By Kate Ferguson
L.A. based artist Olivia Grace gets personal in her most recent single release “Body,” a catchy, indie-pop journey through both life-changing experiences and personal healing. Most specifically the track is about sexual assault and harassment, which seems to highlight the complexity of trying to make sense of it all while coming out stronger on the other side of it. It’s honest and vulnerable while drawing a clear boundary for herself and anyone else who needs to hear it. That’s that empowerment we like to see!
Grace wrote the song with MDA, and it was produced and engineered by Dave Burris (Saro, RKCB) out of Mateo Sound in Downtown LA. We caught up with the artist for its July 12 release.
The line “I was always saying sorry/so sorry” really got me. What inspired you to start working on more personal content?
“Body” is a song I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but I just wasn’t ever ready to until now. It wasn’t easy for me to write, but it felt very healing. I actually wasn’t even sure if I wanted to release it when I was written, because of how personal it is. However, i’s a song that I feel a lot of people can connect with, and if it can help someone else, that means so much to me.
What was this songwriting experience like?
Emotional and challenging, but at the same time it was like holding my breath for a long time and then finally letting it go. There was relief. I brought in another writer who I’ve worked with before, MDA, when I started to feel stuck on how to find the words, and she really helped me to express what I wanted.
Do you feel fear being honest in your music or is it mostly empowering to draw on real experiences?
It’s both. It feels empowering to speak my truth in my music. However, I’m still human, so I still wonder what people may think or how publicly singing about private experiences will affect my everyday life, but honestly all of that is just noise. It’s valid to think about, sure, but I don’t ever want to let those types of thoughts and concerns impact what I do as an artist and writer.
How did you find the balance between vulnerability and power?
Well, I think there is power in vulnerability, that you can’t really have one without the other. I think the key for me with this song was being open about the story but not in a way that I let it define me. I felt like I had lost my power for a long time, and writing this song was a way of remembering I still had it.
What else have you been up to since the last time we caught up?
So many new things! With my music, I’ve started working with a management team who’ve been really supportive, and I’m excited to share that I’m working on new songs (perhaps an EP). In my personal life, well, I have a dog now! He’s the best.
Any upcoming shows or any news you’d like to share?
I actually have a show coming up July 30th at The Echo opening for Ninet Tayeb and BIIANCO.