"Why do we have to pick a genre anyway? Can't we just love to make great music and forget where it fits if everyone likes to listen?" Spoken like a real songwriter-turned-diva. "I listen to it all and I'm influenced by it all. I don't think in genres and I don't sing in them either."
Olivia West has been influenced by everyone and everything. "But I mostly write about life. Mine and everyone else I know. It's kinda dangerous to know me if you don't wanna hear someone sing about you." Or blog. Olivia's blog about raising her children while pursuing her career (Livi's Life Story - A Single Mommy's Adventures In Becoming An Overnight Success) is an intimate, interactive and humorous look at the way her mind works.
Olivia earned her first paycheck singing Country music at the Truman Lake Opry in Tightwad MO. Since then she's waited tables, torn off roofs, cleaned houses and ended up "begging from stages with my tipbucket and my guitar" in Nashville's competitive and underpaid music scene. She's played everywhere from the Hard Rock & Tootsie's (in Nashville and Florida) to the Bluebird Cafe and shared a bill with John Rich, Lady Antebellum, Jerrod Neimann, Lee Brice, and even Casting Crowns and Reliant K. No one in Nashville is working harder at climbing that ladder to the top of the charts.
"Once I even won a karaoke contest so I could drive home from Nashville for a weekend. Ha ha! I think it's supposed to go the other way around" quips Olivia whose humor developed well as a defense mechanism against "more heartache than you can fit in a whole career of Country songs, that's probably why it ends up sounding more hard-edged like Rock."
Growing up under the poverty line, a supportive father's early and unexpected death, a failed marriage, the hardship of struggling to raise two boys alone, and the typical aches and pains of a growing artist career. It makes for a lot of material to write about.
"Nothing's off limits for my songs. I write about it all. I think music reaches more people if it's honest, and I can't afford a shrink, so I hold nothing back. I put it all in my music."
You can hear it in every note. It gets it out of your system just to listen.