak for itself.
HB: HelloBeautiful serves our audience with tips on fashion and style. How would you describe your style? Who are some of your favorite designers?
Livvi: I can’t afford that really big expensive designer stuff yet so, I’m sort of basing it on H&M, but I look at the sites where you see what the celebs are wearing. I really love…is it Balmain? That’s one I really like and Alexander McQueen. I love Dolce and Gabana and anything that is quirky and different, but still sexy. I’m very bold. I love bright colors and cool shapes and anything that stands out. When I see something that is different, I think ‘Ok, that’s for me.’
HB: Let’s talk about your single, “Now I’m that B*tch,” the word B*tch is controversial. What message are you trying to send with this single?
Livvi: “Now I’m that B*tch” when I was in the studio writing the song, I pretty much finished most of the songs for my album and [the producer] was pretty much trying to find what was missing. He said Livvi ‘What do people not know about u?or What do u want to tell people?’ and I said ‘When I was younger maybe I was in relationships and I had friends. I have a very quite nature which definitely is misconceived in many situations, and sort of lead to me being passed by, and sort of lead to me being ignored. Guys would sh*t on me and wouldn’t treat me the way I should be treated.
To me the song is, you know, I told him, ‘I want people to know that about me, I want people to know I actually do have a naughty side. I do have a loud side and I do have a fun side, so I just wanted people to know about the side they didn’t know about. So [the producer] said, ‘Ok, you want to let that guy know that now your that bitch’ and I was like ‘exactly!’ The song is pretty much, I’m sure people can relate to that when u actually like this guy and he doesn’t really care about who you are. Then, later on you get confident, you get older, you learn from your experiences and your more in control of what you want. That guy sees you then and he thinks, ‘Let me come and check you and you would say, ‘No, I don’t want you, I’m that bitch now, but your not going to get me.
So, its definitely a female empowerment song, but its still very positive and b*tch is not being negative. I know that b*tch has many negative connotations, but we sort of have this acronym for b*tch. B.*.T.C.H. ‘Babe In Total Control of Herself’ so u know the way anyone can use bitch as a bad word, I’m using it as a good word. I’m in control… we’re switching it around we’re reclaiming the word.
Tell us what you think of Livvi Franc’s new song “Now I’m that B*tch”:
Check out Livvi Franc’s video to her single “Free”: