If there’s one thing that stands out about Olivia Lane, it’s her pure, unbridled energy. It’s reflected in her big, dynamic voice; in her performance, which bursts with passion and levity; and by her simple presence, which can dissolve you in laughter and make you grin from ear to ear. Not every day does an artist come around able to so effortlessly meld a freewheeling spirit with poignant, inspirational songs and an irrepressible drive, but Lane’s one of them. Because she knows as well as anyone how easily music can inspire a smile.
It was this love of country music and song-craft that pushed her to go to Nashville – she came to Tennessee on internships while in college, and then, right after her graduation, she packed up her car and drove cross-country to make her relationship with the town official. Immediately, she started getting to know writers and spending time in writing rooms, composing songs like “Steal Me Away” (written with Lee Thomas Miller and Ilya Toshinsky) from her Love Thing EP, that introduced the world to who Olivia Lane is: a bold, brave, positive force ready to shake up the country music scene with her songs.
Lane’s sound is a combination of country elements – mandolin, banjo, lyrics sweetly laced with Texas twang – with a pop energy and locomotive rhythms that capture her every-moving spirit.
Now at home in Nashville, Lane’s been focusing on her next phase: co-writing more songs, touring (she’s opened for Wynonna and Frankie Ballard) and hosting a local music series called Diva Jam at listening rooms around town.
Ever the open book, she shares every minute with her fans through YouTube videos and social media – and now with Nashville Music Guide’s Lucky 13.
Lucky 13 with Olivia Lane
NMG: What was the first song you ever performed?
Olivia Lane: My dad use to pick me up and dance with me singing “My Girl” by The Temptations all the time. My kindergarten class was having karaoke one day and so I got up and sang “My Girl.” My aunt was there and she apparently said I sang all the way off stage…like I had to be escorted off the stage because I was being such a ham. I guess that’s where my love for entertaining started blooming, hehe.
NMG: Did you come from a musical background?
Olivia Lane: I do! My mom was a Texas regional Country singer when she was my age and her mom sang as well. My mom would take me to the studio with her, to karaoke bars, as well as schedule sessions at her studio for me just so I could come sing on the mic and experience the music world.
NMG: What are your musical influences?
Olivia Lane: Where do I begin…since I’m a Millennial, I’ve been able to tailor my playlists from a young age. I listen to everything from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson to The Eagles to Beyoncé to all of the big female voices of Country music like Patsy, Reba, Trisha, Linda…the list goes on. I love hip hop and pop music as well so I think my sound is a big melting pot of all of my influences infused into my Texas-Country roots.
NMG: How do you balance your music career with your other obligations in life?
Olivia Lane: I think that’s what your 20’s are about, figuring out how to juggle everything. I’m 23 and slowly but surely figuring out what makes me happy and what makes me stressed, but I’m blessed that my family is always there for me to lean on. Having loved ones who support you in a crazy industry like the Music Business keeps you grounded. At the end of the day, you have to cut out the things that don’t make you happy and try new things all the time.
NMG: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Olivia Lane: I’ve been told by so many teachers and mentors from a young age “if you have a Plan B and you are pretty decent at it, go do it.” Being an artist, there is no template for success. You get 1000 no’s before you get a yes so it can get really discouraging really quick. BUT I like to believe that if you put in the hard work, put it out there, be persistent and don’t give up, your passion and love for what you do will make you succeed. So if you have no Plan B like myself, come join me in this crazy town of Nashville!
NMG: What would be your advice to artists that are new to the touring circuit?
Olivia Lane: You won’t get as much sleep as you want, you’ll eat horribly, you’ll be performing in smoky clubs and bars so you will lose your voice more than you want to, you’ll be crammed in a mini-van with your band mates most of the time, announce who you are over and over on-stage so it sticks in people’s brains and most importantly enjoy every amazingly, chaotic minute of it because these are the times you learn who you are and what kind of performer you want to be. Also, be kind, even if everyone you meet isn’t.
NMG: As a child growing up, music surrounds us; What type of music did you hear the most back then? How does it differ from what you listen to now?
Olivia Lane: I heard my mom singing all the time. Everything she was singing out and listening to like Linda Ronstadt, Nancy Sinatra, Trisha Yearwood, Carole King, etc. She bought me tons of CDs by classic artists like Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, artists I wouldn’t hear on Top 40 Pop radio. I still listen to all these artists but the ability to listen to any music now so is so accessible so I listen to everything from Country to Hip Hop to Pop to 70’s mellow and Classic Rock. I seriously love all kinds of music.
NMG: If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
Olivia Lane: Energetic, Fun, Heart-filled, Empowering
NMG: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Olivia Lane: Empowerment, loving yourself and owning who you are, positivity, and going for your dreams even though it might be scary.
NMG: If you could perform with anyone in the world – either dead, alive, or broke up – who would it be? Why? (Name up to 3)
Olivia Lane: Linda Ronstadt. Her voice inspired me from a young age. I have always loved singing her songs and trying to sound like her. She has such emotion and control of her voice. I love her!
Patsy Cline. Again, another big voice that I would sing along to in my room as a kid and try to imitate every trick she had that made her sound unique. She was a strong woman who knew what she wanted and knew how to get it. The biggest question she taught me was ‘how do I find my voice and how do I be different?’
The Eagles. I first heard their music when I was taking guitar lessons in 8th grade. I was instantly drawn to their sound and their style. They made me fall in love with guitar playing. Their melodies are so unique and their harmonies are out of this world. We do a cover of “Desperado” in my live show currently so if I could ever sing it with them I would freak OUT.
NMG: When things seem to go negatively at times, how do you turn things into something positive?
Olivia Lane: Obviously it’s hard for anyone to be positive 24/7, so when I do have those ‘knocked down’ days I always think of how grateful I am to have what I already have in my life like my amazing family, loving friends and passion for what I’m doing. I also after every long, hard day blast music in my apartment and aggressively dance around my living room. Makes me feel better 🙂
NMG: As an artist, how would you define SUCCESS?
Olivia Lane: My idea of success is creating music that people relate to, touring steadily, and connecting with people at shows. I want to be able to develop a fan base that are my friends so that way the friendship grows over the years. Whether that’s in small clubs or giant arenas, success to me means my music is making a positive effect on people’s lives.
NMG: What are your up-to-date performance plans? New Releases? Tours ? News?
Olivia Lane: I began releasing my acoustic LP, LOVE THING in late August. The songs on the LP will be released a song or two a week. I’ve been writing so much that I just want to get my music out there for everyone to hear. I have also been working on some cool video content to go along with the songs. I love being creative with my music through music video story telling. I’m also performing on “Country Cruising” in October which will be a blast! I’m constantly on the road for the rest of the year opening up for awesome people like Easton Corbin, Kip Moore and so many more!
Check out Olivia’s Music Video for her single “You Part 2”
For more information on Olivia visit:
www.olivialane.com | Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @olivialanemusic