Our WorldArts Spotlight Artist of the Month is Olio! This SoCal rock/funk/pop trio puts on an electrifying live show and has a new track out just in time for your New Year’s Eve bash. Check out our exclusive Q&A with the band to hear about how they got started, how they navigate the industry, and what’s next for them in 2018!
1) Tell us about how you got started in music?
Well, we each have our own story of getting into music. From starting out with formal lessons on piano or just grabbing an instrument and figuring it out. I think the same holds true for getting into the professional aspect as well. We each come from different backgrounds but we share a lot of commonality, from influences to how we were raised.
2) What inspiration(s) do you draw on when you create music?
We draw from a number of areas. Our personal experiences, our encounters on tour and at shows, from each other when we’re jamming in a room and of course, all of our musical heroes. I think we’re really good at going with the flow. Sometimes you get an idea and you might think “no, it’s not happening” but when you open it up to the other guys, they might have a different take and then the music begins to show itself. Now it’s our job to just craft it and make it sound and feel good.
3) What was the music scene like in your respective areas of Los Angeles when you were growing up?
So, L.A. has been our scene for all of us. Arif moved here when he was 18. Kelley and I were born here in the area. For Arif and I, I think we tend to like it back in the day a lot more, just because there was more of an emphasis on being really good and different. You had to bring it!Now, it’s about “pay to play” and “how many people can you bring?”. You also don’t see a lot of bands (artists) coming together and creating a great bill for a night. But I will say, it has been improving. You have to remember in L.A. there is a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar, so going to see a “local band” isn’t always high on the list.
4) If you could go on tour with any artist (past or present) who would it be?
Right now, I would say U2. They are still one of the biggest bands on the planet. Their fanbase is awesome, their production is always amazing. You want to go out with artists like that, so you can see how you want to run your touring business. It’s not just about playing in front of a huge crowd, it’s about furthering and improving your career. You need to know the ins and outs and what better way than to learn from a band or artist who has done for a long time and has done it well.
5) What’s your ‘go-to’ karaoke song?
We don’t karaoke but I guess if we did My Way by Frank Sinatra. 😉
I would have to say, you got to hustle but hustle smart. You gotta have a plan and work in the areas that best serve your goals. Always be professional and accommodating. No one likes a diva or some ego maniac in the mix. And if your in a band situation, you have to learn how to work together for a common goal. Learn your craft and always be prepared at rehearsals and for gigs.
7) If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
“The machine” aspect of the industry really bugs me. We are being inundated with the same thing over and over again until someone decides to change the trend and the it’s starts all over again. I really dig it when we have so many different styles and vibes in the mainstream. It creates a healthier musical environment. We also need to get back to actually being good, having talent and good work ethic.
8) What is the best way you’ve found to market yourself as an artist?
Being an indie band, we use any available resource we can find to get our music and brand out there. We’re competing with a machine that has been in place for decades and there are cracks in their design but you have to be willing to do the work and put yourself out there. Submission sites, Touring, Radio (fm and internet) Podcast, Local shows, Reviews ect…but nothing beats word of mouth. Now, this also means you have to know who you are as an artist. You can’t market, what you don’t know. And no one can help you get to where you want to go, if you don’t know the destination.
9) Tell us about your latest single New Years Eve and the inspiration behind it?
New Year’s Eve is a fun song. It goes off at shows! This is a track similar to Prince’s 1999. It’s not necessarily about New Year’s Eve but about the vibe of NYE. Hanging with friends on the weekend and having a good time. Taking a break from the day to day grind, getting dressed up, so you can get messed up lol! You don’t have to wait until DEC 31st to have an epic party, like we use to back in the day. We have a couple of kool references to Prince and Bowie. We really dig the song, it’s got 3 very distinct sections that kinda gives you a snapshot of what Olio does as well.
10) What next on the horizon for you (shows/new tracks or EP/in the studio now etc.)?
Well, we have a new EP coming in the Spring, just in time for Austin Music week. Which goes along with our tour at that time. There will be a big announcement regarding us and a very popular, HOF band in December. Make sure you are connected to our social media for all the details (see below).And a lot of work to keep things going and growing.
Big thanks to Olio and be sure to download New Year’s Eve on iTunes today!