Spotlight on Liberty Silver

Grammy Award-Winner Hosts Cranberrry Breakfast at the Living Arts Centre on December 3, 2010.

By Heather Brissenden, Mississauga Arts Council Communications

What could be better than catching up with one of Canada’s most celebrated vocalists over fresh coffee on a Monday morning?

I was thrilled to spend time with this effervescent MAC member who has won not only a Grammy, but three

JUNO Awards and fi ve Black Music Awards among many others. With a new album, Groove Symphony (soon-to-be released), Liberty’s ready to share her wisdom with the world, in a new album of slick grooves and catchy melodies.

MAC: First and foremost, what are your thoughts on calling Mississauga home?

LS: People here support you. A lot of other municipalities don’t support home-grown talent, so it’s great to be here where we have many people in the industry supporting each other. There’s a totally different vibe here. Our city’s grown into a major metropolitan Mecca in such a short time. There’s such a different flava here, it’s more laid back and more conducive to family life. I’m currently raising my grandchildren here. We’ve got a good education system and a cool blend of different cultures. I love the multi-cultural aspect of our city.

MAC: You are quite the power-house artist with an impressive resume that includes opening for Reggae star Bob Marley among many others. How do you avoid creative burnout?

LS: I suggest artists take time for themselves. I pray and meditate to put myself into focus.

MAC: What are you most thankful for at

this special point in your life?

LS: I’m most thankful for the next 20 years…I’m so blessed to have such a strong and supportive family… great brothers and sisters….good management…people who have believed in me for so many years.

MAC: What inspires you?

LS: Everything that goes on around me in my life is a direct component in my music. Who surrounds you also has a great affect on you. When you are in a good place in your life you can be positive and put a positive message out there through your music.

MAC: What’s one of the benefits of getting more “seasoned” shall we say as a performer?

LS: As you develop more and more as a performer, you get to know yourself and your own presence. When you’re young, you’re competitive as you haven’t truly found your niche. My father always told me, “Be the best at what you do because there’s no one else out there like you.” These days, I’m concentrating on nurturing through my music while constantly expanding my knowledge.

MAC: Any thoughts on competitiveness and petty insecurity among artists? What’s your best advice to artists that are looking to transcend the ego and find their own niche?

LS: Competition really is so petty. Singing…art and music is such a living and breathing organism…what you put out there really is what you get back. So be careful what messages you are putting out there and what you are expressing. You can’t force anything in life. It’s all about feeling empowered personally. You can learn so much watching other people, there are so many lessons to be learned from observation. I would suggest that artists become more competitive with themselves (as opposed to other artists). Once you get to a certain point in your career, it becomes more about getting product out and keeping your career going…You are less concerned about keeping up with the “Jones.”

MAC: What are some strong messages you are currently trying to express through your work?

LS: “Know thy self.” Know you are divine…sometimes in life we get caught-up with emotions. We could love each other if we know we are here to help each and support each other on every level.

MAC: What do you attribute your musical career to?

LS: I grew up in a very musical house-hold. My father played in the symphony. Now that I look back while raising my own grandchildren, I thank God for being raised in a beautiful family. God gave me a good life.

MAC: What’s your best advice to artists that are looking to move forward?

LS: You really have to envision it for yourself to it to happen. It’s all about energy. You have to put the right energy out there for it to manifest. In the same breath, we have to remember to have patience because it only comes when we need it, not when we want it. It’s all about wanting something that you desire. I also believe that the key to succeeding is having faith, strong spiritual faith. In life, many times we are planting seeds, we are toiling and toiling away. During this process we need to be grateful as success really is 99% preparation and 1% talent. You need to envision yourself as emotionally and spiritually ready. We have to know how to be accountable and how to work this “business of art.” Really and truly, artists are special and ordained…it’s a honour to be given the ability to create art. People minimalize our importance…but really, we have to know who we really are. We are priceless.

Catch Liberty live as she hosts the Mississauga Arts Council’s Cranberry Breakfast held on Friday December 3,

2010 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling 905-615-4278. For more information on Liberty, please visit http://www.myspace.com/libertysilversings.

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