Olivia Grace’s songs have the kind of sweet vulnerability that we love, but that doesn’t mean she’s not also tough as nails. Her EP Army embodies the perfect amalgamation of gentle vocals and soaring melodies that come together in a truly beautiful way. We talked to Olivia about the new project and the biggest challenge she’s faced in the music industry.
First things first, how did you get started in music?
Olivia Grace: I've been playing music since I was a little kid. I used to love writing short stories, and when my parents got me a keyboard, I started turning stories into songs. It's always been a big passion of mine.
What was the moment when you decided to pursue music as your career?
Olivia Grace: I kind of always knew I wanted a career in music. I think I got "serious" when I was in the early stages of high school when I realized if I wanted to go to college to study music, I needed to have more discipline. That's when I started doing several hours of week of vocal/theory/keyboard lessons. Before I started taking lessons, I actually used to be so scared to sing without playing the exact melody on the piano. It was a comfort thing for me. Glad to say I don't still need to do that. There wasn't ever a time in my life that I remember where I wasn't working towards having a career in music in one way or another.
Tell me about your EP Army, how did it all come together?
Olivia Grace: All of the songs on the EP were written over the last couple of years, since moving to Los Angeles. Every song was written with the purpose of letting go of emotion— whether it was joy, sadness, frustration, confusion, etc. It was therapy to write these songs. I named the EP Army because all these songs have been a way for me to protect myself, to grow, and to feel stronger in moments that I felt really vulnerable in. The EP features three already released songs and two new ones. It feels very conclusive for me personally, to have all these songs wrapped up in one place. It's a way of acknowledging the last couple of years and also moving forward to the next chapter.
Is there a song off the EP that is especially personal to you?
Olivia Grace: Oh wow, this is tough. Honestly, all of them are held pretty close to my heart. I think "Body" is probably the most personal because the context of the song is something I still struggle to discuss in daily conversation. It was completely nerve-wracking to put this song out for everyone to hear. The song is about disrespected boundaries surrounding my body and physical space; I wrote the song while processing something I had gone through a couple of years prior, and so it was a very emotional process to write, record, and release it, but it felt like such a relief to do so.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in the music industry?
Olivia Grace: Myself. As a lot of musicians do, I struggle with anxiety and self-doubt. It's very easy for me to get wrapped up in negative thoughts about what it is I'm doing. I do strongly believe that persistence is everything. I look back on my life several years ago and to see how much growth there has been really puts things into perspective. I always try not to compare my journey to anyone else's, which can be difficult when there's so much access through social media to what everyone else is doing. Learning to trust the process and myself has been the biggest challenge in the industry.
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Olivia Grace: Never make yourself small for anyone. Don't apologize for speaking up for yourself and having boundaries. Believe that your input has as much value as anyone else's in the room.