Interview with talented singer-songwriter Olivia Ooms who has the mature vocals and songwriting prowess of an old soul. With her new single “California Country,” co-written and produced by ACM Award winner Jamie O’Neal, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native combines her coastal roots and southern sound.
“California Country” follows Ooms’ debut single “Thoughts of You,” which landed the emerging entertainer a spot in CMT’s Artist Discovery Program, a performance on CMA’s Spotlight Stage and placement as the first female country artist featured on Radio Disney’s RDYou Station. Ooms’ passion for country music is evident in every performance from opening for Lady Antebellum and Old Dominion with her band at Coastal Country Jam, to entertaining crowds of fans during CMA Fest, and opening for country music icon Tanya Tucker, whose path Ooms can certainly relate to as a teenage songstress rising to fame.
Follow Olivia at @theoliviaooms
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Hardworking, kind and giving.
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get in the industry?
I did a lot of background acting when I was younger. One day on set, someone heard me and put me in touch with a producer who helped me bring the songs in my head to life. I hadn’t had any professional training, but I auditioned for Kids Bop on a whim and ended up making it to their Top 11. After a weekend boot camp in Dallas, I didn’t make the final cut, but was told that I had a raw talent that needed to be developed, so the rest is history! I stayed best of friends with the Kids Bop kids and decided to carve my path into the world of country music because that’s where my inspiration was found.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Relatable, fun and unique
Do you play any instruments?
I play piano and guitar!
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make and write music?
My guitar teacher influenced me because he paid close attention to my way of learning and inspired me to lose my inhibitions and get lost in my writing…then my thoughts and feelings came out as music.
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes, but I think a little bit of nerves are good for the soul.
What is your next goal as a musician?
To go on tour. I love meeting people and making friends! Performing for people makes me the happiest!
Now tell us about your new single “California Country”?
“California Country” tells the story of how I grew up and lived these 16 years of my life so far. It’s the reality of who I am. This song attempts to bridge the gap between west coast country and southern country with lines like “staring at the same stars seen in the deep south”. I think we are all chasing our dreams in one way or another, mine just have a sprinkle of Beach Country mixed in, thus one of my favorite lines “we’re chasing waves like we’re chasing dreams!”
Olivia Ooms - California Country (Official Audio)
How was working with ACM Award winner Jamie O’Neal?
Jamie O’neal is an amazing person. She has so much talent and knowledge. For her to share that with me has been an eye-opening and wonderful journey. I’m so thankful she took her time to help guide me.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My phone, reusable water bottle, guitar, chapstick and bible.
What is your favorite song? And why?
My fave song is always changing…there are so many great ones that it’s hard to choose just one. But “Drops of Jupiter” by Train will always be one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s a classic.
Any loves other than music?
I love scuba diving, hiking, camping, shopping and hanging out with my friends…anything that gets me out of the house is where I’ll be!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio because he’s turned his platform of influence into one of benefitting the world through his environmentalism and helping create a more sustainable future for our planet.
Best advice ever given?
Never give up!
What’s next for Olivia Ooms in 2019?
Wherever the wind takes me that’s where you’ll find me.
How’s a typical day in your life?
It’s a lot like any other teenager. Going to school, cleaning my room, after school activities, work. I am always busy, but so are my friends! We all work hard to be the best we can be in whatever we are doing, be it sports or academics. So we also treasure our time together getting to just relax and hang out. The thing that makes me different though is my busy performance schedule!
Name one your strengths?
Organization. I have to be organized to juggle my busy schedule. I am a Virgo and that also happens to be a strong attribute of my astrological sign, so that is lucky for me!! I value punctuality and commitment, so staying organized is critical to those tenets.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Going to church. I love singing out to praise music and hearing God’s word to keep me grounded and centered. After that, i’m open to anything that comes my way on a Sunday!
Do you support any charities?
I am actively involved with COA (Community Outreach Alliance) a local organization offering healthy and fun lifestyle choices, as a prevention to the sad suicide and drug epidemic that has been sweepng the nation. I also support beach clean-ups and other environmental causes.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Açaí bowls…just yum!!!!
And your favorite cheat food?
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself touring with my band opening for some country artists who I look up to and want to work with! Big festivals! Finding a platform for my voice to be heard while being a positive influence and helping make great changes in the world.
How would you describe your fashion style?
ree spirited bo-ho is a definite fave style of mine. Iit reflects my personality, and I just love styling looks that make me happy!
What do you think of Social Media?
I love social media! You just can’t have it rule your life. You have to take it with a grain of salt. It’s a great place to connect and have fun by keeping up with friends and fans I otherwise don’t get to see very often.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Live in grace, walk in love.” – Bob Goff
Movie: “The Longest Ride”
Travel Destination: Favorite is Santorini, Dream is Croatia
Sports Team: Angels
Photo Credit: Rob Shanahan Photography