Interview by: Lauren Sanchez | August 20,2022
L: What inspired you to get into music and songwriting?
Olivia: So, growing up music was always in my house and my dad would always have like concert DVDs playing back when that was a thing, and CDs playing when we were making brunch, driving me to school.
So, I was really immersed in music and he also played guitar. So when I was about 12 years old, I asked him to teach me some chords on guitar. And I basically just wrote so many songs with those same three chords. And as I got into high school, I started, you know, playing talent shows and then playing at some coffee shops. And I just fell in love with music beyond listening to it. I thought the creation of it was really cool. And as I went to more and more concerts, I was just really inspired. And, you know, seeing that it can be a career path was really cool to me. So I just kept playing shows and slowly started to put music on SoundCloud and just released kind of some demos, that weren't very good, out into the world. And eventually, by the time I was about 18, some songs that I put out were noticed by a Canadian TV show called "The Launch" and they reached out and scouted me for the show. So, that kind of took my life in a cool direction. And I went on the show and actually won the show, which was crazy and incredible and amazing.
And, through that, I got a song on Canadian radio, Top 40, and I got to open for Lionel Richie and just do some really incredible career things. Then, last year I put out my debut album and now we're here! So, you know, it's been a journey, but it's been really fun and cool so far.
L: That's really cool. You mentioned a few of your inspirations as you were saying that, so who do you think are your biggest inspirations when it comes to this sort of artistry? Like you can even talk about like just musicians in general or even songwriters.
Olivia: So growing up, I definitely listened to lots of Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac, Norah Jones. And that was my kind of first inspiration when it came to writing. And as I got older, I definitely just started to listen to so many different kinds of music, whether that's EDM or hip hop or country or classical. And I think just listening to so many different types of music and listening to different writers write different genres of music, definitely inspires an eclectic inspiration for me when I sit down to write.
L: Yeah, exactly. Because like, as you said, it's important to be well-rounded in like different styles. And especially because you can take so many like different parts [of them] and mash it all together into like some really cool songs, you know? So, how would you describe your sound to people who may not be familiar with your music?
Olivia: Because I did start writing when I was really young and, you know, my roots are kind of more folk singer-songwriter that still is a throughline in my music, but now it has more of a modern pop flare. So if you take kind of the singer-songwriter of Ed Sheeran, but then you can add some more Ariana Grande production. A fusion of those two.
L: That's a good combination though. Because they're both like really talented singer-songwriters, you know, and speaking of your writing, in your artistry, bio, it talks a lot about your love and passion for writing. Is there a specific lyric or lyrics that you have written that have been your absolute favorite?
Olivia: Oh, good question. So there's actually this one song that I wrote, it's quite a sad song, but those are always the best. And the opening line is, "Cigarette inside your hand. Wish you would hold me like that,” And I'm really proud of that lyric because it felt so natural. Like I kind of just sat down with the guitar and I played it and it came out and I was like, 'I really like this.' And I thought it just perfectly embodied what I was feeling in that moment because I couldn't describe it, but then the lyric came out and described it. So, it was a really cool kind of thing that happened.
L: No, that's a really good lyric. That's like, ugh, that hurts. Where do you find a lot of your inspiration to write songs? Cause from that lyric alone, it's a lot to do with heartbreak, you know?
Olivia: So it's been interesting. I feel like historically I've drawn from lots of heartbreak and relationships or situation shifts but as I matured and over the past few years I've been happily single and, you know, going in on this self-love journey. And I don't have tons of chaos in my life in regards to relationships. So it's been interesting to navigate because at first I had writer's block and I was like, ‘What can I write if I'm happy?’ you know? But I think the beauty of music is I'm learning you don't have to be sad to write a sad song. You don't have to be happy to write a happy song. You can put yourself in any headspace and write from any perspective. So yeah, definitely things in my life inspire me, but also just the environment I'm in, you know, in LA and it's daytime and we're writing in natural light, then maybe a happy song will come out. Or a huge studio and it's really dark, maybe like a moody kind of like song will come out. But that's I think the beauty of my writing process is it's ever-changing. It's not always positive or negative. It's kind of just, the art comes as it comes.
L: That's a good answer, especially because like this whole interview is all about your song with Bhad Bhabie, "VIBE CHECK", and from listening to it, it's very summery. It's giving like windows down, but at night, roaming through the streets of LA. And so speaking about the single "VIBE CHECK," how did the collab come to be and what was the creative process like?
Olivia: So I wrote "VIBE CHECK" with my longtime collaborator and producer AJ Healey and we, as we usually do, we sat down to write in a session and we had a beat loop that was really interesting and I started voice memoing some really cool memos. And then we actually took a break and got totally sidetracked and started googling Gen Z slang.
So we were googling it and the term "VIBE CHECK" popped up and we kind of looked at each other and we're like, " This is cool. This is a very interesting concept and theme and word, let's use it in our song." So when we came back to the song, it kind of naturally fit into the chorus and that's how that song was written. Very quickly, very effortlessly. And then after we had written it, so I've never actually collaborated on one of my own songs with another artist. And we felt that this song could really benefit from a feature because of the really kind of fun, energetic vibe. So we wanted a female on it too, because it gives off a really strong kind of feminine energy, and confidence. And I was scrolling a TikTok and I've always been familiar with Bhad Bhabie and love her music. And she popped up and I was kind of reintroduced to her and we reached out and she hopped on the song. So that's how that happened.
L: That's crazy. So what was it like to work with her? Did you gain anything new in terms of like learning how to write songs or find your own sound or just collab with people