A passion for country: we take five with emerging songwriter Olivia Foy

Singer/songwriter Olivia Foy is flying high off the release of her debut single Kiss Me, a country pop ballad that’s catchy for days.

After premiering the official video just last week, we decided to catch up with Olivia to find out all about her journey to date, not to mention what her next steps would be.

olivia foy kiss me single video interview

From pop punk to country: Olivia Foy could hardly have predicted she would release a single like Kiss Me, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.

HAPPY: Hey Olivia, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

OLIVIA: Hey guys! Yeah it’s going alright. At the moment I’m trying to balance being hyped up about my music and not being stressed over getting uni work done. You know, the usual haha.

HAPPY: Kiss Me is your debut single, which must have been a little nerve wracking. How are you feeling about it now?

OLIVIA: I was so excited, but at the same time quite apprehensive about releasing it to the world. I know that my genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve had so many comments from people saying that they dig my tune even though they don’t usually like country! So that has been fantastic.

HAPPY: It’s pretty bubbly. What kind of headspace where you in when writing it?

OLIVIA: You probably wouldn’t know it, but this song was actually written for a uni assignment. I remember that semester was when I was like ok, I’m really going to go for this style of music and I’m not going to try or pretend to be anyone else. I just wanted to write a catchy tune that reflected who I am. That, and I was also under time pressure to write a song and get everything recorded for uni!

HAPPY: Can you talk about the moment you knew it would be your debut single?

OLIVIA: After writing many more songs, none of them really had the right vibe or same amount of catchiness as this one did. People would always say things like, you’re writing some good stuff, but Kiss Me is still the best. That’s something that I totally agreed with. For a while, I put too much energy into trying to write a song that was as good as or better than Kiss Me, rather than just focusing on trying to write a good song. One of my friends gave me some words of wisdom and said that Kiss Me has been done. You don’t need a Kiss Me 2.0. You don’t see John Mayer writing Gravity 2.0! So just focus on writing a good song and don’t compare it.

HAPPY: Tell us a little more about your writing process.

OLIVIA: I’ve been told by some people that my process is a little strange. Most songwriters start with either the lyrics, the melody, or the instrumental. I actually write the lyrics and melody at the same time. Once I have a basic structure laid out, I will go back in and workshop any lyrics that I don’t like, or parts of the melody that don’t really work. I’ll then pick up a guitar and have a sing through, brainstorming about what kind of vibe I want the song to have. I usually look at a bunch of songs by well-known artists to see what they’re doing to give me some inspiration for my own songs.

HAPPY: And the video is killer! Who did you work with on this one?

OLIVIA: Thank you! I worked with LP Creative Arts and Media for this video. Lawrence Phelan, the brains behind it all, came highly recommended by some of my friends. His work is phenomenal! It was such a pleasure to work with him and his team, they were all so welcoming and professional. Definitely go check them out for all of your video needs!

HAPPY: Talk us through how you got into music. Were you always into this pop/country vibe?

OLIVIA: As a kid, I was always heavily involved in music. My main instruments were classical piano and flute. When I was given a guitar as a gift when I was about 12, it completely changed my life. I just knew that I wanted to write my own songs. Interestingly, I was never into country pop. My favourite artists back in the day were pop punk bands like Yellowcard, Green Day, and a little known band from NZ called Elemeno P. It wasn’t until I heard about Taylor Swift when her second album Fearless dropped in 2008 that I was like ok, so maybe this is what I’m into now. I’m sure you all know the song Love Story! I was thinking wow ok, this is amazing. I need more! However, I didn’t truly get into country music until maybe 2012 when the hit TV show Nashville came out. Seeing a TV drama about country pop stars inspired me so much. At the moment, I do listen to quite a bit of country music, but my guilty pleasures are bands such as Motionless In White and Black Veil Brides who have a much heavier sound.

HAPPY: Who are some of your other favourite artists in that space?

OLIVIA: It is absolutely no secret that Kelsea Ballerini is one of my biggest inspirations. Her ability to write meaningful songs that have melodies so catchy that you have to keep listening on repeat is incredible. She is accomplishing some amazing things in the country music world, even being nominated for a Grammy. I saw her in concert a few months back, and I tell you, the feeling that you get when you see the person who you look up to is something out of this world. It made me think wow, I wonder if it could be me one day standing up on that stage.

I guess the artist who I get compared to the most is Taylor Swift, but you know, Taylor Swift circa 2010 and prior. I’m definitely not mad at that comparison because Taylor has achieved so much in her career and I am a huge fan. But I’m not too sure about it since her current music learns towards trap-inspired pop!

HAPPY: Any new tunes you have ready to go? Could you share any hints?

OLIVIA: I may or may not be preparing to release my next single in a couple of months time, *hint hint* haha. I’m super excited about this one. Unlike Kiss Me, I worked with a producer, so I think that everyone will be pleasantly surprised when they hear it!

HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!

OLIVIA: Thanks so much for having me!


Olivia Foy’s debut single Kiss Me is out now.