It has been a difficult 16 months around the world, with more than 180 million cases and almost four million deaths from COVID. Australia has faced numerous lockdowns – short and long – and with Sydney currently in the grip of the virus, many parents are again, pulling their hair out as they deal with kids, working from home and isolating from loved ones.
But for Melbourne mum, Olivia Benkel, also known as LIV, it was Melbourne’s lockdown that encouraged her to share her talent. And she went viral.
“I’ve been writing forever. Probably since I was about 16. But it has always been a hobby,” Benkel explains as she watches her kids in a play centre, proving that parents are constantly juggling it all. “I’ve never told anyone about it. It was the first time that I wrote something and put it out there, just because a lot of people could relate to it as well.”
Benkel, who also works in community engagement for a not-for-profit organisation, obviously struck a chord, with her video for This Virus Has Gone Viral having been viewed more than 11,000 times on YouTube.
While Melbourne has emerged from its epic lockdown, Sydney has been plunged into its own, and Benkel’s rap sure does resonate – “do the corona like you just don’t care, stay inside with your hair everywhere. Do the corona like you just don’t care, holding your breath cause there’s a cough in the air”.
The song, written during lockdown was then recorded, and the video clip was choreographed and filmed all within a very short amount of time. It was the first time Benkel felt the desire to share her music with others. She knew it was a current topic that would have many parents and families nodding along. With a wine in her hand and deliveries coming to the door, all while trying to help children with online learning, there is so much about the song and video clip that parents can empathise with.
Benkel also says the reason she decided to share this song with the public is to prove that just because you’re a mum, doesn’t mean you can’t still be ‘you’. “It also gives parents a sense of ‘your life’s not over’ just because you have kids,” Benkel laughs. “I can still enjoy rap music. My attire is probably not ‘mother’ expected. But it’s nice to be able to be yourself, and inspire others.”
Lockdown gave Benkel the push she needed to let her musical talents shine. And now, she’s not looking back, with a new song in the works at the moment. While it’s not about anything specific, Benkel says it will help introduce her as an author and as an artist.
Hopefully, this one will go viral too.
Check out Liv on Instagram: @livmusicofficial