Making something valuable: inside junior Liam Campbell’s process of making an album


Liam Campbell

Liam Campbell, a junior at South, is making an album. A creator of layered and acoustic music, Campbell is also a fabulous singer. You can find his music on all platforms under the name “Daybreaking”.

Caleb Stipkovits, Managing Editor

Liam Campbell started to consider making music when he was in 6th grade, and now as a junior at South High School, he is in the process of creating his first album. 

A self-described acoustic and layered musician, Campbell’s music can be found under the name “Daybreaking,” which according to Spotify, is a collaborative project between Campbell and his younger brother, Quin. While his music gives off chill acoustic vibes, the first instrument Campbell learned how to play was actually the saxophone. Campbell taught himself the guitar and he can also play the piano. Before the pandemic, you may have seen Campbell perform some of his work at local coffee shops.

Campbell has an impressive fan base at South. If you were to run into someone who knows him, chances are they would gush about his musical talent. Now his fans have something to look forward to in these hard times, new music from a talented local artist. And although there isn’t a release date for his album yet, Campbell is hopeful that it will be ready for fans to listen to sometime in the next year.

One of these fans is sophomore Ezra Gearhart. “Liam is an incredible songwriter, and he released a song back in summer called Night Vision… He posted it on Instagram and I somewhat jokingly asked him when [is] the album coming out.” Gearhart described his reaction to hearing Campbell was actually making an album as “ecstatic.”

Campbell detailed some things to know about what will be on his album. “The album is like 10 to 11 songs… it’s a mix of songs that typically you can hear on the radio, you know they have a structure, and lyrics… I have a few songs that are completely instrumental, and shorter, maybe [two minutes and a half minutes] long. I really love those ones, they have a special place in my heart.”

Some of the songs on the album have what Campbell calls “single energy,” which is the kind of music that artists release as a musical single, or songs released by themselves. Campbell also said creating an album is a learning process for him. He better understands how to write and produce the music while learning more about himself.

Despite only recently deciding to make an album, Campbell has been writing songs for a while. “A lot of the material that is coming up on the album I started writing before I was actually working on the album… As for the album itself, I started working on it as an album consciously in April,” said Campbell. 

One thing that has influenced Campbell’s album process is quarantine. Being in quarantine has affected everybody in many different ways, and it has also affected Campbell’s music production. In the time since he decided to go forward with an album during quarantine, a lack of equipment has forced him to get a little creative with his instruments. “I have to get creative with the percussion, with the equipment I have I can’t really produce or record drums, so for a lot of songs the bass drum is actually me stomping on my floor, [and] my snare drum is just me hitting my guitar,” said Campbell.

As for how quarantine has affected his writing of the music, Campbell says that the emotions that quarantine bring out have really inspired his writing. “When you’re writing, and when you’re recording, and honestly in any kind of art form when you’re trying to express something, you have to want to be honest with yourself, and I’d be lying to myself if I said quarantine hasn’t affected my mood, and my perspective and what not,” said Campbell. He continued, “When I’m writing and recording even if it’s not necessarily about quarantine, those emotions definitely make it into the music.” 

Of all the good that has come out of the process of creating his album, Campbell has some favorite moments. “My favorite parts are the moments where I feel like I’m really creating something. At the beginning of recording any song, or writing any song, it can feel like [what you’re doing is] pointless and that’s also a general feeling that I think is amplified in quarantine,” Campbell continued, “I think having the opportunity to really create tangible pieces of music, there’s a moment in that process [when you realize] you really are creating something, and it’s coming from you, you’re putting it into the world and that’s valuable.”

Campbell went on to say that he often encounters moments when he knows he is creating something. This feeling is one of the things that make Campbell so passionate about making music, something he thinks could be a possible career path. When asked if making music was something that he wanted to do professionally, Campbell answered “100%.” He also hopes his main takeaway from this album is that he wants to make another one.

Campbell may not be finished with his album yet, but he has learned enough about making art to offer some advice to other aspiring artists. “Be honest with yourself, [allow] yourself to be honest with yourself. When creating art… let it all come out even if it feels useless at first.”

If you want to listen to some of Liam’s released music, look up “Daybreaking” on Spotify, Apple music, or other streaming platforms.