Deeper Digs in Rock: Liv Warfield
This week Christian meets up with Prince Protege’ Liv Warfield to discuss her musical life, what it’s like leaving collegiate athletics to pursue music instead, working with mentors Prince and Nancy Wilson and charting her own destiny on becoming a big voice in today’s rock n soul world.
Liv was a member of Prince’s New Power Generation (NPG); Prince was also her mentor for her solo career. Liv had been in the midst of working on her third studio album when Prince passed away, so plans for her release came to a halt. While working on new material with him, although the album wasn’t complete at the time, when Prince heard “Mantra,” it immediately caught his attention. The album came to a halt after Prince’s passing but now, three years later, Warfield is releasing her new powerful single to fans. “Mantra” was written by Warfield and guitarist Ryan Waters, backed by a 42-piece orchestra, with orchestral arrangements composed by Grammy-Award winning conductor Mateo Messina (for the film, “Juno”).
After a period of depression when Prince passed, Liv took a break, but then started playing shows again in 2016, perfecting her sound, which became a lifeline for both Liv and her musical partner guitarist Ryan Waters. They began writing new music, and their creative energy caught the attention of Nancy Wilson of Heart in 2017. It was then, that Warfield and Waters formed the group with Wilson, Roadcase Royale. Their lead single, “Get Loud,” was featured prominently in 2017’s Women’s March; and the band released their debut album, “First Things First,” later that year. Warfield and Waters spent the next year playing to sold-out arenas, opening for rock legend Bob Seger, and recorded a remake of the classic Heart song, “These Dreams,” which was featured in the biopic, “Molly’s Game.”Warfield’s style has been described as “alternative soul with a ‘lil bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” With her self-released her debut album in 2006 titled “Embrace Me,” she caught the eye of Prince and joined his group, the “New Power Generation (NPG).” In 2014, Liv released her sophomore album, Executive Co-Produced by Prince, titled “The Unexpected.” She became a featured artist for VH1’s “You Oughta Know” campaign, which led to musical performances on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Additionally, Warfield received a 2014 Soul Train Music Award for “Best Contemporary Jazz Artist” with two additional Soul Train nominations (“Best New Artist” and “Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance”); and a BET “Best New Artist Award” nomination. She also collaborated with Cindy Lauper and Nancy Wilson of Heart; and opened for Lionel Richie at the Montreax Jazz Festival. That same year, Warfield’s performance, which closed out Essence Fest, was hailed as one of the most memorable after shows at the New Orleans House of Blues by fans and critics.