Catching up with Music Gateway artist Olivia Brown-
Earlier last week we had a catch up with one of our members Olivia Brown, to learn a bit more about her background, and what progress she’s made since joining our platform.
Hailing from Brooklyn New York, disco-pop artist Olivia Brown is a woman of many talents! Learn about how Olivia got started in music, her experience studying at Berklee college of music, and managing a double life as both a musician and successful businesswoman. Finally, find out how our platform has enabled Olivia to find new opportunities and expand her musical career…
Thanks for agreeing to this interview Olivia! First, we must know, what was the inspiration behind your artist name?
The pseudonym Olivia Brown was created to maintain a distinct identity for this new type of music that I was creating. “Olivia” is the name of my first guitar, a pink, daisy rock and “Brown” is in honor of my hero/mentor, the Brazilian Superstar Carlinhos Brown.
Could you tell us a little bit about your musical background and your role in the industry?
I got into music in a manner that is somewhat cliche, but true, I followed my passion! Currently, I work on both the creative and business sides of the music industry.
On the creative side, I’m a graduate of both California State University, Long Beach (Literature) and Berklee College of Music (Professional Music). During my time at Berklee, I co-founded a group called Brazz Jazz. Our repertoire was made up of jazz and Brazilian standards. The band then moved to NYC where we continued to perform regularly, and even toured Brazil several times!
In the early aughts, I turned my attention to songwriting and guitar. I began recording and performing singer/songwriter material at open mic nights in Brooklyn and NYC. Then, I recorded/released several albums and did a tour of CA.
I was introduced to topline songwriting in the mid-2000s and felt an immediate connection to the collaborative process. My topline collaborations are more oriented towards disco-pop and dance music, a big jump from my Brazz Jazz days! Though I don’t write in the style of jazz, it is the single biggest influence on my writing (especially my singer/songwriter material). My degree in Literature and my love of reading informs my lyrics, while my love of Brazilian music is evident in all aspects of my art, particularly my vocal phrasing.
On the business side, I am the Senior Director of Culture and Oversight at A2IM (American Association of Independent Music). We are a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for independent record labels. My role within the organization is to oversee the cultural/educational projects including our largest event Indie Week. My role at A2IM also includes oversight of the organizations budget and grant writing.
You’ve recently collaborated with Errol (AKA Enntice). What made you decide to put up a project and how was the response?
I write everyday so am constantly working on songs and collaborate with many different artists. Sometimes you just click with someone musically and that is what happened with Enntice. From the first beat, I loved his instrumentals. When I completed the first track, I connected with it deeply and knew I had to take my ideas to the next level; I spoke to Errol and he agreed! We released our first song together on Feb 22, 2019 and the response has been extremely positive. Our second track will be released on March 8th, 2019.
Would you consider creating another project at some point soon?
Yes! Working with Enntice as been an amazing experience! I’d love to write more together. I’m open to writing with others too.
What else are you working on, and how is that going?
I’m currently working with several other co-writers that I met through the platform, though nothing we’ve written is quite ready for release… Yet!
How are you getting on with Music Gateway?
Thanks to Music Gateway, I’ve had the opportunity to meet collaborators from all over the world. Enntice is based in the UK while I am Brooklyn based, this is something that never would have happened otherwise!
What are your three top tips?
– Identify your superpower and own it. I have always been a creative person. I don’t need a project or deadline to motivate me. I’m also very organized and practical. I used to think (incorrectly) that a real artist could only be creative, any time spent doing non-creative pursuits somehow negated the creative pursuits. When I accepted the reality about myself, that I have innate skills that are on opposite sides of the coin and owned it, a whole new world opened up for me. I work hard on my creative projects while embracing my businesses oriented skills which serve me extremely well in my work at the non-profit.
– Don’t be an asshole. This is advice I heard from Benny Blanco when he spoke at a Recording Academy event in NYC. Basically, be cool. Be open. Studio sessions or touring require long stretches of time with others. Don’t be the person that undercuts the vibe. Be the kind of person that people want to work with and hang out with.
– Always work with people who are better than you. This is advice I heard from Pat Metheny during my Berklee Commencement Ceremony. Always strive to learn more, know more. Put yourself in situations where you can grow and be challenged.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
Through my creative pursuits, I’m a member of the recording academy and am a voting member of the Grammy awards!
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