One of the benefits of being a reviewer is that you get to be a musical Magellan, finding new artists around the globe who are astonishingly talented. One such artist is L.A.’s Liv DeToma, who has the vocal command and songwriting chops to be in the vanguard of tomorrow’s stars.

Her latest single “riot” has Pagliacci vibes because it’s about someone who hides the hurt behind a comic exterior. Smokey Robinson’s “Tears Of A Clown” was thematically similar, but “riot” is more personal and powerful.

Liv is a fabulous singer who can “sell” a song with the best of them: Taylor, Avril, Kelly Clarkson, etc. And “riot” resonates with real emotion – the #1 ingredient in every hit song.

Liv DeToma will have the last laugh when the musical world hails her debut EP, slated for release next year.

Who were your favorite artists growing up?

I idolized Faith Hill. Mariah Carey was played often by my parents growing up, so she was a favorite of mine as well as Bonnie Raitt. My Dad is a huge blues fan, so I spent a lot of time listening to his CD collection (and then XM/Sirius radio) while driving to and from school, sports, theater activities, and more. We spent a lot of time together in my family, which meant even going on errands was something we did together. And we’d always have music in the car. Thanks to my Mom, I can add Vivaldi and Debussy to the list, since she liked classical music the best.

As for my self-discovered takes, Avril Lavigne (first two albums), Beyoncé, Michelle Branch and Kelly Clarkson were huge for me, as well as the inimitable Taylor Swift. The Pretenders, The Beatles, and Death Cab For Cutie were a big deal to me, too.

You studied cinema in college, yet you became a superb vocalist, songwriter and guitar player. How did you find the time to do that?

To be honest, it didn’t really feel like anything different than how I’d always lived and behaved, so I think I was a bit predetermined to come out that way no matter what! I was always a very busy kid. I was always writing and singing and practicing in whatever dorm room I found myself in at the moment. When I went home, or stayed on campus during the summer, my guitar was always with me. I was also in an a cappella group throughout college, and had a theater minor! So I had performed a lot in school as well.

One of your strengths is conveying emotion in a song. What artists have inspired you to do that?

Definitely Taylor Swift. She has never been afraid to let everyone know exactly how she feels about something. Avril Lavigne also doesn’t get enough credit for that, in my opinion, for her first two albums.

Would you like for your career to have a dual track – music and movie-making?

Absolutely! I’d be incredibly fortunate to make films alongside making music. The way I see it, every music video is a short film. Short films are my favorite! I like to think one day I could work up to doing a feature, or direct something episodic.

Do you have future singles or an EP coming out soon?

I do! My producer Jay Rence and I are working on my EP right now. I can’t say exactly when it’ll be out, but it’ll be next year. We may drop one more single before it comes out, so watch out for that.