Thursday, 31 December 2015

Olivia Penalva | January 2016 Artist of the Month Winner!

by CA Marshall

Happy New Year! We can\t think of a better way to begin the Starlight Music Chronicles year other than showcasing our January 2016 Artist of the Month (AOM) Winner, Olivia Penalva. This young lady hails from Vernon, British Columbia with strong French (father) and German (mother) roots. In fact, at the time of this interview, she was in Lyon, France celebrating New Years Eve with her Father’s Family there.

Since discovering Olivia via the Reverbnation Contest hosted by Bongo Boy TV ( and sponsored by Starlight Music Chronicles, it has been a steady uphill climb for this young Recording Artist. She won a spot on the Television show in October 2015 and then participated in our December 2015 AOM competition. After her defeat for the December competition, Olivia applied again for the January 2016 AOM and won. We have to say that it is a testament to this young lady’s already positive and sunny outlook for her to have gotten right back up on that success train and give it another go. To see her win was even more thrilling as we have had Artists compete more than once and not make the cut as AOM. Suffice to say, Olivia is more than a winner, she is a leader in many respects, paving the path for other Artists in her demonstration of sheer determination and belief in herself.

Here’s the scoop:

SMC - Wow Olivia! You are truly a remarkable story and everyone is talking about your win for this month's Artist of the Month(AOM) spot. We are happy to host you as our First Ever AOM of the Year! How do you feel about this win as compared to other contests that you have participated in?

Olivia - Thank you so much Candice. I am super happy to have won Artist of the Month for January 2016.!!!  I was already excited to participate last month and was up against some great talent, so I was definitely not disappointed to have come in 4th. I have been fortunate to have been part of several music competitions over the last few years and of course it is always great to win, but I have learnt early on to enjoy the process and that not coming first does not mean I did not gain something from the competition. Last month, contributor Randy Wayne Belt, interviewed me for Starlight Music Chronicles magazine and he was so supportive and complimentary about my music, that new fans started to discover me and communicate with me. So I really think part of why I won this time was thanks to your support of me and these new amazing fans. It sure feels great to win and for so many reasons. It is nice to see my fan base growing and have my music liked and appreciated by new people, and it is also super cool to be part of Starlight Music Chronicles blog and website that comes from winning this competition.  

SMC - Olivia, can you tell us a little bit about your musical timeline to give our readers a fresh perspective on what made you the Artist you are today?

Olivia - Well I always loved singing and dancing but it wasn't until I started singing lessons at age 11 that I realized how much I loved music. I loved it so much I took lessons a couple times a week and then entered a local music talent competition. After placing in the top 12, I started to get little gigs around my community, and fell in love with performing as well. I did not want to just be good at singing other people's music, and so decided I should try to write my own. It was pretty hard at first, but by age 12 I released my first two singles, and by age 13 I released my first album called Rainfall. It felt amazing, one of the songs on that album even won top 15 in the Teen category of the International Song Writing Competition. I decided to host a CD release concert here in Vernon to introduce my album and myself to my community, and was blown away when it sold out! I was hooked. By then I was so lucky to have caught the attention of Sony/ATV writer Andrew Allen and his wife Julia Allen, who became my managers. They are amazing and thanks to their guidance over the last 2 years, I have been fortunate to work with and song write with so many amazing musicians like Brian West (Maroon 5, Nelly Furtado) who produced my last single, Ferris Wheel in LA, and Josh Cumbee (Madonna, Janet Jackson) with whom I co wrote a song called Forgettable which was released by Canadian DJ duo DJ Project 46 on their album Beautiful. I am very grateful for each and every opportunity that is put in front of me and I know how fortunate I am able to be where I am doing what I do.

SMC - When I congratulated you on the 28th of December, you mentioned you are in Paris! What's happening there?

Olivia - Right now I am actually in a beautiful city called Lyon in France. My dad is from here and all of his family still lives here so I love coming back here and visiting with everyone and eating all the amazing food and looking at all the old buildings and pretty things. Just before we arrived in France, we made a week long pit stop in Edinburgh, Scotland to spend Christmas with my cousins who live there. So needless to say it has been a truly wonderful holiday!!

SMC - How old are you?

Olivia - I am now 15 and soon to be 16 in April, which I am pretty excited about because I can get my learners license and start driving!! Not sure if my parents are excited about that though!!

SMC - Do you have any wishes for your future you'd like to personally achieve before your next Birthday?

Olivia - Yes!! I always have goals I am setting for myself whether it is with music or school. This winter I have lots of cool music stuff happening.... So stay tuned because there just may be the most awesome single coming out before my birthday.

SMC - How about your Music Career in the next 6 months? What’s happening in that time?

Olivia - I have a bunch of cool music stuff happening this winter which includes producing and releasing some new singles. I am very excited about that. I will be working and song writing with my amazingly talented friend Robin Ghosh who co-wrote on Ferris Wheel and my Christmas singles, Christmas for Two. I also have some cool gigs coming up including a francophone festival and working in a super cool studio on the island with a Grammy winning producer.  I also have some cool video and photo shoots coming up.

SMC - How about the next Year?

Olivia - Well I am pretty sure I know what I am up to in the next 6 months, as for after that, I guess I can say that I will continue working and go where the music and opportunities take me. I love making music and performing music, so whether it be making new covers for my YouTube page, or singing at private events, concerts, or festivals, I am sure you can find me somewhere!!

SMC - What is your long - term goals for you personally and in your career say, 5 and 10 years from now?

Olivia - I could answer and say music, music, music, as that is the future I see for myself. I would love to make a living writing songs and performing. If I could do that I would be set. I am excited to see where my music takes me.

SMC - Speaking of travel, what places have you traveled to and which are your most favorite and why?

Olivia - I love travel, but I also love coming home to Vernon. I have been super lucky to have a dad from France and a mom whose family comes from Germany, so I grew up spending a lot of time in Europe. My parents love to travel, so they dragged my sister and brother and I all over.  We all love going to Hawaii as well as it feels great to put your feet in the sand and smell that sweet Hawaiian air. Hard to say where I love it the most as each destination offers sow thing different. I guess I love the food and culture of Europe and the hot beautiful weather of Hawaii. Music has brought me to new places in Canada which has been really cool as well as a lot of people don't purposefully travel in Canada. Everyone seems to want to elsewhere. But last year I was invited to perform in Ottawa and had so much fun, and then went to Toronto and around BC on a radio tour and loved that too.

SMC - What song of your own is your favorite and why?

Olivia - I really really love the song Forgettable that I co wrote last year in LA, which was released in July by  DJ Project 46. It is a very emotional and uplifting song that I think is really relevant to people and especially teens who feel a little lost and alone. Everyone matters and I think this song makes people feel that. I am also crazy about one of my new ones that are coming out this winter. It has such an uplifting message as well. It just makes you feel important.

SMC - This AOM competition is now in its 6th month and we will be competing for Artist of the Year with all of the winners from Last August 2015 until July 2016. You are placed halfway through the competition at this point. What are your thoughts on, say, an Artist from the beginning of these competitions to the winner in July 2016 as far as advantage for winning the Artist of the Year title?

Olivia - Hard to say but I think it is awesome that we all get to be in a competition together! At this point it probably won't matter who comes out on top.

SMC - There has been a string of successes that have followed you as of late. Can you tell us a little about those achievements and what they mean to you?

Olivia - I have been so very lucky. I am so aware of all of that. I have songs that have been recognized by song writing competitions, songs that have been added to albums being released by well established musicians, worked with amazing musicians, been nominated for several competitions such as radio emerging artist for my song Ferris Wheel, YouTube artists of the month by an Australian magazine, top 10 female in she's the one Competition at the Ottawa Blues Fest, top 20 song on the Canadian Radio charts for Christmas For Two, Ferris Wheel being chosen do by Bongo Boy TV to air on NBC TV in the US... So many amazing things!!! I am especially proud of my team of supporters which include my managers Andrew and Julia Allen, my Publicist Sera Roadnight of MT Press, my radio tracker Oscar Furtado, my parents...

SMC - As you know we have affiliations with Morgan`s Mission ( and we see that you have also joined the Page on Facebook for Morgan`s Mission. What are your thoughts on combining the Music Industry with a sensitive subject like Morgan`s Mission and what it stands for (Here is the Page`s Mission Statement from the Dunbar Family: Morgan's Mission was created after we lost our daughter to the effects of cyber bullying. We are bringing awareness to bullying, mental health and suicide.`)

Olivia - I think Music is a great way to bring attention and awareness to these issues. Music brings people together, makes people feel better, and can uplift you when you feel down.  It is already hard enough to be a teen, let alone struggle with cyber bullying, mental health issues, and suicide. So if music can have a place in helping people, then definitely I am all for it and being a part of that process.

SMC - We are also hosting a Starlight Music Concert in June of 2016 where many Artists from all over the globe will be participating. We hope to help raise money to brighten and strengthen the talent that many youth and teens suffering with depression, PTSD, mental illness, and suicidal thoughts by channeling through the Arts as a means to cope. What are your thoughts on this?

Olivia - I think this is wonderful. Art is such a great way for us to express ourselves and our emotions, and I think it is awesome that SMC is hosting a concert to support that. If I can be there and help out, I will definitely make that happen.

SMC - What organizations, if any, do you support and why?

Olivia - When I wrote Fight For You I was thinking about some struggles that people must be going through in their lives. I was only 13 but remember seeing homeless people in my city during a really cold spell and was really affected by that. I checked around my community to see who was helping provide food and shelter and approached the Salvation Army of BC. So 100% of the proceeds of the sale of Fight For You on iTunes go to the Salvation Army of BC. I have being doing this for two years now and will continue to help as much as I can.

SMC - What do you believe to be the biggest accomplishment a Recording Artist can make in their Career. Meaning: what is most important to you? (other than the obvious: getting signed by a label)

Olivia - Getting signed by a label is definitely an achievement for any artists for sure. And of course that would be pretty awesome, but if I can make a living making and performing music, then I think I will be pretty happy.

SMC - Which leads to our next question: Do you prefer to remain an Indie Artist or would you prefer to be signed to a label? We have heard positives and negatives from Artists on both sides of the spectrum...

Olivia - I am pretty happy with the progress I have made so far without the help of a label. I have an amazingly supportive family, super awesome managers, an amazing publicist and radio promoter, and have so many talented and wonderful people who believe in me. So for now I can say that being an indie artist has been great for me. I am sure it would be great to have a label back your career, but that could be pretty stressful too as then it would feel like I had to live up to goals that I did not set for myself and not sure how I would feel about losing some control over my own career.  I am being patient and enjoying each stage of this industry and at 15 am pretty content right now with the balance between music, school, family and friends. Fun to see what the future holds!

SMC - What is a most recent `Greatest Moment` from one of your fans?

Olivia - I love getting messages from my fans!!! It is always so nice to get positive and supportive comments from them. I have some really great fans. I guess some cool moments recently came from people who heard Christmas For Two on the radio and looked me up or shazamed me then messaged me on YouTube to tell me they loved it and became a fan!! It feels so good to have your music get out there and affect people in a way that makes them want more of it.

SMC - Are you originally from British Columbia, Canada?

Olivia - Yes I was born in Vancouver BC and moved to Vernon BC when I was 9. I love living here. It is so beautiful, especially in the summer. 

SMC - Last Question: We always like to ask this one - What advice would you give one of your peers or a youth entering the Music Industry and hoping for a fruitful career?

Olivia - Well from my very short lived experiences so far, the best I can say is shoot for the moon but have a couple back up plans. Be prepared to work hard and don't quit when things don't go your way. You can't please everyone and you may not always get what you want, but often you get other cool things instead. If you love it, do it!

SMC- Thank you Olivia and Congratulations again!

Olivia - Thank you so much Candice and SMC for these opportunities, for this competition, and for all your support! 


For Olivia Penalva's Social Media click on the links and it will redirect you:

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Roxy Suicide | December 2015 Artist of the Month Winners!

Well All! It has been yet another FABULOUS competition for our current Artists of the Month The Roxy Suicide  and we are happy to bring you this interview for our Web platform that is connected to their WEB PAGE on our site: Please be sure to check the Bands social media links at the end of this article and take a moment to Congratulate them on a job well done as they are our first band/Artists to achieve the highest votes ever in the history of the competition! 

*Be sure to watch for stellar photos in the Upcoming SMC Holiday 2015 Magazine launching on December 9th featuring this interview and the band! 

With no further adieu, we shall proceed with our interview!

SMC - The Roxy Suicide! Welcome to Starlight Music Chronicles Magazine! We first met via the December 2015 SMC Artist of the Month competition and are pretty impressed with your win! Can you tell us a little bit more what your thoughts are about the event?

Dave: Yeah it’s great ya know? It has been a lot of fun. Typically, we pretty much have a “no contest” policy, but with Starlight we made an exception because the magazine has such an amazing reputation.

Roxy Roller: I think that since this event was all fan-based voting, it allowed us to get to know who our fans truly are and it allowed us to become a combined force to be reckoned with.

SMC - What positive do you think you walked away with from the competition?

Dave: I think something like this is a healthy cry to all our friends to rally around The Roxy Suicide. I don’t like calling people fans ‘cause I more consider them friends. Especially in this social media driven- white noise society, it’s reassuring that we could make personal contact to those who really care about us. This was a test to see if we could do that.

Roxy Roller: It was really nice to see affability between bands. It was also really gratifying to see our supporters stand behind us as a band. It encourages us to keep doing what we are doing and reminds us why we play music in the first place.

Ziggy: All the artists in the competition showed a lot of respect to each other. There was some good bickering between fans supporting their favorite band but that made things even more interesting and quite funny at times!!

SMC - For the sake of introducing you to our fan base, can you tell us all of your names and which instruments you play?

Dave: Yeah Sure. Dave Mansfield I play Bass and sing

OlieShox: Well, hello there Candice, I play Guitar in The Roxy Suicide. Name’s Olivia, but feel free to call me Olie or Shox or Olieshox.

Roxy Roller: Roxy Roller or Roxx for short. I play the synth.

Ziggy Starbux: I play the Drums.

SMC - Can you please tell us about the band itself and how you all came to be The Roxy Suicide?

Dave: Shox and myself had been playing together for about a year and a half but at that time she was on Bass and I was just lead singing. We were probably trying to be a bit like Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers or Dead Boys. We had a show booked with one of my teenage Idols Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks and our fill in drummer flaked out like a week before the show. Ziggy SBX contacted me and told me he had just bought a drum set and wanted to step up and keep us from having to cancel the show. He literally had one rehearsal with the band and had our set nailed down. I was really kinda bumming out because even though I have shared the stage with almost every hero of mine from Billy Idol to L7, Michael Monroe was a very personal and full circle accomplishment for me. From there I really wanted to solidify the line up with special people who were talented, looked cool, looked like they belonged in the same band and eliminate the revolving door of flake-o’s and drunks. It takes a special kind of person to run on the level that I have grown accustomed to over the years of touring the world with The Mansfields. So the last piece of the puzzle came when Roxy had moved over from founding the Pikes Peak Derby Dames Roller Derby League to buying a Roland synth. We were pretty much screwing around one day at rehearsal and we tried moving Shox over to guitar and I went back to Bass as I had in The Mansfields. With Roxy, she had no musical knowledge at the time but we tried working a song out that I had a riff for and by the end of rehearsal we had ‘Sex Bomb Babies’ and a new sound. Quite honestly it sort of came together accidentally, the set up and sound. It’s all a bit Paul McCartney and Wings with us. Linda McCartney was never a musician for starters but Paul knew the value of those synthesizer hooks. We utilize the instrument much the same way as Wings.

SMC - Would you say that your past work as The Mansfields in acquiring your fan base is what helped with the Fan Votes for this competition or is it more Roxy Suicide based?

Dave: It’s all relative right? I mean if the fan base was that big we would have had 10 times the number of votes right? Surprisingly, The Mansfields fan base doesn’t necessarily automatically love The Roxy Suicide. The Mansfields do a different thing musically and The Mansfields fans love The Mansfields for what they do. The Roxy Suicide has had to establish itself on its own accord. The music is just different…the aesthetic is completely different. Completely.

SMC - Loving the band name! Tell us a little more about that?

Roxy Roller: It’s a little bit glam and a little bit punk, which is what The Roxy Suicide is all about. There is a little bit of perversity lurking behind the glitter-pop shell that is The Roxy Suicide, which I think is nicely played out in the name.

Dave: I just wanted a classic kind of name like Rolling Stones or Motley Crue. Something that flowed with the right syllables. Plus I have always wanted to use the umlauts ever since I was a kid doodling Motley Crue Logos on my Biology notebook. If you look at our logo it was designed with a very similar look to the Too Fast For Love Logo.

SMC - I know it was mentioned a few times in the duration of the voting that you are an 'established' band, but in what ways do you feel you are unique as a band?

Roxy Roller: As a band that is currently working on a debut album, I would hardly call us established. We have seen some radio play, but we are still a new band. I think what makes The Roxy Suicide unique is the fact that we are not afraid of blending all of our influences together to create an original sound. I think we are pushing boundaries that need to be pushed, all while still writing fast, energetic 3 chord songs similar to those bands we all grew up with and love. There is a simplicity to our music that I think makes it sound effortless.

Dave: I agree with Roxy on the established tag. To me, and mind you this is just me, but a band that has yet to produce a debut full length album just can’t be an “established” band. We are known for sure but I feel like we are in the process of establishing this band.

SMC - Are there any things that set you apart from the other bands competing?

Dave: Every band in this competition was unique to one another. I thought every single artist in this competition was fabulous.

SMC - We also saw that you are being spun buy KROQ's Rodney Bingenheimer in Los Angeles, which is fantastic! Can you tell us a little about the reception you have gotten from that by fans?

Dave: Rodney has been absolutely incredible with his support. He was, is and will always be the Mayor of the Sunset Strip. Anyone who has not seen the film made about Rodney needs to see it immediately. If you are a fan of music, history and pop culture, you will be blown away by Rodney’s life experiences. So with that said, his impact has been enormous. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Rodney at least a time or two, that’s how much he has meant to me. I am proud to call him a friend. He is my friend.

SMC - What do you feel you lend to your music that makes The Roxy Suicide 'Special' and 'Unique'?

OlieShox: We all share the same love for the variety of music that influenced us to begin The Roxy Suicide. We all have different backgrounds in different genres, from punk rock and rockabilly, to alternative and acoustic. However, I don’t feel  that it’s me, necessarily lending a certain talent or style to the music as an individual, rather than getting to create wonderful sounds with some of my best pals. We all pull in our own personalities, which is what makes this project so unique.

Roxy Roller: The Roxy Suicide does not have a lead guitar sound. We incorporate the synth as a “lead” instrument, which I think gives the band a distinctive flavor.

Dave: The members of the group are what make it unique. I grew up looking at groups like Hanoi Rocks, Ramones, Motley, Sex Pistols. The idea that when these bands were gonna come to your city to play a concert, you were excited mostly because you were gonna get to share an  hour in their presence. An hour of breathing the same air. But most importantly, you knew who you were gonna be spending that hour with. The members are what mattered. That, and the amazing music. I would like to see more bands with special characters in them quite frankly.

SMC - Do you have any plans to perform anywhere for New Years?

Dave: No. Never been a big fan of playing on New Years.

SMC - What does the next six months look like for the band?

Roxy Roller: The next 6 months will be full of a lot of writing, recording, mixing and rehearsing. Right now, our primary focus is on finishing our album. We are very excited to get our debut full length out into the world.

SMC - What does the next six months look like for live performances?

Roxy Roller: We play the Whiskey a Go-Go in L.A in February. We are very thrilled to be sharing the stage with Michael Monroe again. Michael and Hanoi Rocks is a major influence in both style and music.

SMC - What is your favorite 'Go-to' music?

Roxy Roller: Hooks, it’s all about good hooks. I am a huge fan of 80s new wave and 70s glitter rock.
Dave: Stuff that never fails me includes ABBA, Beatles, Ramones. I love a lot of Pop Music from the 70’s and 80’s.

Ziggy: I listen to a wide range of music, but of course New York Dolls and Ramones would top that list. Hanoi Rocks is another, Razzle was such a great drummer. Also Michael Monroe's last 3 solo albums are flat out amazing! I'm also a huge Oasis fan. They may not be considered a punk band but in shear attitude, Noel and Liam are far more punk than people realize. And the songs, my God, the songs!!!

SMC - Have you ever had any cool fan experiences?

Ziggy: Anytime I hear positive feedback from a fan is a cool experience for me! Whether it's someone saying "hey great set" after a show or telling us they play our music all the time at home or in the car, whatever, that's what it's about, we made someone happy with our music and that makes me smile.
Roxy Roller: yeah, like we played a record store once in Denver (Black and Read) and some very young boys got to see us play. They were super excited and wanted all of our stickers to put on their skate boards. We took pictures and signed a bunch of promos for them. You could feel the vivacity and fervor radiating from them, which was refreshing to see. I think they were only about 8 or 10. It was awesome.

Dave: I have had so many amazing experiences over the years but there is one that I always think of. I was on tour in Europe in 2004 with The Mansfields. We were playing in Berlin at Wild at Heart. The place was beyond capacity and the dressing room is at one end of the venue and stage at the other so moving around in there was impossible. So we are in the dressing room when a guy from the venue comes in and says that there is a guy out here who knows us from Colorado. So I asked the guy to bring him in and it turned out to be a German kid from Berlin who had been coming to our local shows in Colorado the previous year. He was an exchange student experiencing his first punk Rock shows in the US and was now back home in Berlin. He said he was waiting months for our show. What a small world this really is.

SMC - Have you ever had any weird fan experiences?

Roxy Roller: Nothing a little “block” couldn’t fix.

Dave: I have a weird fan experience at least once a week. Sometimes it really freaks me out.

SMC - Tell us a little about your thoughts on album releases. We are finding that Artists are seeing it more and more beneficial to release one song as a 'single' prior to their big album releases as opposed to years ago when it was the other way around. Do you also adopt that in place with your releases?

Roxy Roller: I think that releasing one or two singles before a major album is released is helpful. It primes the pump so to speak. Especially as a new band, I think it allows people to get a taste for the band and the direction that the music is going. I think it also generates interest and gets people excited about the album release.

Dave: We have been applying the “every song on our debut album should be a single” theory. We started releasing singles in June 2014. I think we have put out 6 so far. Not all of them are going on the album, and the ones that are have been re-recorded or re-mixed. It has been a super good strategy because unlike releasing an album where maybe one or two songs will get played at radio, every one of those singles have been played and all of them have made their debut on Rodney on the ROQ, Rodney Bingenheimer’s legendary radio show on KROQ Los Angeles. Not bad for a little band from Denver.

SMC - What demographic (age/country) is your loyal fan base so far?

Dave: Man who knows? It’s hard to tell. I’d always like to see more kids at the shows. I’d like to think there is a generation of kids who are connecting with something real, honest and exciting. Loud guitars and high energy never really go out of style.

SMC - Where would be your 'perfect' venue to perform in?

Roxy Roller: I like the Gothic Theatre in Denver. I am not big on playing outdoors or during the day. I like my rock n roll a little darker and dirtier than that.

Dave: Doesn’t matter to me if it’s the stadiums of the world or a Tuff Shed in Medford, Oregon where The Mansfields once had one of the most amazing nights ever. As long as there’s enough people to have a party “we’ll bring the jams” as Spicoli would say.

SMC - Last question: What would you say to the next generation of Recording Artists as words of advice about the industry?

Roxy Roller: I am new to playing music and I’m still learning about the industry myself. My advice would be to play music because you love it first, the rest is just icing on the cake, and a lot of it is out of your control.

Ziggy: Just do what you do. Stick to your guns and don't try to jump on some musical trend.

Dave: Keep the rights to it, get it on the radio and don’t fucking stop. You can’t win it if you ain’t

in it. Mansfield out!


The Roxy Suicide Social Media Platforms (simply click on these and it will take you there)