Gifted fifteen-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Jones shines on her debut EP, Drifting Away
Some take on the life of a singer-songwriter for fame and fortune. Others, a cure for boredom, or a means of socialization in an often-times splintered world. St. John’s native Olivia Jones has known from a young age that music was in her blood, and no amount of money or any number of persuasions could keep her away from the stage.
Music at a Young Age
“My interest in music began pretty much as soon as I learned what it was,” Jones shared with The Herald. “I used to sing and perform for my grandparents and their friends in their living room when I was really little and I began taking piano lessons when I was around six. I started taking voice lessons and developed a love for music and songwriting. I’d write my own funny lyrics and 30-second songs when I was little but eventually that progressed into actual songs and usable lyrics when I was about 10-11. I actually started thinking maybe I could be a singer-songwriter as a career.”
A member of MusicNL and SOCAN, and having been recently featured and recognized by Girls Rock NL, NL Arts & Letters and the Statoil Music Competition of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, Jones has honed her craft under the tutelage of Kelly-Ann Evans, an institution of Newfoundland’s music culture.
“I walked into her house and I was really, really nervous thinking what if she doesn’t like me or doesn’t think I’m good enough to have her teaching me? From the minute I walked in she was just so nice. She had this massive, bubbly personality that made me smile. She’s honestly one of the best musical influences in Newfoundland, because her personality is amazing and she’s so supportive of me and always has been.
“I had developed a lot of bad habits over the years and was trying to build my own style. She is pretty much the reason I don’t have nodes right now,” she adds with a laugh.
Influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Ben Howard, The 1975 and Charlotte Cardin, Jones recently released her debut EP Drifting Away, enlisting local wizard Ian Foster to produce.
“It was an amazing experience to be in his studio working,” Jones shared. “I was really hands on in the producing of the album as well. It wasn’t one of those scenarios where he takes the music and just does what he wants with it and comes back and says this is what it is. I really got my own say on my songs and what they sounded like. That was really great.
“It was really comfortable and I didn’t feel out of my element at all, which I was expecting to feel. I was expecting to feel really in over my head, and I wasn’t. He explained everything what he was doing, what would happen with the album after. He really made me and my whole family really comfortable working with him.”
Having developed her skills as a songwriter over the last four to five years, Jones aims to connect with the listener on Drifting Away, seeking to not only advance her role as a gifted musician, but to leave a lasting impact on those who consume her personal brand of indie pop with a mature and confident twist.
“These songs come in bursts of emotions,” she says. “You know, I wouldn’t say this album represents one thing. The whole album, Drifting Away, is more about drifting away from who I used to be and now I’m a better musician and a better person after releasing this album. I just feel a lot more well rounded, and I want this album to touch people and let them know they’re not alone.”
Setting her sights on a potential career in music, Jones, first and foremost, wants to help fans with her talent, an amazing selflessness for an artist with unlimited potential and nothing but time to mature and grow.
“In the future I plan to continue music and hopefully get into my dream college, Berklee Music College in Boston,” she shared. “I hope to release more new music in my lifetime and hopefully go on a tour someday and gain some popularity and some fans. I want my music to help people and that was one of the main goals in all of my songs.”
Join Jones for her album release on August 23rd at The Space at 72 Harbour Drive in St. John’s. Tickets available at the door, Fred’s Records and by contacting Jones through her social medias and email [email protected] and visit her official website at oliviajonesmusic.ca