1. Hi Olivia! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us a bit about yourself and your music.
Thanks for having me!
I’m 22, and I’m from Fremantle. I’m still trying to figure out my sound, but I think you could call it electronic-soul. I have a puppy called Tora. She’s a three month old fawn Kelpie and we both enjoy long walks (sometimes runs) on the beach, until one of us falls asleep.
2. When did you realise you wanted to pursue music, and how did you go about it?
I think I always sort of gravitated towards music as a kid. I was obsessed with The Sound of Music by the time I was 4, and my love for singing just sort of grew from there. I begged my parents to let me start piano lessons when I was 5, and eventually picked up the guitar at 13 or 14.
3. Is there a meaning behind the name ‘St. South’?
I grew up in a small country town South of Perth. And even after moving to the city, heading South always meant heading home. I guess it was a way for me to pay homage to my childhood, and everything that made me, me.
4. In 2012, you entered into the Bon Iver Stems Project and won! (And everyone is still talking about it today!) Tell us more about the re-mix you created and the competition?
I had no idea how to produce anything at the time, and I didn’t have any of my own instrument or sample packs to assist in the remix, so I literally had to use the stems provided and nothing else. I ended up taking the percussion from ‘Holocene’, piano, strings and vocal samples from ‘Wash’, and piano and vocal samples from ‘Hinnom, TX’. I didn’t know how to chop or pitch vocals, so I just wrote my own lyrics and melody over the top.
I was kind of worried people would hate it, or think I’d butchered the song. But I’ve loved Bon Iver for such a long time, that it was just cool to be able to take my favourite aspects of their album, and produce my own interpretation of it.
5. We LOVE your new song ‘Cadence’! Your lyrics always have so much depth behind them, where do you find most of your inspiration, and what’s your songwriting process like?
Thank you! It tends to be different every time. I guess it’s a given that my lyrical inspiration kind of depends on my current state of mind. It’s definitely a good way for me to vent anything that I’m going through. Sometimes I’ll write something entirely on my own, acoustically, and then send it to a producer. And other times they’ll send me some beats and I’ll write something over it.
6. Tell us about what is coming up for you?
I’m releasing a new track on the 1st of June, produced by Melbourne electronic group, Yujen. It’s called ‘Better Still’ and we wrote it nearly 3 years ago, so it’s bloody great to finally get it out!
After that I’ll be releasing a few remixes of ‘Cadence’ before I head off to LA for two months to work with a couple of producers and finally put together a live setup.
7. What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
Oh man, everything? I’m still very much at the start of wherever it is I’m going, so it’s impossible for me to overlook any nice message or review.
Off the top of my head, definitely the Stems Project, having ‘Slacks’ featured on MSMR’s mixtape, coming runner up in the Bose Listen For Yourself competition, and definitely being featured on Pigeons and Planes ‘21 Australian Female Musicians You Should Know’.
8. Do you have any musical influences?
Many! I listen to so many different artists. A lot of old stuff too; Elvis Costello, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, The Temptations etc. And more recently, Banoffee, St. Vincent, Courtney Barnett, Mama Kin, Cloud Control, Mura Masa, Tora, ODESZA, Drake, Taylor Swift, Thelma Plum, Sylvan Esso, Shura, Akiine, Willow & Jaden Smith, CJ Trillo, Frank Ocean, King Krule, Leon Bridges, The National, The Jezabels, Tiny Ruins.
I’ll stop there before I get carried away!
9. Any plans for touring in the near future?
It’s definitely the next step for me. Up until now it’s been a matter of finding the right person to tour with, who can help me to bring the produced tracks to life, so it’s not just me and my laptop. Also having enough songs for a set list is becoming less of a setback. Until now I’ve only had a mix match of random singles, so once the EP is out I’ll have something more coherent to tour/work with.
10. Lastly, do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a music career or to step out and do what they love?
There’s no right or wrong! Experiment/dabble in as many genres as possible. Collaborate as much as you can. And don’t forget to have all the fun in the world!