Olive Louise is a rising star in the music industry whose haunting and heroic music has captivated audiences around the world. With a past full of tragedy and loss, Olive’s music offers an honest and vivid perspective of the stages of grief, which she knows all too well. But despite her struggles, Olive is completely herself and has the uncontrived ability to make you feel like you are understood when listening to her music.
In this Noctis interview, we will learn more about the journey, the inspirations, and Olive’s creative process.
Your music is deeply personal and vulnerable. Can you tell us a bit about your songwriting process and where you draw inspiration from?
A lot of the music I’m writing recently comes from wanting to feel things from my past again even if it wasn’t all good, or I felt lost. For example, I’m a 90’s kid, and I’ve been seeing these photos of 90’s things like scented markers everyone’s been sharing.. probably really not good that I was inhaling artificial strawberry markers as a kid but It’s a memory and I miss things surrounding those times. Some songs that aren’t out yet are about being really let down, but also finding a rebelliousness and being naive but very hopeful. I went through a lot like everyone does and In those times I felt the most alive. I like going back into those moments and turning them into music.
It’s clear that your music is deeply influenced by your personal experiences. Was it difficult for you to open up about your past and put it out there for the world to hear?
No, it feels much more natural sharing memories and feelings through music whereas if someone asks me something personal in a conversation the words get stuck in my head and I get nervous and can’t finish my sentences or I stutter my face off and go, wait- where was I?
“Garden” is such a touching tribute to your parents. What was it like to write and record such a personal song?
When I wrote it I felt like I was connecting to my mom, which I hadn’t felt for a long time. I think because I finally felt like she would be proud of what I was creating I was able to try to reach out to her again in some way I can’t even fully understand.
Your vocals have been compared to Florence Welch and London Grammar. How does it feel to be mentioned alongside such talented artists?
I love both of them and I definitely see the comparison. A dream would be to write and create visuals with Florence and to perform some airy billowy song with London.
You have a unique writing style that often incorporates metaphors and vivid imagery. Can you walk us through your creative process when crafting a song?
I have an annoyingly good memory and could almost recite conversations verbatim that I’ve had or exactly what things looked like a long time ago.. peoples faces, those sorts of things. I think that having that memory and all the details that stick out to me help me tremendously in writing and capturing exactly what things feel like, I just hope that people can relate to things that are so specific at times.
Your newest music explores the stages of grief. Can you talk a bit about how your own experiences have shaped your music?
Losing my mom and dad with what felt like no time in between was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It was like as soon as I started to stop worrying that I would lose my dad,like you couldn’t be struck by lightning twice, I was. I miss them so much and I try to soften my own feelings by sharing them in my songs, I try to see it as making art out of the worst situation.
You’ve mentioned that you’re an avid gardener. How does your love for nature and gardening influence your music?
Well, I wrote The Cure outside in a thunderstorm for starts! I think gardening is like string instruments and a real piano. There’s a lot to gardening and it’s really amazing when you see things beginning to sprout. You’ve got to take care of them or they die, and repot them as they grow bigger. It’s all similar to talent. You’ve got to practice to get better and the reward feels the same. Growing is the reward.
“Moroccan Oranges” is a particularly poignant song that explores the shock and emptiness that you felt after losing your mother. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind that song?
I went to Morocco with my dad and my little sister after my mom passed away. We were in Central City and there was a stand where you could buy freshly squeezed orange juice and there were flies buzzing around but it was the best orange juice I’d ever had in my life. And I felt so guilty for enjoying it because my mom wasn’t there and who was I to enjoy anything when her life had been cut short. My dad was trying to make it a really lovely trip for us but he was so sad and I kept thinking he didn’t deserve this. I felt like his life was over. I couldn’t imagine being married and losing the person you said you would spend forever with. I don’t know how you go on but he did, for us. The song is about how we traveled and were trying so hard to enjoy it but grief has a way of following you everywhere. You can’t escape it.
You grew up in the Great Gatsby estate, which is such a unique and interesting background. Can you share any stories or memories that have influenced your music?
My mom was a phenomenal teacher and pianist AND cellist, and she would practice as we fell asleep. My dad would wear his boots through the house and track mud in after feeding the horses, and never seemed to realize, he was just so happy to have had his time with them. We would have peaches in milk in the summer and sometimes my mom and I would have late night cereal together outside. These are small things but I can see their faces when I think about it so they’re not so small to me and they are moments like these that I raval into new music.
What’s next for Olive Louise? Can we expect any new music or exciting projects in the near future?
I have music that I’m so proud of that I’ll be releasing every month.
Thank you for asking such thoughtful questions, I really appreciated them.