Interviews

Interview: Olivia Lane talks playing the UK in February, new music, her mind going wild at 3am, Christmas in Austria and more

Hailing from Texas; Singer/Songwriter Olivia Lane now resides in Nashville and is quickly making her mark within the country music scene. A strong singer, writer and personality, it is safe to say that Olivia is going places.

Olivia released her debut EP in 2016 which has received over 20 million streams. With new music on the horizon including her single You Got Me and new release Hey 3am, Olivia is really starting to make waves in the music industry and has been named one of Rolling Stones Country Artists That You Need To Know. Things are only going to be on the up from here for her. Olivia makes her UK debut this February and this is a tour you do not want to miss.

We caught up with Olivia to discuss coming over to the UK, her new music and more.

Hi Olivia – How are you?

I am good, good.

Did you have a nice Christmas?

I did have a lovely Christmas. I was actually in Austria for Christmas. My dad spent part of this childhood in Munich so we as a family; my mum, sister and dad; we all went to Germany and then Vienna and then Salzburg for Christmas.

Wow! You were in some of the most beautiful parts of the world that you could be at Christmas.

Oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe it! I think I fell in love with Salzburg – I think I want to go back there. When I am writing my second album, I am going to go live there haha!

I love it there. Did you do the Sound Of Music tour?

We couldn’t see everything as was winter time but we were able to go up to the salt mine and we were able to see where parts of the movies were filmed. Even just being near it, wow!

Salzburg is beautiful for shopping and coffee shops too.

Oh my goodness! I just enjoyed sitting in coffee shops having coffee. I love coffee! We were on the train and I asked “Do you guys have Cappuccinos?” And they were like “Of course” haha!

You must have experienced the German Christmas market too when you were in Germany?

Oh yeah, we had blue wine! I bought a bunch of ornaments. I had way too much to take home. I spent way too much at the Christmas Market. It is so much fun, it is amazing.

What did you do to celebrate the new year?

I was in Los Angeles with my boyfriend. As soon as I got back from Europe I had two days in Nashville and then I flew to California to be with my boyfriends family in Arrowhead where we skied and then we drove to Los Angeles. It was a typical “in the mountains one day and in the sunshine later that day” moment.

Wow, you’re living the dream.

It was a whirlwind for sure. I look back and think, wow! That’s pretty crazy that I got to do all that amazing stuff.

So tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into country music?

I am from Houston, Texas and really what got me into country music at a super young age was my mum. My mum was a local Texas country singer when she was about 20 years old. She sang all the way until I was about 16. I remember my mum always playing music throughout the house and she would always give me any cd I ever wanted because she knew I had musical tenancies and I wasn’t much in the sports department ha! She was like “Ok, we need to get this kid into theatre, we need to get her guitar lessons, vocal lessons…” so yeah, my mum was like my first huge influence and she is still a big influence today.

You are from Texas as you say – tell us about the country scene in Texas as it does have its own sound.

Yeah! I don’t really know much about the Texas style but it is called Red Dirt music. I don’t know much about the scene I just know that my mum was a local bar singer and she would go sing all over Texas with her cover band and she would play weddings and parties. Her and my dad came out to Nashville a couple of times to try and figure out what the music industry was like during that time but then my mum decided to have a family and stay in her cover band. I am like the extension of her, I am the second generation haha and moved to Nashville.

Do you go back often? If so, what do you do when home? Do you check out new music on the live scene?

My boyfriend actually lives in Houston – we met in High School and we’ve recently started dating. It was like a best friend turned lover sort of situation. We have been long distance for the last two years so every time I go back to see him it is nice as I also get to see all my friends and my parents. My parents actually got a place here in Nashville because they loved it so much and they were coming to visit me so much so they decided to get a place here so they spend half the time here and half in Houston. It has been really wonderful to have them here as a support system for sure.

You started off in Los Angeles studying music – what are the major differences in the industry between L.A and Nashville?

I did a little detour in L.A in the life of Olivia Lane. Nashville is a community. Everyone kind of knows of each other, everyone is aware of the tiny system that we have, which I think there’s some comfort in that because it is such a small world. Even though you have big dreams, it is still a small world that feels attainable and feels tangible. In L.A it is kind of a mess in comparison ha. I don’t even know where the music people are. The sense of community in Nashville is really wonderful. A lot of artists like Bebe Rhexa who have dipped their toe into the Nashville community always say how wonderful the community is here and how they wish the pop community or L.A music scene would have such a nice community. I think generally people are just really rooting each other here where as in L.A everyone is sort of pinned against each other.

Yes I agree, the country community is like no other. The women in country stand together and don’t compete.

Yeah totally! I think it is easy to find your people here too. I was lucky because I went to high school and college in L.A so I had some good friends there but I have friends who have moved there now and they are like “how did you make friends? It is so hard to meet people here”. I saw something on a bathroom wall the other day that said Of course L.A is elitist. It is full of people who were too good for their hometown. Hahaha.

Very good.

You have released your new song 3am, tell us about that?

Yeah! I am so excited about this new single. I actually had this idea for a really long time for about three or four years. I remember pitching it at writes and no one wanted to write it with me and so I was like “Ok, I guess this is a terrible idea” and I put it in my phone notes for a rainy day. Then last year I caught myself up at 3am again and I was so mad at myself and I was like: It is time for a life change, I cannot keep staying up till 3am for no reason and just letting my brain go wild with all these thoughts of things I could have said in a conversation with a friend or that situation from 2012 that has long gone but for some reason I am thinking of it. So then my brain was like “Hey, you have this idea, you need to write it”. I truly felt like it was a god moment haha. I brought it in to my co-writer Aaron Scherz and I pitched him the idea and he turned around and said “I completely understand, let’s write this”. We were totally on the same page that day and when you are (on the same page) in the writing room, it’s like a magical feeling; it’s what you live for as an artist and a songwriter, you find the people and that day was the right energy to write that song. I remember doing the demo that night and it feeling special. I didn’t know if people were going to relate but it turns out that tons of people do.

It is very relatable, I am the Queen of letting my mind go crazy at night. I can go to sleep on the couch no problem but no matter how tired I am, as soon as I go to bed, my mind is doing a dance.

Yeah I know. I think my song is getting to the point of saying “Mind, I appreciate you, but we are done, I am going to sleep” haha. You have to make that decision to stop your mind and sometimes that can be really hard. Sometimes I will lay there and say “Ok mind we are done” and then my mind will be like “Hey, Olivia, do you remember that time…” and I am like “NOOOO” haha!

Haha yep, that is me every night

One song of yours that is also doing very well at the moment is You Got Me?

Yeah! I took such a long break for a couple of years putting out music because I really wanted to figure out what my next move was, what I really wanted to say and who I really wanted to be. I really feel like I stumbled across this sort of universal message in songwriting. I am not exactly sure how I walked into it but it was probably just what was going on in my life was influencing my songwriting. You Got Me was really the first song that spoke to me and then I was ready to put something out, I was ready to show the world which direction I was going in.

Tell us a bit about the team you work with? Does it take time to build a team you can totally trust to not just see your vision but tell you the truth?

Yes. Having a team is so important and an artist cannot do it by themselves. As I was transitioning from getting off the road and taking a break for a little while, I completely restructured my team which is very dramatic to say that I felt like I needed to shed a layer because I didn’t know who I was and I needed a new chapter. I changed everyone except for my now manager Lindsay. It is so funny, she kind of came in when I was about to reconstruct all my team, so she saw all these broken parts and she really helped me realise that I could either try to do it alone or that I need people for certain things. She is my right hand person and I feel like you need that person that will always be there for you and always looking out for your best interests even if it is something that you don’t want to hear. She has a great intuition.

You are coming to see us in the UK soon which we are so excited for…

I am so excited, you have no idea. This is also going to be the first tour that I get to play all of this new music that no one has heard.

Have you ever been here before?

I went to London when I was in sixth grade but that doesn’t really count as I don’t really remember anything. I am excited to see all different walks of life, different personalities, seeing the vibes of different towns and how they respond to music. Some towns love to party and will just go wild and some towns people just listen and it is great. I love going into a different situation.

Apart from performing, what are you looking forward to doing/seeing over here?

I like being dropped into an area and just wondering. I feel like I need a guide map. I love going to different bars and coffee shops and seeing parks so maybe I need a couple of maps haha. I like word of mouth recommendations, I don’t like super touristy places.

What has been a standout highlight of your career so far?

Hmm…honestly, I feel like I have had so many little good moments. Putting out this new music is a highlight and feeling confident with my songwriting. A year and a half ago, I felt like I was never going to get here so I am at a stage where I know who I want to be.

What is on your bucket list?

To play the Houston Rodeo haha. It is a hometown show so has always been a dream of mine.

Do you have netflix? If so, what have you been watching?

I love Netflix. I am a creature of habit and watch the same things over and over again. I need a new show. I just started watching The Great British Bake Off, it is so good.

When you get home after a day of work, what do you immediately do?

I put on very chill music and just sit on the couch, get on my phone and listen to chill music and maybe with a glass of wine.

Favourite film?

Happy Gilmore.

Is there an album in the works? If so what can we know about it?

There is an EP for sure. I have enough music for an album but I think we are going to do an EP so that’s exciting.

Thanks so much for talking, you will have the best time here.

Thank you, I can’t wait.

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