If there was a hot tip in this magazine for 2023, then this is it. Olivia Lynn is a girl who is going to go far. There is talent here in spades, and with a couple of great singles out there and more on the way, we could not resist a chat with this up-and-coming country pop artist. We don’t cover country music too much (although Laura Evans was great fun), but there is so much to like about Olivia Lynn that we had to find out what was going on!
As a bit of background, she’s from Luton, England, has four songs out at the moment, is a singer-songwriter—on a variety of download platforms—and is also involved with musical theatre. She’s also been topping the British country download charts, so there are some great tracks out there.
We started with talking about the new number “Ain’t It a Shame,” a country infused number that is ready for the dance floor along with “Modern Girl.” Both have great chorus hooks and plenty of injected girl power.
Olivia- “Modern Girl” was co-written, as were the other two “ (“I Love It” and “Anchor in the Storm”). “Ain’t It a Shame” was the first song written entirely by myself. I’m a lyricist first, so I will think of a lyric and then sing it with a melody. I will use apps to help me with a beat or tap away. In “Ain’t It a Shame,” the lyrics are all about being controlled by people, being told what to do. It is about a time when I was a bit upset with my boyfriend, who would respectfully tell me not to dress in a certain way, and we definitely did not agree on that point. He knows the song is partly about him, but he’s fine with it! He is proud of himself for inspiring me to write a song! But it’s not just about him; it’s about other males who also will ask why you are doing something, or dressing in a certain way. With respect, I do what I want and wear what I want. I don’t like controlling behaviour, this song says to everyone that you can do what you like as long as you are comfortable.
We discussed the current situation in Iran with the women there, who are desperate to be able to dress as they choose, wear what they want, and be whoever they want to be. We are not a political magazine, but we have to speak out for individual freedom.
Olivia- I completely agree. Are people not seeing what is going on in other countries and religions? Why are we not doing more to get behind these women? If someone had died like that in the UK, there would have been so much reaction.
We moved on to talking about mental health. Olivia is active in promoting mental health. On her website, she includes a full video talking about her experiences of being bullied when she was younger, the video is for use in schools, and she still fights for awareness of mental health concerns in young people.
Olivia- I have been proactive in working for mental health as I was bullied in high school from year 7 to year 9, and in year 9 I dropped out. So I was a high school dropout, which is something I never thought I would ever say, but I began homeschooling. People forget the trauma that sticks with you and is very upsetting. I think bullying is not spoken of enough, and it really makes people feel they are not worthy. So I began to work to raise awareness about bullying and also joined a group of teenagers in 2020. During lockdown, we wrote a song to promote mental health awareness. In Lockdown, it was ten times worse, as everyone was on social media, so there was constant cyberbullying.
We totally support Olivia in this. We don’t like people who become cyberbullies because they think they can bully people online from far away and stay anonymous. In this sense, the internet and social media have become both a blessing and a curse, and young people don’t always know how to manage what they see.
Olivia- Social media, as you say, is a plus and a minus. I saw a post today about a 12 year old boy who took his life, and people don’t want to see the reality of it. We need to see how bullying has impacted so many. I have worked with “Young Minds UK,” and they have been really good to me and have supported me. I have done Q&As with young people online, and it matters as sometimes young people don’t have someone they want to turn to immediately.
Turning back to music, Olivia is busy with recording and establishing herself in the music business right now. She is getting a signature sound, and we know that over the water in the US we have a strong reader base now, so we hope some of our friends over there will start listening too.
Olivia- I’m with a management company ( K A Media); they do a range of things, and I was in a musical with them too. I’ve been with them just over a year, and I have a social media person and all that! But from now on, I’m writing my songs. I have a music producer called Mike, a really cool guy from Russia. He is amazing, and he tells us what’s going on over there, which is so sad. I’ve also recently paired up with a videographer who is really amazing as well. So there are more on the team now!
Part of the package that comes with any genre of music is image, and Olivia has quickly slipped into presenting a strongly identifiable performance image as an artist in this style. We wondered how she saw country music today and how she felt she could help take it forward.
Olivia- I am not pure country; I’m not Dolly Parton singing “Jolene.” On the other hand, I may be different musically, but I like her image. The cowboy boots and the cowboy hat are great, but not the chequered shirt; I’d bling it up more. I want to be the Lady GaGa of country music, as she is so cool with her outfits. At the start, I struggled a bit getting into the country image,I do love the hat and the boots, but getting the styling right is hard. And in our generation, the amount of people who don’t like it when you are different… but I don’t care any more; I’ve been there and done that.
We expect great things from this young lady here. To close, we wondered how she felt about getting into the business and what lay ahead that she might like to share with us.
Olivia- At the start, it was difficult, but the local community here in Luton has been amazing, and I have been building up a strong local following and getting live gigs for experience. And as more material is released, the interviews have been gaining momentum too. So the interviews and podcasts have been building up since the door opened. I can fit my fingers through, but I need that door to open more. I would also like to note that I am releasing a couple of new songs soon, but please can everyone check out “Ain’t It A Shame,” One is called “Red,” and one is called “The breakups that didn’t break us.” They are polar opposite songs, they are on the way, I’m in the recording studio working on them. I also hope there will be a new music video out soon, as there is a need for one.
We think the world needs to see more of Olivia too, and she could well be heading your way in 2023!
By Benny (The Ball) Benson
Mark C. Chambers.