10 Questions with ... Olivia Lane
July 19, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Career Synopsis: Big Spark Music Group artist Olivia Lane is a singer-songwriter originally from Texas who now calls Nashville home. She briefly lived in Los Angeles and attended USC while spending summers interning in Nashville within the industry. Her partnership with producer Ilya Toshinsky has yielded tracks that have earned a strong fan-following. She is currently out in support of her EP and specifically, her single, "You Part 2."
1) Olivia, thanks for taking time to chat with us! You came out with your debut EP "Steal Me Away" not very long ago. Is there a certain overall vibe to this album? Can you tell us the creative process behind your song choices and putting it all together?
Of course, my pleasure! In this present moment in life, I'm so happy and excited about where I am in my life, and my music is reflecting that sentiment. "Steal Me Away" was one the of first songs I truly fell in instant love with as soon as we were done writing it about a year ago, and I knew it had to be the debut single, because it reflected who I was and still am as an artist. "Mama Raised Hell" was another song that was put on the EP, and I put that one on there because it represents who I was in the past and where my roots come from. I think "Steal Me Away" gave listeners a glimpse of me now and me from the past, which is why I put those two songs together.
2) You are a songwriter and gifted musician, playing multiple instruments. How much of your own material do you write, and who are some of your trusted and preferred co-writers?
Well thanks, that's so nice! I do write most of my material but am open to hearing outside songs. Something truly beautiful to me about Country music is the story-telling aspect, and my experiences can only go so far in my writing. Nashville is built on amazing songwriting, and it would be a disservice to me to not hear other people's work to see if I could give a song life. I have a song called "Home In The Headlights," and that so far is the only outside song I've cut. When I first heard it, I had a huge emotional response to it. I said to myself, "Did I black out and forget I wrote this? This song is me!" I would kick myself if I didn't give that song the life that it deserves!
My go-to favorite people to write with are Danny Myrick, Jim Beavers, Roxie Dean, and my producer Ilya Toshinskiy. I not only have written some cool tunes with them, but I get to learn so much about songwriting every time I'm in the room with them. They're also all just good people.
3) Your current single is called "You Part 2." Can you tell us a little bit about the single and the creative process behind it?
"You Part 2" is loosely based on a true story in my life (past ex boyfriend drama!). Basically I dated this dude for a good while, he broke it off, wanted me to give him another chance, and he messed it up yet again. So I was thinking about that relationship on a run one morning (I always get ideas when I run, it's bizarre), and this idea popped into my head "I don't want a sequel, I don't need another him." I brought this idea into the co-write I had later that day with Ilya and Danny, and I pitched this idea. Danny Myrick spins around in his chair and says "I don't need another you part 2," and I was like YEEEEEES that's the hook, let's write this thing. Three hours later, we had the next single! That was a fun day in the writing room.
4) You've been out on radio tour to promote "You Part 2" recently and have participated in a lot of media events. Has there been any event you've attended that left you star-struck, and can you tell us about it?
I was lucky enough to play a 12 Man Jam radio show in Detroit with an amazing lineup; Randy Houser, Brett Eldridge, Josh Turner, Big & Rich, the list goes on. Randy Houser was the host for my round, and I was standing a couple feet from him backstage before the show. I went over to him to introduce myself and basically fan-girled. I told him how big of a fan I was, and then he complimented me on my music! Umm what? How does he even know who I am? He started talking to me about MY music...?!?! I'm freaking out at this point. But the fact that he did his research and listened to my music was a moment for me. He's a star, and he went out of his way to be the best host possible and do research on this new Country girl no one knows; it was pretty surreal. Country artists are some of the nicest, down to earth people in the world, and the fact that I've gotten to share a stage with so many of them was a big moment for me.
5) You've been on the road with many great artists and have opened for Wynonna, Randy Houser, Frankie Ballard, and others. Who has been one of your favorite acts to be out on the road with and why?
I have to say the LoCash guys, Preston and Chris, are some of the coolest guys I've opened up for and am lucky enough to be friends with. They invited me to open up a couple shows with them in Vegas last year, and they welcomed me with open arms. Those two guys are such amazing entertainers it's ridiculous. They've become great friends and mentors to me. Their new single rocks!
6) How would you explain your music to someone who has never heard it? What do you want them to take away from it?
Again, at this moment in my life, I'm so amazingly happy with what I'm doing and feel very empowered because of my happiness. My music has been reflecting this state of mind I'm in, and I hope people feel empowered when they hear my songs. I also want to remind people that it's okay to be human. It's okay to feel every emotion you have and to be vulnerable. Music gave me a way to express my emotions, and I hope my music will give people the same freedom to express themselves, too.
7) Tell us about the first time you ever heard your music on the radio. Where were you and what did it feel like?
I was in Fresno, CA sitting in our rental van outside in the Holiday Inn parking lot. I heard my song "Love Thing" on SiriusXM The Highway. There is a hilarious video of me I posted on my Facebook of me freaking out and crying. It was a BIG moment for me. It was really emotional for me, because all of the hard work for the past few years writing in Nashville is finally paying off. It became real!
8) You grew up in Houston; did you play the "Texas Country" scene before heading to Nashville, and do you keep in touch with that side of the Country format?
I didn't. I decided to go to college on the West Coast and got really serious about songwriting in college. By that point, I had already decided I was moving to Nashville, because I had already fallen in love with the city at that point. During college, I spent my summers interning in the music business in Nashville, and I just knew it was where I needed to be.
9) Speaking of Texas, what were your go-to radio stations to listen to when you were a kid?
KILT was one of the main country stations I listened to growing up, and 104 KRBE (Top 40 station). I got to go visit KILT on radio tour back in July last year, and it was pretty surreal getting to play my favorite childhood Country go-to station!
10) It's no secret that the state of Country music has evolved over the years with women rising and falling in the format. This year has seen a resurgence of some strong female artists and rising stars, many of whom are younger females. Who would you consider your Country female artist role model?
I have to give major props to Taylor Swift. She's one of the classiest women with her artistry. I also absolutely love Reba and Dolly. Not only have they both been successful with music, they took their success to the next level. For example, Dolly has a theme park and Reba made a TV sitcom show! They are talented, and also phenomenal business women. These women are all big role models for me.
What song is out there right now, any genre, that you can't stop listening to?
Martin Sexton is one of my go to artists to listen any time of the day. He just came out with a new album and has a song called "Set In Stone" that I'm obsessed with. I can't even define what genre Martin is. To me his genre is "amazing," haha. I really love Kacey Musgraves as well. Her first album will forever be the soundtrack to my senior year of college. I love all kinds of music, truly.