Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari @itsjustmp

Olivia is a pop music virtuoso. Her musical journey began at the age of 12 when she learned to play the guitar and wrote her first song. At just 17, she earned a nomination for the Western Canadian Music Award in the Pop Artist of the Year category and achieved Top 40 success in Canada with her single “I Got You,” released in 2019. The following year, she signed a contract with Universal Music Canada, launching her into the music industry. Olivia enchants her audience with her captivating voice and poignant lyrics, and we were delighted to chat with her about the release of her new EP, ‘HEARTBREAK ON REPEAT’.

From discussing her sources of inspiration to delving into her experience on the ongoing European tour alongside Ellie Goulding, discover our captivating conversation with Olivia

Hello Olivia! Can you tell us where your passion for music came from and when you started singing? During your younger years, who were your icons and industry role models?

I grew up in a household where music was always playing. Sunday mornings and drives to school consisted of CDs on rotation! My dad exposed me to Fleetwood Mac (the rumors’ album specifically) very early on, as well as Norah Jones, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton, etc.! To this day, my music taste remains very eclectic. 

Your new EP, HEARTBREAK ON REPEAT, was recently released, congratulations! Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this EP and what your fans can expect from it?

Heartbreak on Repeat explores the themes of self-love and independence. Over the years, I’ve drawn inspiration from my experiences in love and its complexities. The title track, ‘Heartbreak on Repeat,’ speaks to the realization that it’s acceptable to prioritize self-care. Tracks like ‘Secrets’ delve into the longing for connection in today’s modern love landscape. I hope listeners can sense the honesty and vulnerability in this project, allowing them to deeply connect with these songs!

The single “FIX THIS” in collaboration with Bryce Vine is a powerful synth-pop track. How did this collaboration come about and what does this track mean to you?

I’ve been an admirer of Bryce’s music and lyricism for quite some time now. His ability to convey stories is truly refreshing, cool, and authentic. In ‘Fix This,’ which delves into the complexities of relationships, having a male perspective felt essential. Bryce crafted his verse and recorded it in the studio one afternoon, and it seamlessly complemented the song. The rest, as they say, is history!

You also recently released the video clip for this song, directed by Sam Leviton. How did the filming go? 

Filming this video was really fun. We all drove out into the desert and filmed at this old movie set! It was 100 degrees the day of filming, there was no AC. We shot long after sunset and and filmed a beautiful part of the video during the sunset capturing Bryce and I’s performance.. The energy on set was incredible, and Sam, as always, absolutely killed it directing!

You also recently released the video clip for this song, directed by Sam Leviton. How did the filming go? 

Filming this video was a blast. We headed out to the desert and used an old movie set as our location. It was a scorching 100-degree day with no air conditioning. We filmed well into the evening, capturing a beautiful sunset performance by Bryce and me. The energy on set was amazing, and, as always, Sam did an incredible job directing!

You mentioned that the EP reflects the rollercoaster of emotions linked to independence, love, and heartbreak. How did you draw on your own experiences to write these songs? Do you view music as a form of therapy, benefiting both the artist and the listener?

Music is absolutely a form of therapy. I’ve always turned to the guitar in moments of uncertainty or when my thoughts are racing. Emotions are something everyone can relate to, and being honest and vulnerable in your lyrics often strikes a chord with audiences going through similar situations.

On 16 October you embarked on a European tour with Ellie Goulding as support act. Can you tell us how it’s going?

It’s going unbelievably well. I sometimes feel like I’m living in a dream and need to pinch myself. From my bedroom floor in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to stages across Europe, I’m incredibly fulfilled and grateful to Ellie and her team for giving me this opportunity!

Your career has grown rapidly, from a nomination at the Western Canadian Music Awards to a Top 40 hit. How are you managing this explosive growth, and what are your long-term goals in the music industry?

It’s truly been a beautiful whirlwind. Looking ahead, my long-term goals include touring and selling out my own shows on a global scale, collaborating with my idols like Ed Sheeran, and writing music for others. Ultimately, my dream is to continue doing what I love for the rest of my life.

How would you describe your musical style and how have you developed it over the years? 

I’d describe my musical style as a fusion of singer-songwriter and pop. It’s a blend of upbeat, moody, playful, catchy, and poetic elements!

Among the songs on HEARTBREAK ON REPEAT, is there one that is particularly dear to your heart? Could you share the story behind this song?

‘Secrets’ is incredibly meaningful to me. I penned this song one afternoon in a California Airbnb with my long-time collaborator, AJ Healey. It’s a unique thing we share – when we haven’t written for a few months and have our first session, we always create the most profound and honest, authentic songs. This song was inspired by my experience of moving to a new city and the yearning for connection in what often feels like a diluted place.

You have collaborated with renowned artists such as Bryce Vine, Bhad Bhabie. How do you choose your collaborations and what are you trying to achieve through them?

I always aim to collaborate with artists who create cool and authentic art. Being an up-and-coming artist, working with those I admire and who already have established fan bases is a fantastic bonus. I’m incredibly grateful for the artists I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with and their kindness. I look forward to continuing to write and create magic with fellow creators.

At Numéro NL we’re not only fond of music, but also fashion. What role does fashion play in your life and how would you describe your style? 

Fashion is a part of my everyday life and a huge form of expression for me. Currently on tour in Europe during the fall season, I’ve been mixing baggy fits with feminine knee-high boots and trench coats. The stage looks for BRIELLE, chosen with my stylist Lyn Alyson, have been an obsession of mine. My style is constantly evolving, and I enjoy using clothing to express who I am as an artist.