Liv Harland, the Harrogate-based singer, talks to Bethan Andrews about her social media following, busking on top of Almscliffe Crag and her love for Harrogate
In only two years, you’ve built up a following of 1.5million fans on TikTok, over 93 thousand followers on Instagram and your videos get over 2million views. Where did it all start?
I’ve been singing since I was really young and doing stage school, but in 2017, I started going out busking. In lockdown, I started an account on TikTok and would put my singing on there. Once the lockdown ended and I could go out again, I started live streaming my busking directly to TikTok. I grew a massive following quite quickly, and the live stream started doing really well. I set it up whilst I’m out singing, and I do it live onto the platform. People are watching me and they can securely donate gifts – people have been really generous in the past.
You were offered a nine-song record deal last year off the back of your busking videos, what can we expect to see from you with this?
Hopefully, all being well, you’ll see a song every two months from me. It will be a mix of new music, so some original songs from me. I think it will be a combination of around five originals and a few covers. It all depends on how well certain songs do, but the general plan is to keep releasing music over the next year and a half, and see how and where it goes from there.
You’ve been busking for around four years now. Do you think it’s changed a lot since when you first started?
A lot more people definitely do it now, compared to then. With me busking on TikTok, I think that’s helped a lot of people and has helped them to see that they could do it too. People want to do it more now. The Times voted me the most viral busker in the UK, which was pretty cool.
You say you quite like being able to perform to people all over the world through your phone, but do you hope to be able to do more live performances to big audiences, too?
I’ve got my own headline shows coming up in May. One in London on 25 May and one on 28 May in Leeds at Headrow House with a 150 person capacity. It’ll be nice to see people in a show environment. I sold out my VIP tickets in the first five minutes after release. I have a really close relationship with my fans, I can recognise some of them from their comments and from them reaching out to me.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
I would say being in TikTok’s Top 10 Most Viral Lives of 2021 with Ed Sheeran and Liam Payne. That was pretty cool because I was the only woman. So, that was for last year, over the whole of the UK, I was in three of TikTok’s top 10 live moments.
Have you lived in Yorkshire all your life?
I have always lived in Harrogate, born and bred. Growing up and living in Yorkshire has made me appreciate the incredible people, scenery and walks that are on our doorstep. Whenever I go elsewhere it just makes me realise how lucky I was to be brought up here – it’s just the best! I feel like everyone is so lovely, everyone comes together and I’m proud to represent the north and Yorkshire with busking.
Where are your favourite spots in Harrogate?
I used to walk to school every morning across The Stray and I still love to go back there now and reflect on old memories. For food, I always make sure to visit Hoxton North when I’m at home in Harrogate. They have the best coffee and brunch!
Do you have any favourite places to walk and escape?
I like to spend time by the river and it is my favourite thing about Knaresborough, which is just next to Harrogate, so I like to go clear my head there and take my dog for a walk. Swinsty reservoir in the Washburn Valley is incredible too. I have such fond memories of walking around there as a child, and it’s definitely one of my favourite places in the local area.
You’ve been known to sing at amazing Yorkshire beauty spots, where do you like the most?
I like to go to the top of Almscliffe Crag. That’s what I did in lockdown, I’d head up to the top of the cliff at the Crag, take my mic and people would enjoy me singing while they were only allowed to go out on walks. I love looking out over the whole of Yorkshire from up there and watching the sunset – it has incredible views and I love it. It feels more freeing to sing out there, and I find it inspiring.
Follow on Instagram @livharlandmusic