Olivia Lunny

Since she truly entered the music scene with her independently released eponymous EP in 2018, Olivia Lunny has been gaining momentum as one of the new generations of pop music’s most recognizable faces. As a prolific songwriter – she co-wrote her second EP, To the Ones I Loved, over a five-day studio session with AJ Healey – she continues to steal the hearts of people with her memorable tunes and touching lyrics.

Following the release of her alt-pop track “Wonderland,” the Western Canadian Music Awards Pop Artist of the Year nominee is hoping to continue her growing electronic-pop dominance with the release of “Timezone.” Luckily, we were able to meet up with her to learn more about “Wonderland,” “Timezone,” and why she makes music.

It’s so great getting to chat with you about your single “Timezone.” However, before we get to it, I’m sure your fans would be interested in knowing more about the early days of Olivia Lunny. What’s it like getting to write songs at the tender age of 12?

I grew up in a very musical household. My dad played guitar and then my parents are always playing music in the house so I was kind of immersed in it at a very young age, and when I was 12 years old I asked my dad to teach me the guitar, and then from there, I started writing songs, very naturally. It came naturally to me and I think high schools are really crazy times for people in their lives and music was really the guiding factor for me and really helped me navigate crazy times in my life.

Support for your music grows with every song you drop and I know that must be amazing. What’s it like signing to a major record label and having increased media attention on you?

Honestly, it’s just really exciting. I think as an artist and as a writer as well, the biggest thing you can hope for is that people are hearing and listening to your work when you release new music. So the fact that people hear them and on top of that they like them, because, even though it’s validation you don’t need, it really does feel good. So I’m always very excited to share my music.

You’re very involved in the writing stage of your songs. What’s a typical songwriting session like?

It’s different every time. Sometimes I actually sit down with a guitar and write a whole song on my own, other times I come to a session with a little idea that I maybe wrote the night before that’s on my phone, like whether it’s just a lyric, or a melody or a chorus, or other times when I’m in the room and one person has an idea and it inspires something that I want to say or inspires something someone else wants to say. But for me, it started with writing my own music, before it kind of evolved into writing with collaborators. Starting out on my own helped me be authentic to myself.

When you talk about authenticity, how does that relate to your vulnerability when you’re writing songs? Do you control what you share or are you just totally open?

In the past, I’ve always been inspired by my personal life. If something happens, I’ll go, okay, I’m going to write a song about it. I feel like with this new music, as much as it is inspired by my life, I’ve evolved to the point where I don’t have to be sad to write a sad song and I don’t have to be happy to write a happy song. As a writer, you can wear different hats and experiment with different emotions. It’s been fun for me because you can build characters and situations with your music, and decide what you want to write about, rather than let your feelings decide for you.

Your single “Wonderland” is the happy love song we didn’t know we needed. What would you say is the inspiration behind it?

The song is a romantic love song in the literal sense but is also a manifestation anthem for when you’re working and chasing your dreams. The message is more of “if you can imagine it, you can have it.” It’s about love and about self-love. What really inspired the song was when I was watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the original, with my sister who had never seen it, and I just remembered being a kid and watching it and it was so whimsical and so amazing in a fairytale-like way, so I just wrote down “Wonderland,” and that’s how it started.

Your latest single “Timezone” is the perfect follow-up to “Wonderland.” It is a happy dance track about being in a different time zone from a lover and just hoping there’s a way to transcend the time difference. What was the inspiration and production like for you?

I was face timing my dad who was in India at the time and I was in Los Angeles, and he said, you should write a song about time zones, and I thought haha that’s funny but I did write it down. And then that week I met these guys from Norway who are music producers and we were talking about cultural differences and how distance plays a role, and I was in a long-distance relationship at the time, so I think the whole Timezone theme really felt relevant. I went into the studio with the Norwegian producers and completed the song in a few hours. But the best thing about my music is that people can hear it and have a different perspective of it, and it could mean something different to them.

How do you feel when you see fans translate your music to mean something you never thought it could mean?

The beauty of music is once you create a song and put it out into the world, it’s not really yours anymore.