We could never say no to someone who’s as talented as the up and coming Olivia Lunny. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, this 22 year-old talent is blossoming into the next big thing across the world. Her freshest single, “Who Could Say No,” is a pop classic that leaves the whole audience desiring more from Olivia Lunny’s already incredible discography.
Since the release of her debut EP, ‘To The Ones I Loved,’ Olivia Lunny has been praised by Billboard, Refinery29, PAPER Magazine and many more. Evolving her craft since she began her musical journey at the age of 12, her raw talent has been infectious ever since.
Listen to “Who Could Say No” here.
1. Besides Daughter and Ingrid Michealson, who else would you say are your biggest musical influences?
I would say Coldplay and Norah Jones played a huge role in my musical life, but as of right now I’ve been loving Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, and some more pop-y stuff.
2. Are there any albums that spoke to you on a musical and personal level growing up?
Yes, I would say ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ by Coldplay was a big album and then ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac – that album’s just timeless and I still listen to it. So those two definitely played a big role in my music.
3. How has growing up in Winnipeg shaped you as an artist?
So growing up in Winnipeg we had some crazy cold winters, so I think because of that it really forced me to hibernate in my basement and write tons of music. As much as the cold winters were awful sometimes, I think that was the light in it all.
4. What’s the story behind your latest single, “Who Could Say No”?
I’m really excited, it’s actually a really happy song. Lots of my music tends to be breakup related so this is one of my first really empowering, happy songs. And it’s just about confidence and living in the moment with yourself and with the people around you.
5. If you could only use one word to describe your debut album, what would it be and why?
I would say personal. This album really – well because it is a debut album, in the past I’ve just released singles and a small EP – this really feels like a true introduction to me as a person, as an artist, as someone in the industry. So I was really excited to share that personalness with the world.
6. Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to songwriting?
So up until now I would say almost 90-99% of my songs have been about my personal experiences, relationships, love and heartbreak. But as I get older, more mature and I’m single right now which is great, I’ve definitely been drawing inspiration from the people around me, things going on in the world, and just playing around with different concepts. Whether they’re personal or not, just kinda having fun and exploring different situations in the song world
7. Are there any particular themes that you like writing about?
Well I would say again like up until now, it’s definitely been navigating love and relationships in the modern day and age. How social media and stuff can get in the way of that. Yeah, just a modern day love letter I guess.
8. What is the writing process like?
So for me I still haven’t pinpointed a process that works kinda every single time, it’s a very spontaneous thing for me. So obviously I have the voice memos on my phone, I have the notes app, I’m always just writing down ideas. But for me a song can either come in its entirety in one sitting or I’ll write maybe a verse, and then revisit it two weeks later, then slowly chip away at writing the song but it’s all over the place.
9. What’s the longest you’ve taken to write a song?
I think one song took about six months because the song was written and then I had collaborators come in and we moved the song around. But on the other hand, I think I’ve also written one of my songs, it’s on the new album called “The Walls.” That song came together super quickly like in one sitting – I wrote the chorus in about 20 minutes so it’s all over the place.
10. Besides navigating the pandemic, social and political issues, and the ideals of a modern relationship, what other issues or topics in society are important to you?
Well first and foremost there’s so much going on in the world, especially now which is crazy. But I would say mental health is a huge thing and social media definitely ties into that, especially being in a pandemic. I think everyone being at home and just kinda gravitating towards their phone and towards being looped into the world, which is amazing. But I do think there is this whole downside to social media and negative components that can really affect our brains, our relationships and all that stuff. Not so much in my past music but in the music I’m writing currently, that is something I’m for sure exploring.
11. Do you hope to explore any of those in your songs?
Yeah, I hope to because I think obviously relationships play a huge role. But there’s just so many important things that need to be said right now, and music is such a great way to get to people so I definitely wanna explore that.
12. “Bedsheets” from your EP, ‘To The Ones I Loved,’ is my personal favourite. What was the creative process like in making it?
So that song I had written kind of in the middle of a situationship I was in. And I’d just written “cigarette inside your hand wish you would hold me like that” – the opening line of the song. And then I took it to a friend of mine and a collaborator, AJ Healey. One evening we just sat down and we were drinking tea and this song kinda just came out. I showed him the idea, we talked about relationships and I guess what had happened in my situation and it just perfectly summed up everything I was going through. And again it came out so easily and so quickly. I think we probably wrote it in about two or three hours. So that song feels the most vulnerable and personal, but it seems to be the song that people resonate the most with so that’s cool to hear. Me being so honest in my music, I guess other people can relate to that.
13. What is your dream collaboration – big name or small?
I love SG Lewis, not sure if you’re familiar with him but he makes some really cool, I would say fresh pop music; it’s kind of electro-pop. So him, he would be super fun to work with. And then obviously I love Shawn Mendes, I think he’d be super fun to work with him one day because he’s awesome. I love his voice and his songwriting ability.
14. If we asked you to curate the soundtrack of your life so far, what 5 songs would be on it?
“Gravity” by John Mayer, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, “Warm” by SG Lewis, “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, and “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran.
15. What artists are on your heavy rotation right now?
I’ve been loving Arlo Parks, Giveon, SG Lewis, Daniel Caesar. I think it totally depends on my week or mood – some days I’m more like R&B vibes, other days I’m more straight pop. Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’ is such a good album, but yeah those are a few I’d say within the past month that I’m really vibing to.
What’s the one thing you want the world to know about you right now?
Got lots of new music coming, so much new music and stay tuned because there’s lots of good stuff coming up.
Now that you’re feeling a bit more personal with Olivia Lunny, go ahead and follow her on Instagram and Twitter. If you can’t get enough Olivia content, check out the official “Sad To See You Happy” video + bts below!