Photo by: Kelli Scherr - In My World Photography
It is not often that we are witness to a phenomenon such as the one we have seen in the last month. Really, we have seen many competitions over the course of the last year on other Music Forums come very close to a tie or one upping within minutes of the clock countdown on Indie Music Artist Competitions and it's tense. Very tense. We have seen some competitions become very challenging as fans begin to duke it out over social forums with negative verbal connotations and it's very discouraging for the Artists who are simply wanting a chance at being Spotlighted because of their talent. Starlight Music
Chronicles Fans of Indie Music are truly class act and we have observed that they have one mission only: that is to support their favorite Artist by way of voting and positive comments and sharing of posts from the event page. We would first like to thank everyone who has been following the Artist of the Month competition with the utmost respect. It is wonderful to see the support the Indie Artists are getting and it is a great way for us to gauge exactly what content YOU the reader would like to see on SMC.
The decision to host an 'Artist of the Month' competition means a lot of attention to details and following the Artists who have entered to see their journey even in the small span of time that the voting poll is open. (For This Competition, it was open for 3 weeks of FAN VOTING before the close date of July 27th, 2015 at Midnight MST) This means observing the artists Social Media Forums and events and sometimes (as we did with Miss Olivia Rose), the odd surprise discreet appearance at a show! We have to give a huge shout out to all of the Indie Artists that did join the event and encourage all to check the Spotlight Page of the website as we will be featuring some of these artists on this forum.
Now to the star of this page! Our reigning Indie Queen for August 2015 Starlight Music Chronicles Artist of the Month Miss Olivia Rose! It is with great pleasure that we publicly congratulate this young lady on her epic win in the FIRST EVER Artist of the Month Competition hosted by SMC. We have to say, she is a delightful performer (we have witnessed her live!) being a positive role model to her peers and a ray of sunshine on the stage! Her vocal ability is charming with conviction and we look forward to following her on her journey over the course of time!
Olivia has been a busy young lady this summer performing live and many events through the Festival Season and to throw in a competition into the mix well, we have to say this young lady truly connects with her fans tirelessly and has obtained a loyal base of people behind her as a result. We caught up with her recently for a short interview to share her views on the whole competition, her history, and where she's headed next. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in to find out more about our Featured Artist Miss Olivia Rose:
Hello Olivia! We are so pleased to have you featured as August 2015 Artist of the Month for Starlight Music Chronicles!
Let's begin with the standard questions shall we?
16 years old
Q. Where are you recording your music?
I am working to co produce my songs with two very talented musicians and producers here in Edmonton Nathan Kidd and Dave Stoten. They are two of the best guys I could have ever asked for to collaborate with being musicians themselves they understood what I was wanting my songs to say and feel like. The fact that they come from a rock background (Pistols at 20 Paces) they helped to give my songs an edge that I wanted.
I am so very proud of my first three singles that I have done and think they are a true reflection of the type of artist I want to be. I very consciously picked them With MakeUp to Mud being my New Country single Daddy's Little Girl a more Traditional Country song and my next single Please Maybe to come out this fall will be a more Pop Country feel
Q. What would you call your 'Best Song' and why?
Although this may not be my best song ( I really don't think songwriters ever have a best song as there is always another song to write and you are always learning new ways to express yourself haha) the song closest to my heart is one of the very first songs I ever co-wrote. I co-wrote this song with The Doll Sisters at the age of 10. I had the chorus and melody and then got stuck on some of the verses. I was just learning guitar so Jenna Shelby and I had a skype session. They loved what I had so far and they are amazing musicians so had a lot of ideas for the chord structure and the musicality of the song. I think in about an hour we had the song done. It was more of a ballad then and as I got older I wanted it to be more of a statement song. I really love MakeUp to Mud because it's really about who I am.
Q. How are you feeling about the whole 'Artist of the Month' experience?
It was really interesting to be apart of it!
Online fan voting contests are a lot of work and this year we decided not to do CBC Searchlight and some other online contests this year because of our release of MakeUp to Mud. I really appreciate all my friends and fans who support me but I also don't want to be asking everyday for votes as I know their time is very valuable and some people can get very tired of seeing it on their social media pages all the time. When this opportunity came up I looked at your online content and was really impressed with the different views, genres and the support given to all the artists on your site and the fact that it has global content made me really excited to be apart of the showcase
Q. How did your Fans/Family/Friends react to you entering this competition?
My family is very supportive, and I had lots of fans and friends voting for me which was amazing. They all really jumped in right from the start so I was lucky to be in the lead for the first part of the competition. I think what really pushed me over the edge during the last few days was my friends from a theatre camp I go to called Artstrek, I asked for their help in our Facebook group and they really rose to the occasion! They were all so excited for me as I went there right after my headlining spot at KDays.
Q. When did Music become your Passion? Everyone asks how old you were, etc when you first picked it up, but really, SMC wants to know when you became truly passionate about music?
Every since I was a little girl performing for my parents friends in the living room I knew that it was what I had to do. I've always been a little performer. I guess I became very passionate about it when I started performing on bigger stages at about 9. It is also the time when I really started to songwrite and play guitar. I love the feeling of being in front of an audience!
Q. Why does the Country Music Genre appeal to you?
I grew up in a really small town so country music was always around me growing up. Especially older country music because my family would take me to jamborees at the seniors centre. My Grandparents radio would always be on. My Grandpa has a huge collection of old time country and rock and roll records Patsy Cline Kitty Wells Loretta Lynn Brenda Lee Dolly Parton Reba Johnny Cash Waylon Jennings Elvis George Strait these were all the artists I was hearing when I was little. But I really do believe country music is about real life I think that really appeals to me. Its putting your everyday life into the song and the feelings you get when you listen and the connection to the listener who has had some of the same experience that I really think is what country music is at it core and why it appeals to so many people.
Q. What and Who are your influences?
This is a very hard question because I am still finding my voice as a songwriter and artist but first would have to be my family who have always told me to reach for your dreams and work hard for what you want! Without that support I wouldn't be doing what I love to do at the age that I am.
Musically I am influenced by everything I hear just because I choose to sing and write in a country format doesn't mean I don't listen to lots of other stuff. There are so many amazing local artists who I have had the privilege to meet either in person or over social media that constantly amaze me. People who need to make music because that is what drives their soul it isn't about being famous it about making music because there is no option not to.
Some of the songwriters I look up to and identify personally with are Lindi Ortega Kasey Musgraves Dolly Parton Olivia Wik Miranda Lambert Taylor Swift These are all strong women with distinct voices and writing styles that I really like. Of course there are so many more but right now these are the ones influencing my songwriting
Q. What is your weirdest Fan experience?
hmm I guess maybe the time I was 10 and was singing at Gazebo Park for Artwalk with School of Song and Rhea March. An older gentleman came up right close to me as I was singing and tried to have a conversation with me. He kept telling me I was an angel and he was about 2 feet away. It was a little different. It was kinda hard trying to keep singing my songs.
Q. What is your coolest Fan experience?
Everytime I meet someone who takes the time to come say hi and tell me they enjoyed my set is a very cool experience!! I absolutely love being able to meet people who share a passion for music. I have lots of parents tell me how much their little girl likes my music and it just warms my heart because I'd love to be someone that young girls look up to!
Q What is on the agenda for the next three - six months for your career?
Well in September I'm going on my first ever radio tour in southern Alberta to support the release of MakeUp to Mud! Very excited about that! nothing's been confirmed for dates but I have a very talented guitarist Scott Slade who will be able to accompany me and we are also hoping to book a few shows in each place as well. And I'm releasing new single this fall fall so stay tuned for that. I also hope to be going back into the studio to do more recording of new material I have and am working an a ton more with My band Kris Marcotte David Blouin and Jen Perry as well as writing with Nathan Kidd and Dave Stoten. I plan to do a lot more writing this fall and hopefully have some very cool co writes too. Jen Perry my manager is also looking into the festivals and gigs for next summer and I would be very excited to be able to get down east and do a summer of festivals.
Q. What is your most favorite Venue to play at?
When I was 9 and 10 I performed at the Winspear Centre in downtown Edmonton and I'll never forget how amazing that stage felt. I also really loved the stage at K-Days! And the audience was amazing, everyone had so much energy and we were all having a really great time. But really anywhere there are people listening and liking my music it is a great venue!!
Q. What things would you like to say about your band?
I have just recently gotten together with my band Kris Marcotte David Blouin and Jen Perry (The Red Cannons) AKA The Roughnecks and K-Days was our first performance together! Lots of people were giving us amazing feedback saying how they were surprised we've only had about 6 practices because we were really tight. I love them sooo much and I hope I get so many more shows with them. I am really excited to tour next summer for festivals.
Q. Tell us a little about your awards and Guest appearances with other Colleagues in the Industry. What was your experience like?
It's always great to meet with other artists that you admire and I have always been very lucky to have ever only had very positive experiences with them. I have opened for Adam Gregory, Jake Matthews, and Gary Fjellgaard. I've been an intermission performer for 54-40, George Canyon, and Emerson Drive. They have all been very professional and kind in giving me some advice or some of their time when meeting them. Just being able to watch these artists up close you learn so much in how to deal with fans and other professionals like the sound techs, stage hands and all the kinds of stuff that there really isn't a manual for!
One of my favourite experiences is the George Canyon show at the Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan (a huge supporter of local artists) I was intermission performer for him and when I was finished my set I went back to my dressing room quickly to grab my phone and I bumped into George and his accompanist. He said "Hey you're Olivia Rose right? I heard you singing on the monitor." And I was freaking out ahhah but he just told me to keep doing what I'm doing because I'm going to go somewhere someday. We talked so long that one of the stage managers had to come out and tell him to go back on stage. So I went back up to my seat and I watched his performance which was amazing and when he was nearing the end of his set he said something like "This is my show so I can do whatever I want." He invited me up on stage to perform! So I went flying down the stairs, I grabbed my guitar and I got out on stage and he gave me this confused look. And he said "Why do you have your guitar? Use mine!" I said I was going to perform an original and I did MakeUp to Mud, family members say that was the best performance I ever did with that song. Those kind of experiences really push me as an artist, to try and do better and make people like George proud. Mr. Canyon is one of the most down to earth, genuinely friendly and most talented person you could ever have the opportunity to meet. If you ever have the chance to go see a small, intimate show with him I would highly recommend it!
Q. Fans always want to know the personal side of an Artist. So tell us: What is your favorite Color, Lucky Number, Band, Food, etc.?
Oooh this is a tough one. It's really hard for me to choose a favourite colour so I'll tell you my top three. I love teal, pink and gold!! I don't have a lucky number, is that weird? Does everyone have a lucky number except me? Although I love my country music I'm also really into alternative pop/rock/indie music. I really like The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, The Arkells and MisterWives! I've always loved good pasta (*smiles*) and since I didn't have a lucky number to tell you I'll let you know that my sign is a Cancer!
Q. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not focused on your music?
I really love the sport fastball, I've played ever since I could swing a bat. But I had to quit this year because of my music schedule which was sad but I can't do everything!
I also really love acting, musicals are so much fun and my school puts on the best productions!
Q. Family Support and friendships. How supportive are they?
My family is so supportive words couldn't even describe. My mom left her hometown and moved to Edmonton with me so I could pursue my career while my dad stayed behind to work in the oil fields. And I have supportive friends from back home too. Going to an arts school is amazing because everyone supports everyone else in anything they do which is awesome. :)
Q. What words could you give to someone beginning a career in the Music Industry?
I'd tell them to make as many connections as possible and be very present at every gig and social media. Being accessible and open to your fans and supporters is an amazing way to build long lasting friendships and fanbase. Look to ones who you admire and have made a successful career and try to figure out what works for you
from their path but always remember that you have to make your own path!! There is no one way of doing something. Don't be afraid to go up to someone and introduce yourself and talk to your peers and fans alike! Take the time to really listen to what they have to say to you.
Q. If you could do a Duet with your favorite Artist, who would that be?
That would be impossible to decide!! I admire so many artists but if I have to give an answer right now it would probably have to be Brett Kissel as he is from the area I grew up in and is making huge waves in the Canadian music industry and I absolutely love his song It All Started with a Song because it does! It's the very core of being an artist writing or finding that song that speaks to you and everyone else is very special.
Q. What is your 'Bucket List' of venues you would like to perform at?
My number one overall is The Grand Old Opry, it's been a dream of mine ever since I was little to stand at that mic in that circle. Also the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville would be simply amazing to be recognized as a songwriter there would fulfill a very big dream. And I'd love to perform at the Rexall Centre (or the new arena) in Edmonton!
Q. If you could Tour with anyone in the industry who would that be?
My ideal tour right now would be a kickass show of amazing female artists like Alee Jess Moskaluke, Olivia Wik, Livy Jeanne, and Lindi Ortega to name a few( there are a ton more) I think we could show the audience and radio that Country Girls Rock
Dream tour would be any tour booking a show every weekend in every city we can find because thats what I'd like to do more than anything!
Q. Do you write all of your own music?
I write my own and I co write with people. Co Writing is the best thing ever because you get to mesh ideas and sometimes you come up with things you would have never thought about on your own.
Q. Can you please shed some light for new fans on the timeline of your music career history up until this point?
I started singing in our church choir at three and was up on some local stages at four. At nine I won the junior Country Global star search contest and was singing on bigger stages and more often for charity events than ever. Now with the single out we have been incredibly busy with gigs and interviews. It's awesome!
Q. How many siblings do you have and are they interested in a future in music also?
I have four older sisters and none of them are in music. In fact I'm the only person in my family who plays or sings anything other than the radio.
Q. We saw your clip on the way for Sound Check at Kdays and you looked pretty excited! Your energy both onstage and off is a very inspiring, positive vibe that we have picked up on. Would you like to think of yourself as inspiring to other within your peer group? Do you consider yourself a role model?
Like I said earlier, I've had moms say how their daughters love my music and it's amazing. Also, I have had friends tell me that I've inspired them to go out and do something that they wanted to try so yes, I would like to think of myself as a role model! I also try to be very conscious in what I post and how I treat others as if there were any younger girls out there wanting to be like me then hopefully they would see a positive person.
Q. We are doing a photoshoot for you this upcoming week with a full photo spread in the Artist of the Month Blog/Website. How do you feel about the theme we have chosen?
I am very excited to do this romantic, soft Taylor Swift inspired theme. It's always amazing to be able to put on a gorgeous dress and feel beautiful. It's also good to remind everyone (male Artists) that just because your 'Country' it isn't always about the cut offs and bikini tops ha ha!
Q. How do you support other Artists in the industry? Do you feel there is a fierce competition or are your peers a tight knit group?
I like to help out my music friends in any way I can whether that's by sharing a post on social media or just mentioning their name to someone who I think could help them out. There is definitely some friendly competition but I know that in the music business we need to watch out for each other in any way we can. :)
Q. Beyond the Edmonton Scene, how do you feel with the support systems out there for a young Canadian Artist?
I think Canada is doing amazing things for new Artists. With Organizations like SAC, SOCAN, CCMA, ACMA, AMIA and all the online supports like Starlight Music Chronicles and individuals out there who support music.
Q. Who would you like to thank for your music success to date?
Everyone and anyone I've ever worked with or talked to. I wouldn't be where I am right now without those people and I'd especially like to thank my parents, not many 16 year olds' parents would drop their lives to let me live the one I want.
Q. You are Starlight Music Chronicles Very First ever Artist of the Month. How does that feel?
It feels so great because it was fan voted and it makes all the hard work feel like people are noticing what I am doing. It's always cool to be a first ever anything! I can't wait to check in each month to see who's next.
Q. Is there a video in the works for 'Make-Up to Mud' aside from the lyrical video (posted on the SMC Artist of the Month Page)? If so, when is it's release date?
There isn't one just yet but we are trying really hard to get some grants to do one and for our next release. I think that is the hardest thing to learn in the industry; how to apply for grants and how do you get your product out on a very limited budget?
Q. Are you working on new music at present?
I'm always writing, but I'm not recording anything at the moment. I'm just getting ready to do another big release on my single in the fall!
Q. We loved your 'All About That Twang' parody song on your You Tube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/OliviaRoseLeaf/feed ) Can you tell us a little about how that came about? Such sweet vocals in that and very catchy! Whose idea was it and who wrote it?
Dave Woods, a songwriter and host of 'In The Country' and I were talking on Facebook and I think we said something about all that Bass as in the fish and I replied, 'No, It's all about that twang' and he messaged me and it went from there ha ha! It was such an awesome project. We wrote it and Wes Inaba, an extremely talented music mentor here, helped me film the video.
Q. Well thank you Olivia! In closing here, Who would you like to give a 'Shout Out' to in this feature and why?
My Mom and Dad and all my Family
My Band Kris Marcotte, David Blouin, and Jen Perry
My Manager Jen Perry and ID VIP Team
My Producers Nathan Kidd and Dave Stoten
My Favoritie co-writers Jenna and Shelby Doll and Olivia Wik
Rhea March - The School of Song
Wes Inaba and Irma MacPherson and Kathleen
Global Country Maryann Gibson and Bill Borgwardt
Tony Baxter Stacey
Jazz and Tannis Matthews
and most importantly to all my incredible friends, fans, and supporters who help me reach for the stars and dream big!
These all have been very crucial to my development as an artist and have become very special people in my life. Thank you<3
and to all the ones who aren't mentioned, know that you are just as important!
There you have it folks! Olivia, welcome to the Starlight Music Chronicles Family! Your name is now officially in SMC History!
Editor | Starlight Music Chronicles
Watch for the Official Photo Shoot for Olivia Rose to appear here in the next coming week! Also, stay up to date on all of her Social Media and Events by Subscribing to this Page by Email.