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INTERVIEW: Olivia Grace

Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Shoestrings”?

“Shoestrings” follows the story of a person who feels out of place with those around them. It’s about feeling uncomfortable in your own skin and trying to do the best you can to feel okay.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I had tried to write this song a year before with completely different melodies and rhythms, even some of the lyrics were slightly different. But it didn’t feel right, so I put it away. When I picked it back up, I had recently moved to New York and I didn’t really know anyone. While I didn’t feel uncomfortable with myself, I can’t say there weren’t moments where I was just trying to navigate everything the best I could. I think some of those feelings carried on over into the song.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Definitely— I’m currently talking to a production team here in New York, and we’re planning to start shooting sometime in June or July!

How was the recording and writing process?

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted the song to sound like produced. I wrote it on piano, and the rhythms I used made it feel playful but kind of dark considering the context, which is exactly what I wanted. I wanted the drum beats and textures of the song to have a similar vibe to that of a carnival. I see a lot of images when I write, as if  a movie was playing in my head. When I was writing this, I saw ballerinas and carousels. I saw someone standing alone in the middle of a chaotic, colorful carnival. It’s a symbol, and I wanted the song to give the listener those same emotions I felt while writing it.

How has Tori Amos and Lana Del Rey influence your writing?

Well, I’m a big Lana fan. I really like the stories she tells in her songs; she just has a beautiful way of putting things. When I was 17, I was really inspired by Born to Die and all her songs. I was in a weird place— transitioning from high school to college, about to move halfway across the country. A lot of things were changing and so was I. There were so many summer nights I’d spend driving around on backroads just playing the album over and over. While I haven’t actually listened to her in quite some time, I think some of her stylistic choices have been subconsciously ingrained in me.  I get compared to her, along with some other artists, fairly often.

What role does Chicago play in your music?

Chicago has a lot of wonderful music coming out of it. I moved there from Maryland for college. Moving there and spending all those years focusing on music allowed me to grow as a musician and writing. If I hadn’t had all the experiences I did while living there, I’m not sure if I would’ve been writing the songs I did.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Absolutely. I have some other finished works ready to go, and I’m still recording a ton. Right now I’m trying not to rush the process by making sure everything is in order and ready to go. I am extremely excited to share all the new stuff I’ve been working on though.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

This summer for sure, and that’s a work in progress.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’ve been playing a few shows here and there, especially with Sofar Sounds. I’m lining up some shows for the summer, but no plans to do a full on tour, yet.

What else is happening next in Olivia Grace’s world?

A lot is in the works! I have a music video ready to go for my previously released single, “Blackbird,” a new video coming for “Shoestrings”, and some singles I’m eager to release.

Listen here


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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