We’ve never heard Olivia Rox quite like this before, and we can’t get enough! Her recent single ‘Been This Way B4’ brings a retro flair a la Grease to a universal message about the unhealthy expectations that media has given us about relationships. From her growl-accented, strong vocals to the gorgeous harmonies on the chorus and the fun music video, ‘Been This Way B4’ has been living in our heads rent-free.
From a lunch with friends in a diner (where stars like One Direction and Cher Lloyd have also lived out their artistic dreams) to a silent movie where the screen plainly warns Olivia, “he’s cheating on you,” she finds herself questioning whether she can trust her boyfriend, whose wandering eyes are a little too obvious. Every second of this video made us wish it could be a full-length rom-com instead!
We got to ask Olivia Rox all about ‘Been This Way B4,’ the stunning music video, her upcoming projects – including an all-new album, Lovestruck – and more! Keep reading to dive into her triumphantly creative mindset and get a little taste of what’s to come.
Congrats on your latest single, ‘Been This Way B4!’ What inspired the song, and what does it mean to you?
Thank you! It’s funny, the song is meant to be a breakup song, yet I wrote ‘Been This Way B4’ before ever dating anyone! Ironically, I met the first guy I ever dated on the set of filming the music video! When I wrote the song, I was very much inspired by pop culture and seeing so many women in real life getting trampled on in the way that their boyfriends were treating them. A part of this young me decided that I wouldn’t ever let my future relationships be that way, and hence, ‘Been This Way B4’ was born. I think this was the first real rebel song I ever wrote. 🙂
Is there a certain lyric from ‘Been This Way B4’ that you’re especially proud of?
“I won’t sit and cry as you tell me your lies” has to be one of my favorites!
We love the retro theme of the ‘Been This Way B4’ music video! What inspired the concept?
From the very incarnation of this song, literally from day one on the voice memos while writing it, I envisioned bringing in ’50s elements. Sometimes I can picture the entire vision of a song from that first spark, and this was definitely one of those cases. Then, my mom, dad and I really molded the concept through the years, and it was really wonderful getting to follow that vision through with them on set, since now we all work together. We knew we needed a ’50s diner, a drive-in movie scene, casting the guy that ends up cheating on me, and epic choreography. When it came time for my mom and I to officially write the script/storyboard for the video, it all just flowed so easily and we were already on the same page with the plot and visuals.
You filmed ‘Been This Way B4’ at Cadillac Jack’s Diner, where music videos like Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’ and Cher Lloyd’s ‘Want U Back’ were also filmed. Even One Direction filmed a live performance there! What was it like on set?
Yes! It was probably one of the best days of my life so far, mainly because of the incredible people we had on set! We were in rehearsals for weeks before filming, so the cast, main crew and I already had such a great rapport. When we finally showed up to film at Cadillac Jack’s, it felt like it was our last day of summer camp. I actually can’t believe it myself, but we filmed the entire video in only 1 (really long) day! The visuals were impeccable in the diner, and when our location scout told us to come see it initially, we weren’t sure what to expect. But, from the moment we stepped through the door, we felt like we had stepped back in time to the 1950s, and we knew we had found the perfect place to film. We all had so much fun, and sometimes it was hard to keep a straight face while filming because someone was always cracking a joke.
Throughout the video, you wear so many adorable retro outfits that we’d love to steal for our own closets. Which look was your favorite and why?
Haha same – I kind of want to just start dressing like that when I do really normal things like grocery shopping, and see if anyone says something. 😉 Oh man, it’s hard to choose!! I really loved the outfit from the drive-in scene, with the pastel pinkish/salmon-colored skirt and sparkly bust, which you really only see for a few brief moments. Followed by the dress right after that – the pink striped one that I did a big dance number in. That dress was actually a part of a Barbie line, so I literally felt like a living doll in that moment! Haha. Then of course there was the black dress with a red underskirt that I felt like a total 1950s badass in!
‘Been This Way B4’ passed 500,000 views within two days – congratulations! What has it been like for you to see fans loving the video this much?
Thank you!!! Honestly, I’m blown away. And now we’re almost at 5 million!!! It makes me so happy to see people enjoying the video – plus I’ve gotten so many wonderful comments and wonderful feedback from it! There’s something really special about releasing your art and having people appreciate/share and love it, especially on a big scale like this. I always get really nervous the day before releasing a new song or music video, I guess a part of me thinks; What if no one likes it? But I remind myself that primarily, I have to love it. But to see that it’s not just me makes me really happy! I’m so proud of everyone involved in this video, especially my director Tamara Van Cleef, my choreographer Mary Cebrian, the cast, my team, and Songbird Records, because everyone has worked so hard to get to this point and this is a shared success for all of us.
We’re absolutely in love with the 50s-60s aesthetic of ‘Been This Way B4.’ If you could make a video inspired by another decade, which would you choose?
I think the ’70s! I can never get over how cute the fashion was then, and how fast it evolved during that decade!
We can’t get enough of your fun pop-rock sound! Who are some artists that inspire your music?
Thank you! Hmm… my musical tastes are always evolving; but a lot of times the music I listen to isn’t super close to what I end up creating! But, some artists that I love are The Rolling Stones (I can’t get no satisfaction – literally, I listen to their music over and over again!), The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Plain White T’s, and The Police.
Last time we talked to you, you had just released your single ‘Princess,’ which is still in our rotation! How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since then?
Awww!!! Thank you!! That’s awesome!! I feel like I’ve been evolving a lot as an artist even just these past few months. ‘Been This Way B4’ is the last single from my debut album POPROX, so in a way it feels like I’m closing a chapter of my life and getting ready for the future. This is very exciting my brand new album which comes out early 2023 is called Lovestruck and I just flew back from Mexico (and boy are my arms tired, haha) where I filmed a sneak peek of the new album. It will be airing on my very own on-demand channel on Comcast/Xfinity! This is so epic because now everyone can get a glimpse of the new show that I will be bringing on tour hopefully to a city near you soon!
Besides, building my new show for the tour, the past few months I’ve been in choreography for the new songs and music videos, recording my first Christmas album coming out this year as a follow up to my original song, #13 Billboard Christmas single ‘It’s Christmastime,’ gearing up for my first branded music festival ROXFEST, and in the studio recording my new pop album, which I think is a really exciting next step for me as a person and artist. Whew! I’m exhausted just talking about it all! Haha.
I’ve learned to really embrace who I am throughout the run of my debut album and its singles. Going into this next album, I feel so much more confident in myself. (Although it’d be inhuman to never have insecurities!) But, in a lot of ways, I feel like I can achieve and reach my goals, because in the pandemic, I really had to learn how to do a little of everything in the biz – which now enables me to have the mindset that if you set yourself mind to something, you can learn it. Also, POPROX was recorded/written while I was still a teenager, and now I’ve just turned 23! So in a lot of ways, I’ve grown up, learned a lot of life lessons, and have a lot more to say! Looking back even just 6 or 7 years ago when I was on Idol, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I’m a very spiritual person, so growth and learning from experiences is very important to me.
At THP, we’re all about discovering new talent and finding the next big hit before it blows up. Who are some up-and-coming artists you’re digging lately?
That’s very cool! I love that 😉 I was racking my brain thinking of who the newest artists are that I love, because it seems like every time I find a new up-and-coming artist, they blow up! Haha. But I love finding new artists and watching them grow too! Some more (already very established) artists that I love are Grace Potter, Shakira, Queen, and MIKA, and I’ve been hearing a lot of this new artist, Beethoven 😉
Thank you so much to Olivia Rox for answering our questions! What did you think of the ‘Been This Way B4’ music video? What was your favorite part of our interview? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And for more exclusive conversations with your favorite and new favorite artists, click here.