Leaving a mark on her coastal town, Olivia Ooms brings a west coast twist to the country music world with her relatable lyrics and unforgettable vocals! The 18-year-old California native has been gaining experience in the industry for years, and it’s definitely paying off! Featured on CMT’s Next Up Now series and being selected by Billboard for First Country, Olivia is definitely leaving a mark on those around her and at her former magnet music program!
Recently, Olivia Ooms released, ‘Name on This Town,’ and told us just how she’s going to leave that mark and we are here for it! And at the speed she’s going we aren’t surprised at her aspirations! Sharing the stage with music legends, working with ACM Award-winning producers, and becoming a known name in country music Olivia continues to show that her songwriting skills are unmatched. And with her ‘California Country’ vibe, you’ll remember her tracks for days to come!
There are many things that go into account when making a great song, from the inspiration to the production and as Olivia Ooms continues to hit these amazing milestones, we’re here for the ride! So hop on the train with us and learn just what inspires those relatable lyrics, her favorite moments, and how Olivia Ooms plans to leave her ‘Name on This Town!’
‘Name on This Town’ has pretty aspirational lyrics about how you’re going to leave your mark on your town, how did you get inspiration for this track?
Yes!!! I love that word! The lyrics are absolutely and intentionally aspirational! I find in my life that trying my best and dreaming big makes me feel fulfilled and happy. I always strive to be the best I can be and think if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well! You have to lace up those boots and not be afraid to work hard and get a little dirty! Although the pandemic halted my plans to move to Nashville for the time being, it is only on hold. I will get there. I wrote this song before the shutdown when my plans were solidly in place. It is a reminder to follow our dreams and get out there to live our best lives!
You’ve been praised for your passionate lyrics and distinctive sound. What are your favorite lyrics you’ve written and why? How do you think your sound separates you from other artists?
What a great question! Thinking back on the songs I’ve written, many of which have not even yet been released, I have favorite lyrics from each one that just came to me and worked! From ‘California Country,’ I have so many favorite lines, it’s hard to choose just one but a favorite is a nod to my hometown: “Takin’ these boots and my Huntington roots and I’m gonna cut loose tonight.” A favorite from ‘Hideaway’ is: “Letting go is the best peace I’ve ever known.” I can’t really say how my sound separates me from other singers. We are all like fingerprints; no two are the same. I definitely saw that when I performed at Song Suffragettes! Both times, I was in awe of how unique each artist’s voice was and loved that no two sounded remotely the same!
How do you think you’ve already made an impression on your town with the milestones you’ve already reached?
Being a country singer in Orange Country has been nothing short of fabulous! I have had the honor of performing in so many places, including the Shipkicker Festival at the Queen Mary and Coastal Country Jam. I was a regular at our Tuesday night downtown street fairs, at bars and restaurants, on boats, and at marinas! I sang at the air show, at the Best of OC Annual Awards Banquet, for police department events, car shows, fundraisers, at my performing arts MMET (Music Media and Entertainment Technology) program concerts, and much more. There was never a dull moment, and I am so thankful for the support of my wonderful beach community! When I was asked to be on a new show “HB Original Songsters,” I knew how lucky I was to be able to, in fact, leave my name on my hometown!
What do you think it’ll take for you to be a town legend?
Maybe not a legend! But my absolute most important contribution will be to my magnet music program MMET program at Huntington Beach High School. Those are the people who shaped me and helped make me who I am today. Iron sharpens iron. When I arrived there as a high school freshman, I was already doing outside performances and had been active in the LA music scene. I brought a vision to that program that took the talented students outside the classroom and got them real gigs! I did it by example, I am told. It was not a conscious thing, rather a leading by doing, and bringing everyone alongside me! Wherever I had a gig, I encouraged others to join me. Before long, our program and student musicians became known in the community for talent and professionalism. I love that this will continue to be the MMET philosophy and will pave the way for other talented, aspiring musicians!
And your last single, ‘Hideaway,’ was selected by Billboard for First Country, what was your reaction when you saw yourself on that list of the best new country songs?
What an honor!!! I was sincerely blown away by the accolades while also really appreciating that someone saw the depth and angst of this song, coming from the deepest place in my soul. This was a very vulnerable song for me, and I hope it touches everyone as it did the people at Billboard. It made me understand the power of opening up my inner emotions and how that would be relatable with so many people.
Your song, ‘California Country’ combines your southern sound from your music with the fact that you’re from the west coast, do you think being from California offers a new perspective for your music as many think of country as being from the south?
YES!!! Absolutely this song connects the two worlds! I always wondered how I would make it as a country singer since I wasn’t from the South! What stories do I have to tell? Will the country music fans embrace my music?!? I knew I had to be true to myself and my roots and just be me! Coastal country was the lane I wanted to be in and there I found my joy!
And you’re still really young and even enrolled in college, how do you juggle becoming a musician with your current academic career? Are you majoring in music or something else you’re passionate about?
Life is full of twists and turns! I was a music major enrolled in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business songwriting program at Belmont University in Nashville. It was my dream and all I ever wanted. Then along came COVID, and the world shut down. Flights from LA to Nashville were all canceled. I had to make the difficult decision to stay in California, not knowing where this pandemic was heading, and instead accept an offer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which has been all kinds of wonderful! That’s what my song ‘Name on This Town’ is ultimately about: making the best of wherever you are and leaving a solid imprint! San Luis Obispo is a country town, and I hope to get gigs at some wineries and festivals as I now study psychology and business!
You’ve already shared stages with some well-known country artists, what’s been your favorite performance and why? If you could pick any artist or producer to work with, who would be your dream collaboration?
There is nothing better than being called up onstage completely unexpectedly by the one and only Tanya Tucker to sing ‘Delta Dawn’ with her! Opening for her was life-changing for a much younger me! Now, there are so many collabs I have in mind that it’s hard to choose just one! I am open to just about any!
You co-wrote ‘Name on This Town’ with Jamie O’Neal who’s also produced a few of your other tracks, how did this partnership come about and what do you like most about working with Jamie?
I met Jamie at a women in country event in Nashville! It was a magical day! Amy Grant was the speaker, and I grew up on her music! Next thing I know, I’m meeting Jamie, whom I admired so much! After talking and some meetings, we decided to work together, and a partnership was born! Jamie is so talented and fun, so wise and resourceful, it has been a joy to learn from her and create music from my heart!
What can fans expect for the rest of 2021?
2021 is going to make up for the lost year of 2020! I have so many things happening, and I hope for many more to come my way! I think it will be wonderful for everyone! Be sure to follow me @theoliviaooms and visit www.OliviaOoms.com for updated information!
If you had a way to leave your mark on your hometown, how would you achieve it? What did you think of ‘Name on This Town’ and Olivia Ooms astounding songwriting skills? Let us know in the comments below or tell us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: Rob Shanahan and Yasmin Keskin