The lovely and always positive Olivia took the time to chat with POParazzi about the creation of her debut EP, Weightless. In addition, today marks the arrival of her latest music video for the song “Outshine The Stars“. Get to know Olivia below as she opens up, talking about everything from her dream collaboration to her musical influences and what she does in her downtime.
POParazzi: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Olivia: I love all types of music and definitely listen to music like everyone based on my mood. I love to cover a variety of singers and genres, as you can see on my YouTube page, but as far as my songwriting and production influences, I would have to always go with Ed Sheeran. I love the way all of his songs tell a story. He is the ultimate intimate story teller, and as I discover my music niche in the pop genre, I try to integrate my personal stories into my tracks.
POParazzi: What other forms of art have influenced your music? Do you have any particular hobbies or activities that you can do to rejuvenate your creativity?
Olivia: I think I definitely lean to the creative side of things and spend a lot of my time absorbed in the arts. I enjoy drawing and writing and looking at art of all forms. Pinterest is a great way to search up art and themes. When I am planning a video shoot or a photo shoot, I get much of my inspiration from looking at photography and images based on the themes of my songs. I am very much involved in every aspect of my music, and so [I] love exploring all the beautiful art out there, whether it be in the form of drawing, paintings, architecture or fashion and then integrating those elements into my work. I think all these things [help make] my work more personal. As for hobbies, I love collecting and making things and go through phases [from] making tie-dye t-shirts to making jewelry and even designing phone cases and eyewear that I would love to eventually put out into the world. I am a huge fan of fashion and accessories and spend a lot of my time studying those things for inspiration.
POParazzi: What’s your creative process like? Do you enjoy writing and working with others, or are your songs usually written by yourself?
Olivia: I started this whole process at a very young age determined to write my own material, and luckily with guidance from my then vocal coach, [I] wrote and released eight original songs by age thirteen. After that, I started collaborating with some amazingly talented songwriters in LA and Vancouver, and though at first I was very intimidated, I definitely learned a lot about song writing, myself and the type of music I actually wanted to write. Now I absolutely love collaborating; my music is much better because of it. Each person brings their talent and ideas to the table, and at this point I am no longer shy to say if I like or do not like the ideas or the direction the song is going in.
POParazzi: When did you first develop your passion for making music?
Olivia: It is interesting to look back and see how I got where I am today. Like many young kids, I loved music and putting on little shows for my family, and at age 11 [I] wanted to take singing lessons with no other great plan at that point. Once I started lessons and really looking at music and how to sing songs, I developed this love for music as a craft and not just for [enjoyment]. So I decided to try writing my own stuff and then got excited about the idea of producing it and working in a studio with live musicians and producers. Not to mention that during that time I started performing local gigs and learning guitar. By age fourteen, I had a very supportive and talented team around me, an album out, a top 30 charting song on Canadian radio. I had made the Top 15 of the International Song Writing Competition and had been nominated for several other competitions and awards. I was traveling to LA to work with super talented people, making videos and through all of it, realizing every step of the way how much I loved it. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
POParazzi: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Olivia: Haha yes…. Slightly embarrassed about it now, but it’s called “You’re My Man”. I was 12 when I wrote it. It did make it onto my first album!
POParazzi: What dreams do you have for your career in music?
Olivia: Well, not imagining myself doing anything else makes this a big dream. You are supposed to have a fall back plan when you have big dreams, and so of course I do, but I also think that if you want something bad enough and you work hard enough, you can make it happen. It may not turn out exactly like the dream, but I think there is lots of room in the music world for me to fit in somewhere. Ultimately, I would love to be able to support myself as a musician, and so if I can make music that I love and travel and perform, that would be the dream…and having one of my songs make the Top 10 or get picked up for a major motion picture would not be so bad either!
POParazzi: What do you like to do for fun?
Olivia: I love to have fun and laugh a lot. I just got my learner’s license and love driving… I love hanging out with my friends, shopping, watching movies, cooking, traveling…Not a huge fan of anything in the cold, so I avoid skiing and cold weather if I can!
POParazzi: What has been one experience in the creation of Weightless that you will never forget?
Olivia: The whole process is very memorable because I wrote and recorded this whole EP with one of my favorite songwriters, Robin Ghosh. Some of the songs we did via FaceTime [because] he works and lives in LA, and [other times] he flew up to where I live in Canada, and we wrote and recorded the rest of the album. He is so talented, sweet and funny, so there are always lots of laughs while we work. I enjoy working with him, and I feel like he really gets me and the direction I want my music to go, and I am super proud of the results.
POParazzi: Who would you love to work with on a song?
Olivia: I would have to say Ed Sheeran, of course! I think we would work perfectly together…you never know! I am open minded so any offers are welcome.
POParazzi: What are your plans for making music after Weightless?
Olivia: I am excited about this summer as I am going to be very busy with lots of songwriting sessions for new material. I think [that] just because you have accomplished something, you [shouldn’t] stop, and I feel like I am always growing personally and musically, so I am excited to see what comes out of those sessions. Maybe another album next year… I am also always making covers and shooting videos, so look out for those!
A big thanks to Olivia for taking the time to talk about her music and creative process. Watch her latest music video for “Outshine The Stars” above. You can purchase Weightless on iTunes and read POParazzi’s review of the EP here. For more on Olivia, visit her official website. Keep up with her on Twitter and Facebook.