Four Questions With OLIVOIX's Monica Olive.
Fresh off the release of OLIVOIX's stunning debut EP 'GODDESS,' we sat down with frontwoman Monica Olive to discuss her creative process, the pandemic's effect on her output, and the thorny connection between trauma and beauty:
JW: Theatre and film are clearly an important part of your background. Can you talk about the similarities and differences between expressing yourself through acting and music?
MO: Acting and music are similar in that it takes a village. From conceptualizing the idea to the moment of the release, there are countless people involved in the creative process. The difference is there are SO many people and SO much money involved in film and television that you very rarely have the creative control that you get with music. It takes an enormous amount of vision to make both happen, but I am grateful I was able to control almost every little detail of the music creation process as opposed to having control of just my character.
JW: The songs on ‘GODDESS’ deal with unusually intense subject matter. How do you find a balance between confronting difficult topics and creating songs that people still really enjoy listening to?
MO: I believe it takes a significant amount of strength to turn grief or trauma into beauty, but that is what artists do. We don’t have a choice. No matter the medium, artists are able to transform and process their pain in a way that is possibly more palatable to others, ideally helping those who don’t create at least feel less alone in their own pain.
JW: How has the isolation of the past few years changed you as an artist and as an individual?
MO: I think the pandemic has been particularly effective in helping people realize what their priorities truly are. I think people connected with their families more and decided that killing themselves to work jobs they hate is truly overrated. We were supposed to go into the studio right when the lockdown started so the album actually turned out way different than it would’ve pre-pandemic. The George Floyd tragedy as well as the insurrection at the capitol were the inspiration for “Ashes Intro,” which we actually wrote in the studio. The isolation changed me fundamentally, but definitely for the better.
JW: What is the fundamental message you are trying to share with your audience with ‘GODDESS?’
MO: GODDESS was really my phoenix song. I went through some pretty difficult stuff and this album is how I healed afterwards. So: strength, resilience, self-empowerment.
JW: Anything else you’d like to add?
MO: You are a GODDESS. We all are. Find your inner Goddess and live it.
Follow the band on IG @OLIVOIX