Many children wish to be a pop star when they grow up, for Olivia Lunny, dreams became reality.
Whilst half the population were found slouched halfway down the sofa for the best part of last year, Olivia Lunny got to work, finding herself the most focused and determined she’s ever known to be. Framing 2020 as “exciting, chaotic, and out of focus,” Olivia found comfort in the chaos that forced her to adapt and throw all her energy into music. And it really did all go into the music. 2020 saw Lunny alongside star-studded Canadian talent Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber for a moving charity single cover of “Lean On Me” to raise funds for Canadian Red Cross’ COVID-19 relief efforts and initiatives.
In addition to that, going back to basics last year forced Lunny to push any industry thoughts to the back of her mind and allowed her to be unapologetically herself through her creations. “The irony is that once I let go of the uncertainty of my career, that’s when the most exciting things found me.”
Dating back to her adolescence, there were never moments of silence in the Lunny household as she grew up around the soundscapes of Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay, and Norah Jones. “After my dad had taught me a few basic chords on the guitar, I began writing lyrics and melodies around the age of 12,” she tells EUPHORIA. “Through high school, music was a constant and helped me express myself through song.” Olivia shortly made the decision to ditch education and begin pursuing music, soon landing a contestant spot on Canada’s The Launch competition.
Exiting the show both a winner and an alternated version of the artist she once was, Olivia submerged herself into contrasting sounds before landing right where she sonically belongs. “I’ve always adored how pop music makes me feel,” she airs. “I’ve also always written music that evokes a certain feeling within me … Through following those two things, although ever-changing, I’ve worked to put out music that has strong feelings attached to each song.” Rather touched that her listeners resonate through the honesty reflected in her lyrics, Lunny often prefers to go it solo. “Writing music by yourself will always lead to the most vulnerable and personal lyrics.”
Alternatively, Olivia likes to party: “Writing in a group is definitely more fun because of the social element and ideas you come up with by bouncing off of each other’s momentum!” The momentum shines through in “Sad To See You Happy”: a bonafide explosion of hyper-pop where Lunny sees red in one’s happiness, more specifically, her ex’s joy.
Blossoming into fruition in just one afternoon, “Sad To See You Happy” is the result of magic made in collaboration with Jenson Vaughan, Shaun Frank, and AJ Healey. “We started the session with a guitar loop which inspired the fun syncopated chorus,” she begins explaining, mentioning the track was done and dusted in the space of 4-5 hours. “I think the best songs come together when you can avoid overthinking it. This song is so fun and honest and I hope listeners can sing to it in the car and feel comforted if they’re going through a similar situation.”
Directed by Louis Browne, the track’s visual sees a technicolor vision of LA’s golden hour where Olivia unknowingly moves next door to her ex. Her rose-tinted shades are soon removed as she falls back into the toxicity of her previous relationship and every sight of her ex-lover drives her to insanity.
Lifted from what will be Olivia’s debut record, all eyes are firmly placed on the pop star and what her next motions will be. “I am so excited to share the different sounds and themes I explore through this music,” she states. “I had the chance to collaborate with some incredibly established producers and writers that you’ll be able to hear real soon.”
The last few weeks spent rehearsing with her band are the first time Olivia’s done anything live-music related in over a year; slowly but surely cooking up a storm for her future. “Everything happens for a reason,” she starts to conclude. “The universe has a plan, you just have to trust the process of it all.”