The rare rainy day in Los Angeles may tangle traffic and leave the city's sun-spoiled population grumpy, but crooner Liam Horne is unexpectedly happy about clouds and grey skies.
The 18-year-old from Scotland might be a little homesick for his working class hometown of Aberdeen, where drugs and violence sometimes marred an otherwise "magical" life of singing and playing music with his family.
"I love overcast weather because it reminds me of home," said Horne in an interview with TakePart. "To some people here, yeah we had it rough—to me personally, I never had a lot but I had enough."
Covered in piercings and tattoos—including the serenity prayer from Alcoholics Anonymous across his chest and a gun on his hip—Horne may look more roughneck than his lovesongs and vow of sobriety belie.
Beneath it all is a sweet-mannered, talented songwriter who co-wrote Justin Bieber's song "Out of Town Girl" when he was 16. Now he's releasing his own music and the video for Horne's single "The Truth Is" dropped Thursday.
His boyish good looks might get him compared to Bieber a lot (ladies, he's single but his music comes first), but Horne's musical idols are Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Sammy Davis, Jr., Stevie Wonder and Luther Vandross.
Classic R&B and hits of yesteryear are the songs he loves singing in the kitchen with his mother, a musically talented woman who inspired him to take music seriously—and let him drop out of school at age 15 to chase his dreams.
Horne also had the support of his bareknuckle brawler dad, a gypsy traveler who settled down with Horne's mom. His dad's cajoling inspired Horne's vow of sobriety after his grandfather—"an incredible singer"—died of alcohol poisoning.
"I've always had that side of music and growing up around it, I always knew that's what I want to do," said Horne.
Besides, songwriting talent runs in the family. Horne's uncle Graham Edwards is a part of The Matrix songwriting team behind Avril Lavigne's hits "Sk8er Boi," "Complicated" and "I'm With You."
It was his uncle who inspired him to chase his dreams from rainy Scotland to the (usually) sunny streets of Los Angeles.
Why travel to the other side of the world to be a songwriter?
"I want my music to be out there, you know? If I can make at least four people in this world smile with my music, then I'm happy."
That's Horne's message to other young singers and songwriters everywhere, to chase dreams and let life take you to places you never imagined.
Fans can meet Liam and other new artists at Station Hollywood on October 19.
Full disclosure: Participant Media is providing marketing support for Liam's US launch.