Olivia Lane talks hosting Diva Jam, Her Next Single, & Opening for Kip Moore

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Lane’s Facebook Page

First of all, congratulations on being named to the Entertainment Weekly Breaking Big Fall 2015 Acts and the Rolling Stone Country Fall 2015 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know lists. How does it feel to be included on these prestigious lists alongside a ton of of other talented artists?

Oh my gosh, it’s an honor. Especially as a new artist, when you’re trying to figure out your voice and what you want to say, and if your audience is even going to listen. It’s just an honor to know that your doing something right, and to recognized for it. It’s sort of a reminder to just keep moving forward. It’s super encouraging and so cool.

You’re a host for the Diva Jam in Nashville. Can you talk a little bit about that series and why it is important to you?

Yeah, so in lieu of all that bro-country stuff happing a year or two ago, I came into the office one day jokingly and was like ‘move over bro-country, diva-country is on the rise!’ and he was like wait a minute, we should make that an event. At the time it was close to my first CMA Fest. I wasn’t playing on any major stages, and we wanted to do something fun that I could participate in. So had been been meeting a bunch of girl artists around town and asking them if they would want to do this really casual event, at the listening room, and a bunch of girls said yes. It will be our third year this year, and I am super excited. I’ve got big dreams for it. It’s a very fun event, all female supported. I just really want to support females in the music industry. 

It seems like female artist have had a bit more trouble breaking through on country radio lately, is that something you have noticed?

For some reason yeah, I don’t know what it is. I have no idea, but we are starting to see the pendulum swing back which is great. 

Do you anticipate the Diva Jam helping in this aspect as it continues to grow?

I really hope so. Yeah, I hope to take it to the Ryman Auditorium one day you know? It’s a really cool concept and it has been successful both years we have done it so far.

Why did you end up selecting “Make My Own Sunshine” for your next single?

Well so I wrote that song, and it is pretty much exactly about my life. I feel like there is so much negativity right now when you turn on the TV, or you get on the computer, and the song just really reflects how I look at life in a positive light and I always try to see the silver lining. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face in this three-minute song, I’ve done my job. That was sort of the deciding factor for why I chose it. It just makes me happy and whenever I play it at shows it makes people happy. 

You wrote that song with Jim Beavers so how was it working with a big time hit maker like him?

Yeah he just went #1 with Caanan Smith with “Love You Like That,” which is awesome. He’s great, you know, something that made such a big impression the first time I wrote with him, was when I walked into the writing room, he went ‘I don’t have any more ideas, I just know how to write a song.’ I said ‘that’s perfect, you are exactly who I need, I will bring you new ideas and we can write a song together.’ He just knows things, and you get to learn so much from a seasoned writer like him, as a young, green writer like myself. He’s a learning Iesson, it’s like master class every time I go and write with him, and he really believes in me. You’ve got to find people like that to work with. 

How has the reception been so far for the song since you released it as a single?

Radio is loving it which is awesome. It just makes people smile when I see it so I hope that it does really good things. I just hope that is brings a smile to people’s faces. That is my main goal.

Is there anyone-a writer, a producer, another artist-that would be a dream collaboration for you?

Oh, man. I have so many, that is such a hard question! I feel like I would love to work with The Eagles. I am such a 60’s and 70’s mellow classic rock girl. I know that they would chew me up and spit me out. I know it would be such a hard thing to work with them and they might say I need to get out of the room and I wasn’t on their level but I would love it and it would force me to improve!

Can you talk about getting to open some shows for Wynonna Judd, Randy Houser, and Kip Moore?

Just seeing Wynonna and getting the opportunity to open for such a diva, amazing woman was just fabulous. The crowd was awesome. She was a learning lesson in herself just watching her. Her voice is so powerful, and she is also so supportive of females which is great. Opening for Kip Moore was unreal because that was the first time that I had ever played in front of 8,000 people at a festival at a festival. It was so nerve wracking. But it was awesome. The crowd was so supportive and so nice. That was at the North Dakota State Fair, and then somewhere in Iowa that I can’t remember. And Randy Houser, he is the nicest guy in country music, I swear! He knew who I was before I walked up to him. I was thinking wow he did his homework and that’s insane, because he really doesn’t need to know who I am. That just really set a precedent for me. Every single artist I’ve opened for has been so unbelievably nice so it set the precedent for me that if anyone ever opens for me, I will make an effort to meet them, say hi, get to know them, talk to them, and encourage their art because that is what everyone has done for me so far. 

It seems like in the country genre that most people are really friendly and supportive as opposed to many other genres where you constantly see feuds and drama? It sounds like that has been your experience so far?

Yeah absolutely. It is crazy actually how nice everybody is. Just no ego. It’s sometimes nice to have a little drama, but at the end of the day, I feel, you just have to be nice to everyone. 

Do you have any spring tour plans set up?

Yeah, we are actually playing in a bunch of areas. We have a ton of shows coming up. We are trying to get on a tour. So yeah right now we are going everywhere. We are in San Diego for a couple of days, Vegas for a couple of days. We are really going to be taking advantage of local markets and I want to meet as many new people as possible along the way.

Who are some of the artists who have influenced you and shaped you sound?

So many great, powerful females. Anywhere from Carol King to Linda Ronstadt, to Reba McEntire, to Dolly Parton, to Patsy Kline. All of the females that really, really withstood the test of time with their careers. They were never one-hit-wonders. They planned out their careers and grew them, and build foundations in the business. I hope to be one of those kinds of women, a business woman in the music business. That is my goal. Really the women that fiercely had their own voice and fiercely didn’t apologize for who they were. 

Do you have any favorite female artists from the present?

I am really digging the new Cam stuff, she is awesome, just great. And then Jennifer Nettles, I have always been a Jennifer Nettles fan, I love her. Also the fact that she went to Broadway because that is like something I would really love to do. I was joking that I wished I could have been in the show with her. So many people. Little Big Town is amazing, Karen Fairchild is awesome. A lot of good females going on right now. 

Awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time for an interview. We are loving your music so far!

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

Interview By: Taylor Ostrick


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