Interview – Olivia Penalva

Olivia Penalva’s name may not be familiar to you, but there’s a very good chance you’ve already heard her! Over the past five years, the BC-born artist has had success at pop radio (arguably one of the most difficult tasks these days), charted multiple singles, and has been featured on a certain popular reality show. All that said, Olivia’s passion for making music started even earlier on in life.

You’re no newbie when it comes to music having started performing at 11! Do you have an earliest memory that made you realize this is what you were meant to do?

Yes, when I was eleven I had my first audition for a local singing competition called “Our Kids Have Talent”. I had never performed in front of anyone before at that point, so when I got there I remember being very nervous. With a little encouragement from my mom, I got up and did my thing. After that, I knew that It was what I was meant to do. That kickstarted my entire musical journey!!

Your new single, “Love Me”, is about “celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly that comes along with real love” (in your words); is this something you’ve experienced that inspired the song?

Yes, Life can give you many highs and lows. In my experience when you have someone to lean on you can overcome anything. I wanted to write a song about that (with) the key phrase being “it doesn’t matter cause you love me.”

How surreal was it to have your cover of “Have a Little Faith in Me” featured on American Idol and another on America’s Got Talent? What’s your favourite part of covering the songs of others?

I remember watching the shows and hearing me singing in the background. I had goosebumps. What a great opportunity to interpret someone else’s music and have it played behind the story of an aspiring artist on live TV. I felt like I was a small part of that person’s journey. I really enjoy covering some of my favourite artists’ music because it gives me a chance to have fun and add my own flavour to it.

You’ve already seen success on the charts with a few of your original songs; is this a goal throughout the creative process or just a nice bonus?

Getting any kind of success at radio is what every artist dreams of. I was 14 and in the car the first time I heard my song on the radio. I  literally screamed in excitement and my mom almost drove off the road! I write music from heart and experiences with the hope of reaching others. Getting that song on the radio to reach a bigger audience I believe, is part of that goal.

What are your plans for the next six months?

My plans are to keep writing and recording all this new music I’ve been working on. I have 3 singles ready to go and I want to complete my record to be released in mid-2021. I am so excited about all the great writers I have been collaborating with and  I can’t wait for everyone to hear what’s next!

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