WPGM Commentary: Liv East Doesn’t Want To Force It On ‘So Badly’

My name is Liv East, and from its conception, “So Badly” instantly felt as though it had a strong identity and the song seemed to write itself within one recording session (and this is often a sign to me that a message is being channeled from a very real place).

It initially began as a jam between my producer Lokes LDN and jazz guitarist Benedict Quinn in our Hackney studio. I remember taking a loop away from that day and writing the whole song around an 8 bar loop. Although since that point we have tweaked and chiseled away at the body of the track, the soul was present from the beginning as I was in the midst of processing some fairly intense emotions.

“So Badly” was written at a time when I knew I had met someone of profound importance but the timing just wasn’t right to pursue or establish something more. I was at an impasse with this person where I could feel them slipping through my fingers and I honestly had no choice but to let them go.

It was painful & difficult but I had to remind myself of the mantra “Nothing real can truly be threatened” and step back with grace. I felt overwhelming parallels with many other situations in my life – especially my career in music – where I have learned that you cannot force things purely out of desire for a specific outcome.

It was the summer of 2021 and we had just come out of the pandemic where we were all forced, collectively, to redirect or reconsider what our plans were. I was being reminded that no matter how badly you want something, it won’t always pan out the way we want it to. In many ways “So Badly”, for me, is about the art of surrender but still keeping faith.

I created the track with my musical partner in crime, south London producer Lokes LDN, and it will be the first release out of our 3 years of working together. From our first session together, we have always shared a common outlook that good things can’t be rushed.

We spent months initially just creating without intention or direction but letting the music unfold as it naturally wanted to. We both have a shared love of soulful dance music – whether it be funky house, SA house, garage, disco.

As soon as we switched up the beat & baseline to the original demo of “So Badly” – which was just a guitar and basic drums – we knew instantly that we’d created something special. We spent an entire session just dancing to the track in the studio – and so we knew in that moment that it would be the first track we needed to share with the world.

It was then a matter of building up the dynamics of the track and so I asked my friend Callum (Jazz musician from group Secret Night Gang) to come down & sprinkle some saxophone magic over it. After layering some more pads, more percussion and the saxophone the track felt complete.

It had suddenly become a fusion of all the genres we love – soulful house, jazz, sexy R&B. This track has been a real labour of love and we have taken our time with perfecting the composition, and ensuring the mix delivered those soft soulful feels we needed it to.

Nothing has been rushed or overlooked in the making of this song. As I sing to myself in the chorus “Take your time“, it’s a beautiful feeling to reflect back on the journey the track has had so far. The creation process has been one of patience and the flower is finally in bloom.

“So Badly” is out on Friday 27th January & I can only hope the world loves it as much as we do.

Listen to “So Badly” below and stream it everywhere here.

Words by Liv East // Follow her on Instagram + TikTok

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