On a recent spring evening, Olivia Lane calls my phone a few minutes after our scheduled appointment. “I’m so sorry I’m late,” she says hurriedly, “I had a guitar lesson, and I just lost track of time.” Lane gushes fast and with energy, but somehow seems to have a calm and collected manner that I admittedly lack in situations of great stress and monumental importance.
Despite this slight delay in our plans, Lane quickly relaxes, freely rhapsodizing her obsession with All Time Low and Brad Paisley. “They’re just so incredible,” she raves. “When I love someone’s music, I want to find out who they are as people. So, I’ve been diving deep on YouTube, watching interviews, all that. They’re just amazing people.”
Onstage, Olivia Lane projects the persona of a sassy and exuberant 25-year old, singing about the world as a glass half-full, encouraging listeners to follow their dreams. But during her downtime? Lane’s personality isn’t really all that different.
“All of art is about getting lost and being found,” she says seriously. “I’ve been trying to find myself, and music gives me that ability to create something that becomes my liberated path in my…” she pauses to find the word, “lostness.” A beat. Then, we’re both just hysterically laughing for no reason. Like, laughing so hard our phones are breaking up. I barely hear Lane choke out, “Um yeah, I guess that’s it!” before the giggling starts again.
Prompting Lane for a story about a song she’s written about someone, she responds tentatively. It’s clear that all of her lyrics are all pretty personal, and sometimes getting specific about an experience that prompted the entire songwriting process can feel a little invasive. Nonetheless, Lane decides to tell a story about young love. Needless to say, it’s a winner. “Now, this song will never, ever be out.”
Lane begins slowly. “Like, never ever, ever… but, ” she continues, “I wrote this song called ‘Indiana’ in high school, and it was about my high school sweetheart leaving for Indiana University.” Lane becomes more exhilarated as she continues the course of events, “and I was like, ‘Hey here’s a song, listen to it.’ and then he was like…” Lane takes a moment to deepen her voice, “‘Oh my god.’” She coughs to add to the effect, “‘this is about me isn’t it? Oh my god .’” She later tells me her high school friends often reference the song. They still think it’s her best yet.
For Lane – album-confectionist, cupcake maker, and country-music crazer – this buoyant attitude has been pretty crucial in her path to success. Originally from Texas, Lane was encouraged by her parents to listen to everything from Sugarland to Frank Sinatra.
Becoming more and more interested in the arts as the years went by, Lane eventually proposed an idea to her parents that would end up shaping her life forever. “So, I’m a fifteen year old saying, ‘Hey guys, can we move to LA?’ and my parents were obviously like, ‘Ha, you little child with big dreams.’ But I sat down at the dinner table and said it every night, so they eventually saw how persistent I was.”
I need to be around people who make me feel like I suck; they’ll force me to be better.
Succeeding in convincing her parents to move, (can we take a moment to applaud her crazy-good methods of persuasion?), Lane began her journey in working in the field of entertainment. “I told my parents when I was convincing them, ‘Guys, I need to be around people who make me feel like I suck; they’ll force me to be better.’”
From there, Lane’s life became a lot like a box of chocolates, filled with everything from the non-sugarcoated world of acting to the bittersweet idea of leaving LA. “I’m kind of all over the place as an artist,” Lane admits without hesitation. “I actually majored in Theatre at USC, but ended up taking a songwriting class, and that’s when I officially knew I wanted to write songs and loved country music.” It was also at this moment that she realized Music City was the place to be.
Arriving in the heat of Nashville during her Sophomore-Junior year of college, Olivia Lane looked just like any other soon-to-be country starlet, slouched over as a guitar weighed down her shoulders. She has however, developed quite the look. Although Lane’s known for her down-to-earth persona, she’s got a glam-rockin’ fashion sense.
Adorned with blonde ombre hair worn loosely in waves, floral dresses with vintage overcoats, and a strong voice tonality, Lane is most definitely a stand-out among those who usually wear blue jeans. It should be noted however, that it’s her killer personality that has taken her so far in life. “I just love people,” Lane says, “and I wanna give somebody a smile if they have a bad day, you know?”
Quickly after landing in Music City, Olivia began connecting with people who would help her on the path to success. “I got internships at an agency, at a publishing house, and was just doing anything I could to meet people,” Lane says. After college, she officially made the move from to Nashville, and began her journey to the top of country music.
— Olivia Lane (@olivialanemusic) April 24, 2017
So far, Lane has been building an extremely successful career out of just being a lovably positive piece of sunshine who occasionally writes a song about how much a guy can break your heart. Recently, she received a publishing deal with Liv, Write, Play (‘Girl in a Country Song’), and has begun writing more music both for herself and other artists.
Her most popular tunes range from sassafras revenge jams like ‘You Part 2.’ to jubilant and inspiring tracks like ‘Lightning’ and ‘Make My Own Sunshine’. Standing out as a singer/songwriter alone, (as evident by Lane’s millions of Spotify listens), Lane is also a co-producer on the album, and definitely gets credit for the funkalicious country/pop instruments the EP features.
“It’s kind of like a volleyball of creative ideas that take a song to the next level,” Lane explains. “It’s part of my job to explain the direction I see it going, and I love that aspect of songwriting.” Featuring banjos, mandolins, and rock guitars, the Olivia Lane EP is most certainly a blend of adorable, funky country, and it’s all thanks to Lane and two other awesome-sauce producers who made it possible.
I want people to know that even if they’re having a tough time in life, it’s all about perspective.
And even cooler? Lane is basically a campaign-manager for her own mega-positive brand, and is doing everything she can to make the world a better place. “I want people to know that even if they’re having a tough time in life, it’s all about perspective,” Lane says vigorously. “It’s all about how you choose to look at the world.”
Via her self-created, pro-happy campaign (aka. The #SunshineMovement), Lane has been uninhibitedly going out into the world, offering up everything from free-hugs to free-cupcakes. Lucky for her fans, (and the rest of the world for that matter!), this footage has all been captured in real up-close-and-personal HD, letting us see every single pixel of her campy homemade signs and car speakers blasting Michael Jackson down city streets. “Either people are really creeped out by it or really into it,” Lane giggles.
So, what’s in Olivia Lane’s future? Well, she’s been on her tour and traveling across the United States for months now, but I heard rumors about a new CD, and wanted all the gossip for ya’ll. After asking Lane about the future, she confirms. “Yup, there’s actually a song coming out really soon that I’m super excited about.”
And dropping this huge tidbit of information, she continues, “I’m just in such a liberated state right now where I’m finding what I want to do, and it’s amazing.” Lane asserts that 2017 is her year of new music, and both old and new listeners better be prepared for the ride of their lives. “This year is all about the music.” Lane says. “And I don’t wanna give too much away, but it’s gonna be amazing.”
So, whatever 2017 has in store, there is one undeniable fact about Olivia Lane; she is exactly who she is. Vintage wear one day, camouflage the next. 12-string guitar hits one year, banjos and mandolins the next. Girl from Texas for one decade, superstar living it up in Music City the next…or who knows? It could be tomorrow.
True to her vision, Olivia Lane lets people get to know the her that is actually her. She writes, produces, and shares the heck out of her music that isn’t manufactured by the label writers. She is honest, authentic, ever-changing, and she sees the world as something she can take by storm. Scratch that. She’ll take it by sunshine .