Second-Generation LA Pop/Dance Star
With First-Rate Talent
By PHIL SWEETLAND
LOS ANGELES – When you first hear Liberty Kasem sing, watch her perform, or read her lyrics and journals, it’s easy to forget she’s 22.
The level of pure talent, combined with the maturity and confidence Liberty already has in her music and her writing, would be remarkable for a veteran star in her 40s who had been making records and touring for 22 years, and to get that from someone who actually is 22 is just the first of countless pleasant surprises fans and radio will be experiencing from Liberty’s music, videos, and tours in the months and years to come.
It started very early for this showbiz kid, the daughter of actress and web entrepreneur Jeannie Kasem (Cheers, The Tortellis, crib.com) and the legendary radio and voiceover icon Casey Kasem (American Top 40, America’s Top Ten Hits, the voice of Shaggy on “Scooby Doo” and hundreds of other beloved cartoon characters among countless commercials voiceovers).
“I would say my songwriting began when I was around 5 or 6 years old,” Liberty says in a recent phone conversation from Malibu. “I loved writing, and I would go into a store and say, “Can I see all your journals and pens and notebooks?’ I would write all the time, poetry, and lyrics, all in my journals.”
And like so many great singers, Liberty was a wonderful listener. Not only was she loving all the Pop and Dance styling’s of contemporary stars such as Christina Aguilera, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, and the early Britney Spears, the young Liberty was just as fascinated and impacted by The Beatles and by a genius-level singer and songwriter named Harry Nilsson (1941-1994), the writer and singer of “Everybody’s Talkin’ ” and “Without You,” but sadly a rather obscure act even in his own day.
Famous folks like Tony Curtis and the aforementioned Harry Nilsson (among others) were frequent visitors to the Kasem home. When Liberty was just 2 or 3 she would belt out “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” playing along on a toy piano, dazzling the stars.
But did her folks urge their hugely talented daughter to go into music?
“We initially tried to discourage Liberty, to warn her that the music business is not what it once was,” Jeannie says, chuckling. “Casey has often said that if The Beatles came back today and he was asked to manage them he’d say no because music has become so corporate and bottom-line oriented.”
But Liberty was not to be denied. She is constantly writing, and soon began playing shows in and around LA. Liberty soon felt entirely at home on stage.
“I was singing my songs at the Malibu Chili Cook-Off,” she says. “I was a bit nervous at first on stage but once I start getting into it, the fear goes away and it’s magic.”
Her A-list production and co-writing team includes Michael Lloyd (the producer of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and over 100 other Gold and Platinum albums), and Greg O’Connor (more than 500 TV and film scoring credits, including the hugely influential Ben Stiller Show).
“I’m also working on some fun videos so people can see who I am and what I do,” she says.
Liberty feels a special attachment to one of the songs Michael and Greg wrote for her.
“Love Is A Simple Truth’ was written for my Dad. It’s beautiful memories, and also his name means `truth’ in Arabic,” she says.
Jeannie knew there was magic in this child from day one. She and Casey had determined to name the newborn Justice if he were a boy and Liberty if she were a girl, and Jeannie said she immediately knew Liberty was “an old soul” once she held her in her arms.
Liberty is carrying on a proud tradition for an entirely new generation of radio listeners and fans.
CONTACT: Michael Lloyd