“The music business is always changing and moving like anything else. I have spent hours online researching how record labels work, the pros and cons to staying independent, and how the Internet continues to change the game. Some aspects of the industry will remain constant, and others have been flipped upside down because of social media and the ever-fluctuating market.” – @oliviadvorak
Listen to the Interview
Episode #300 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/02/24/episode-300-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW OLIVIA DVORAK
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
How do you feel about the Music business…
Wow, that’s a loaded question! The music business is always changing and moving like anything else. I have spent hours online researching how record labels work, the pros and cons to staying independent, and how the Internet is continues to change the game. Some aspects of the industry will remain constant, and others have been flipped upside down because of social media and the ever-fluctuating market. I have discovered that developing relationships with like-minded people is always beneficial because relationships with good people equal a good outcome.
How many times have I heard, “It’s all about relationships?” Well, I have come to think that statement is true. I can either be encouraging that everyone is connected in this world, or completely overwhelmed. Becoming frustrated and discouraged is easy to do because this is truly a difficult industry. Pounding the pavement to book shows and manage my music life is exhausting at times. However, I overcome the hurdles and pitfalls of the business side of the industry by making sure I do everything in my power to kill the stage every time I have a performance. I have found that personally, this business is about being extremely good at what I do best artistically, and making sure my live shows are as consistent as humanly possible from the sound and production to the performance.
There are many things that are out of my control, but what I write, how I perform, and how I connect with other people can remain consistent. No one can take that away, and I can find encouragement in that.
The funny thing is, I am not a technologically savvy or social media savvy person. The struggle is real when I have to figure out what in the world to tweet, or if I should seriously boost that facebook post. Still, I love being able to have access to my fans all the time. After a show, my favorite thing to do is to respond and interact with people on all my social media platforms. There is a lot of power to encouraging each other to achieve different goals and dreams.
Singles vs an album…
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference. Releasing a single is a fabulous idea because I have seen one song promote an entire album. I can’t say that I have personally used this tactic, but I support it!
When I came out with my “Don’t Come Knockin’” album, I pushed the first track, “Don’t Come Knockin,’” like crazy by making a music video for it, and also getting the song spun on quite a few radio stations. Now that people love that song, I’m introducing “Siren’s Call,” which is also the first track on my new album. When people hear my song on the radio or at a show, they almost always buy the whole album just because that song is on there.
I was surrounded by a family of musicians…
growing up, so music, performing, and singing has always been a part of who I am. I begged my
mom to teach me piano before my hands were big enough to reach the keys, and my dad trained me to be a better musician in all aspects because of his background as well. Both of my parents actually love Celtic music, so all of us, including my sister, started a family band for a couple years playing jigs and Irish tunes. I never would have thought that those roots would be so prominent in my songwriting years later. After six years of piano, I fell in love with the guitar when I was in 4th grade, and then began writing songs about life in junior high. A career in music was not in the forefront of my mind at all, but time changed that opinion. College didn’t feel right after a year and a half, so I ended up getting an opportunity to record in Nashville. After that, I worked towards to pursuing songwriting and performing as a full time career.
Is too much emphasis on being current and trendy or is there a balance that you have found helpful in your artistic decisions…
Sometimes yes, I feel that there is quite a bit of emphasis placed on being current and trendy. However, that’s not a bad thing because I frankly don’t care what people think I should wear, or what I should write about because they’re not me. As long as my fans are responsive to my art, then I take that in and just keep rolling. I decided a while ago, as I was in the branding process, that I didn’t want to wear dresses or high heels to my shows anymore. I did that for a while, and it was the opposite of who I was. Plus, I’m too clumsy to where high heels at shows; it was a matter of time before disaster would hit. I then resorted to plain V-neck T-shirts, vintage jewelry, jeans and boots. I didn’t see too many females
going for a simple, rustic look, and that style seemed to match my music the best. Of course, I’ll never stop developing, but it has been quite the journey to figure out what fits me. As an artist, I’m extremely impressionable, and I care a lot about other people’s opinions and ideas. Since I realize that, it’s easier for me to step back, think about what my message and brand is, and if something doesn’t match, it’s easier to toss it out and keep moving.
This song came to me when I was in college, and I had a horrible case of writer’s block. I began thinking about the story of the Sirens from the “Iliad and the Odyssey” in order to get away from anything typical that I would normally write about. The tale goes that the Sirens were beautiful creatures who lured sailors to their death with their irresistible singing. The symbolism of resisting an impossible temptation struck me, so I started writing this rugged, Celtic /Country song that is my absolute favorite to perform at the end of every show. Purchase the music: http://www.oliviadvorak.com/#!music/ckge
Siren’s Call was long overdue to be recorded, and I finally released it on my new, live acoustic album, “Cold Weather.”
I realized that after trying to record the song on multiple occasions, it never quite sounded right. The way I recorded it on this album is not auto-tuned; I had one straight, live shot with guitar, vocals, and my looper pedal. Songs definitely ask for different things, and “Siren’s Call” needed to have a raw and imperfect energy when it was recorded this time around.
I’m thankful to say that I have two albums out. “Don’t Come Knockin’” and “Cold Weather”, and they are both so different. The first, I recorded in Nashville with studio musicians, and it is an incredible journal entry that launched who I was an artist. My second album that I released in December of 2015 is completely live, not auto-tuned; just me, my guitar and looper pedal. Just like a live show. “Cold Weather” encompasses the rough journey of life, and my thoughts on where I’ve been these past years. There are songs about relations hips that went south, secrets that I felt like I had to hide, and my empathy to the wandering souls. Ultimately, the music is about finding beauty in life’s journey, and working towards loving people better.
We all travel through cold weather, you know? The ups and downs can be beautiful, though. I marketed this album for what it was: a live album, and my CD release party in my hometown in Rockford was insane! The bar owner had to buy people shots in order to move them the bar so that more room could be made for people coming in for the concert. I thought that was hilarious.
I live in St. Charles, Illinois…
but who knows where I’ll end up. I’m open to wherever God leads me next. The music scene in the Mid-West is hopping in the summer and slow in the winter because everyone is so cold up here! The venues are broad. There are awesome hole in the wall places that have the best, free spirited people you’ll ever meet. I’ve also performed for a thousand people at a time in a theater or festival because I had opportunities to directly support some of the largest acts in country music. Every show is different, and the fun of it all is learning how to win a new crowd every night, or reconnect with my most loyal fans.
I love swing dancing! I wish I danced more often now, but I fell in love with it hobby in college. Dancers are artistic, fun-loving people, and they are kind of like musicians… They’re crazy, and a different breed of awesome.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with..
Carrie Underwood. Of course she is incredibly talented, but I respect her the most because she is a grounded person in her faith and her personal life. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen anything scandalous or crazy posted about Carrie, and I admire that about her. She’s strong, modest, wise and talented. As I’m learning to manage my musical life and personal life, it would be great to get advise from someone who is going through it and doing a fantastic job. Musically, Carrie Underwood is someone that I study lyrically for my writing, and musically as well, among many other artists. I’ll flip through the radio all the time, but I have had a Carrie CD in my car since junior high. I think she’s there to stay.
I am most afraid of…
Being completely and utterly alone in life.
simply being able to use my gift of songwriting to encourage, help and love other people. This past year in 2015, I had the opportunity to directly support Loretta Lynn, Trace Adkins, Scotty McCreery and the Band Perry. I had worked full time on my career for about two years in order to get to the point where I could captivate an audience of a thousand people, and the feeling of accomplishment was incredible. That was more than a feeling of an accomplishment; it was a knowing that this is where I am supposed to be in this moment. After each show, I met, hugged and took selfies with so many people of every age, and it was a few hours that paid for hundreds of hours of working up to that point. My whole life has been practicing and singing, so I know I have a long way to go. That’s a rush to think about!
My ultimate goal is…
to touch other people with my music, and inspire them to accomplish their goals and discover their unique gifts through my writing. If God opens the door to put me in a stadium with a million people, I know exactly what I would be there for.
Performers have a big responsibility because they are such a large in fluence on so many people at one time. In return,
the audience gives off an inordinate amount of energy back to the performer, and it’s a lifelong journey to figure out how to cultivate that energy into an experience that people will hold onto for the rest of their lives. Music is definitely a powerful thing.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) When I write a song, if I don’t have fun playing it, either it’s not good enough or it’s not done yet. If the lyrics aren’t interesting, they need to be revised. I’m definitely a perfectionist when it comes to what people will hear, but I know that will make me a better musician and songwriter.
2) My sound engineer and I make sure that the production and sound at a show is close to perfect every time. Sure, it is a ton of work to haul a bunch of equipment in and out of my SUV for shows, setting up, tearing down, or rehearsing transitions and set lists… But I know quality is so important because when a big opportunity hits, we’re both ready; sound and stage presence.
3) Taking time for myself. As weird as it sounds, sometimes I forget to take down time to do something fun! Rejuvenating is almost more important than working some times because if I’m refreshed, I’ll do my job 10 times better.
Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/olivia-dvorak
Purchase Music: Website : http://www.oliviadvorak.com/#!music/ckge