Once you hear, see and know Olivia Lane you will not soon forget this dynamic, high energy, impressive talent that has an aura around her that draws you in. The Texas native who in a round about way made her way to Nashville is living her dream because she knows as well as anyone how easily music can inspire a smile.
From her first 2014 EP, “Love Thing” to her soon to be released self-titled EP due out July 29th there is not much Olivia has not put into play that she has not successfully conquered. Spending time with her on the Red Carpet for the American Country Country Awards and catching her highly acclaimed “Diva Jam” in Nashville during CMA Fest led us to know we needed more time to explore the road she has been on.
Olivia made a two night stop at Moonshine Flats in San Diego July 15th and 16th. We were there on the 16th and encourage everyone to do the same if they get the chance to see her. Olivia took the stage where she immediately energized it and that energy was extended to the full crowd. Dancers were covering the floor and a lot of people were filming and taking photos.
She played a set mixed with her own songs and some covers that she gave her own touch to. Olivia pulled out a mandolin and killed “Days Go By,” gave a fun rocker edge to “These Boots are Made for Walkin'” and later slowed it down with the Eagles hit, “Desperado.” Her current single, “Make My Own Sunshine” is just happiness in a song and another of my other favorites was “Money Don’t Work on Me.” Olivia Lane has a powerful voice and she commands the stage. There was never a dull moment and with a band that was as good as I’ve heard.
Prior to the show we had some some time for a visit with Olivia and found her to be as sweet and full of life as expected. She shared with us her career, her experiences through out it and what the future holds in the coming year.
Every artist can relate and learn from growing as their career does and Olivia is no exception. From her first EP “Love Thing” in 2014 and then “Heart Unlocked” in 2015 and now her self titled EP coming out on July 29th she is filled with new enthusiasm.
“Yes I have grown, it’s really exciting. It is interesting, I got to play my first songwriter round at The Bluebird Café last week on Wednesday. I was reflecting on that moment and five years prior I was waiting to play a songwriter round on an open mic night. It is just little moments like thinking of that sitting in that Bluebird round and thinking of everything I that I’ve worked on the last 3 to 4 years and the evolution I’ve gone through as an artist. I feel like I’ve really found who Olivia Lane is and what my voice is, what I want my message to be to my fans and what we will bond over for the next coming years. I think this Olivia Lane EP is sort of a sum of all the experiences I’ve been living carrying out my dreams this past 3 years.”
In that recent songwriters round at the Bluebird Olivia joined acclaimed writers Danny Myrick, Aaron Scherz and others. There were different experiences and emotions from this one and the one five years ago.
“Oh my gosh, I feel really lucky that when I moved to Nashville I dropped into an amazing group of people. Songwriters, producers, all the above. So basically it was all so surreal just thinking of where I’ve been and where I am now. Like Moonshine Flats, we were here probably six seven months ago for my first show and being back here and seeing the fans build, and seeing one person, two people, ten people, twenty people know the words to my songs. It is just amazing, it is all worth it.”
Since the inception of the now infamous “Diva Jam” we were curious on how this entire project got started. The concept is so fun and love the thought process.
“Basically when I first moved to Nashville in June 2013, I couldn’t be involved in CMA Fest which is when it was happening. We sort of came up with an idea of how I could sort of be involved in CMA Fest but not officially, at a sanctioned stage. I came up, we were joking about the Bro Country movement, so I said ‘Move over Bro Country, Diva Country is on the rise.’ My manager was like, that is really good that we could have an event called Diva Jam and I could invite all the female artists that I hang out with that I aspire to work with one day. I idolize and really admire what they are doing. So it just kind of turned into this event where a bunch of females come up on stage during CMA Fest. It is about 8-12 girls and you just set up with your guitar all acoustic singing the songs you love to share with fans. It is all female supported, I just really, really want to be a female cheerleader.”
We chatted with Olivia on the red carpet at The American Country Countdown Awards in L A. this year and knowing it was her first time we wanted the run down of her experience. (See it here)
“It was my first ever Red Carpet, it was a lot to take in with seeing all the artists that I aspire to be and maybe open for one day. I am such an energy person and all those people on the carpet all of that energy, I was just like over the moon. I was like so excited I was just like oh my gosh, people! But it was great moment for me. It was like, wow this is becoming real.”
There are favorite places in Nashville that artists who reside there favor. And many who have different views on the changes to the cities growth. Olivia shares her thoughts on both.
“Oh, I love The Listening Room Cafe. That is where we have Diva Jam, I know the people who run that building and they are just so sweet, They had taken me in when I was just a fresh green songwriter that nobody knew. So I love playing The Listening Room Café, that is one of my go to’s. I talk just about everyday about the cities growth as so do many others, it’s just crazy. I remember five years ago some places were just dirt lots and that’s where we would park. On Demonbreun, there used to be this whole area where it was just a dirt parking lot and all the bars were across the way, now there’s a huge apartment building. Apparently there are 80 to 100 people moving there each day which is insane. But I think it kind of a fun golden age to be in Nashville, I am seeing it change from when the nicest restaurant was Chili’s now there are all these hipster trendy restaurants there. That is kind of different from the Nashville I knew but it is cool, I think it is influencing music too, there is not only country music. There is all kind of music and you meet all kinds of people from all walks of life, it is just a big melting pot.”
Her current single “Make Your Own Sunshine” is climbing the charts and we wanted to know how she felt the impact of Social Media and the fans play their part in that climb.
“My fans are everything to me. I wanted to start this Sunshine Movement which is the campaign that supports “Make My Own Sunshine.” It is about people, my fans and them spreading their own sunshine and hopefully spreading it to other fans and other people who want to join this whole joy movement spreading positivity. It is lovely when I get on social media and I see #sunshinemovement and someone is just out being happy or making someone elses day happy. And that is what “Make My Own Sunshine” is really about, the essence of the song. It is kind of my anthem.”
When one song is a hit there is most often one waiting in the wings to be released at a little later date as a follow up. Right now Olivia is not sure what song that may be. She also caught us up on what is going on for the rest of this year.
“Oh gosh, I don’t know. There are a couple of ideas from the new EP but, we’ll see. Once the EP comes out we can see what people are diggin’. The rest of the year we are touring all over the place. Which I am so excited for, at the end of last year I knew I just need to get out there and I needed to meet people. If you want to sell 500,000 records you need to meet 500,000 people so I am like ‘OK lets do it.’ This new music is exciting, I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to put out this EP for a long time. So, just staying on the road and staying busy and meeting fans.”
Olivia is big on keeping up on Social media and she gives us the scoop on where to find her.
“Everyone can go to olivialane.com that is where the tour schedule is. You can also go to Twitter and Instagram. And, then if you guys are tech savvy on the Snapchat front, that is where I get very personal about what is going on in my life. Like I am just a crazy person on Snapchat I try to make people laugh and I bring joy, that is probably the funnest way to get to know what is going on in my life. That is olivialanemusic as well. I am all over the place.”
To round all this up after spending time enjoying the career of Olivia Lane we asked her one final question: How does she describe success.
“I describe success as doing something you love and being happy with with the work that you do. You have to be happy that is success to me. If it brings money that would be great because I like to eat and I like to have a roof over my head but doing what you love and being happy with yourself. That is success.”
Olivia Lane wowed us and the crowd and we know full well she gained even more new fans. Thanks to her and her crew for setting up the visit and the special night of songs.
(This was a combined adventure: Mary Kay/Interview prep and questions..Guest Kim Giordano presented the interview(visit) & show review..Joe Giordano photographer)