What We Learned From Our Internship

Autumn Johnson


I find it’s easier to reflect on what you’ve learned at the very end of an internship rather than each day, because while every day is a new learning experience, I find that it’s much easier to look at the sum of all that I’ve learned over time. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from Olivia Management.

  • A little affirmation goes a long way. Every Monday we write down on little pieces of paper what we appreciate about someone else in the room. We read them all out loud to each other, and they always give us a boost for the rest of the week. I always feel more motivated to work and improve my work when I know that someone notices and appreciates what I do. And taking the time to think about others also helps me better appreciate them.

  • Just like what you say reflects who you are, your social media is a reflection of who you are. This is important because when it comes to having an artist career, social media is a big part of getting yourself out there. The way you present yourself on social media is really important and understanding the way people will perceive what you post on social media, can help you better communicate who you are to your followers.

  • People still love a good story. People seem to become more attached to art that tells a story. When there’s more to a song than the surface level, people will stick around long enough to find out it is. Social media posts that tell a story are more likely keep people reading and sharing their thoughts. Stories can be resonated with and can make listeners feel less alone. The artists at OM do it well with their songs and the team at OM works hard to make sure those stories get heard by more people.

I am so grateful I got to intern at Olivia Management and have the opportunity to work in such a loving, supportive atmosphere. P.S. Thanks Rachel for the headshots!

Madeleine Kelson


These past few months at Olivia Management have been awesome. Literally. I am in awe of the amount and quality of work done by everyone here. I am even more impressed by the fact that they do it all without losing their minds, and on top of that have the time and patience to teach us. I have learned a ton. Here are just a few of the things I learned about artist management this summer.

  • Show Up

It seems simple and obvious, but it is so important. Whether it’s showing up to shows and events, or just showing up to work, people notice when you’re there, and they notice when you’re not. It’s how you get to know everyone, and how you show your artists that you care. 

  • Be a Good Communicator

Ask questions. Be direct. Tell people when something isn’t working, and tell them when they’ve done a good job. It doesn’t do anyone any good to pretend you have things under control when you don’t, or to tell someone a job is done when it isn’t. It only pushes your problem further down the line, and if anything, makes it into a bigger deal. On the other side of that, tell people when they’ve done a good job. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and it encourages people to work harder, and stay invested in the team.

  • Slow Down and Focus

Getting work done on time is important, but only if it’s done right. Details are so important. A dropped zero, or a misplaced period could cost your artist money. A little typo on a show date  can turn into a big mess. It’s better to work slowly and diligently, than quickly and carelessly.

The whole OM crew is incredible, and I am so sad to leave them. If you have a chance to work with them, intern for them, or just be in their brilliant, genius, magical presence, DO IT!!!! I feel lucky to have gotten to learn from them, and I will miss them all immensely. 

Kara Greskovic

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I have learned so much from my time here at Olivia Management. All of these women and my fellow interns have created an environment that is both fun and productive at the same time. In an industry that is so stressful, the Olivia Management gets tasks done with grace and taught us to do the same. Here are my top three things I learned at Olivia Management:

  • Take Initiative

If there’s an unassigned task that no one is tackling, take it! If there is something that needs to be done that no one else is doing, be the person that gets it done. Not only will this help out the company, but it will make yourself feel good as well.

  • Try New Things

This may seem like an obvious one, but always find new tasks or projects where you have to ask questions or explore something unfamiliar. Knowledge is power, and the only way to get that knowledge is to try something new.

  • Be Yourself

Although this may seem like an elementary school rule, but it is so important during your professional career. During an internship, it is easy to get caught up in trying to be perfect or acting a certain way to fit the mold of the company. Here at Olivia Management, everyone has their own personalities and their all fully embraced. The more I relaxed and became myself, the more I felt embraced here at my internship!

My time here at Olivia Management has been so valuable. They are some of the hardest working people I know! If your looking to work in artist management, I urge you to consider interning at Olivia Management. You won’t regret it!

My Favorite Lyric From Each OM Artist

All of the OM artists are not only amazing live performers, but also unparalleled songwriters. Since starting my internship here in May, I have been able to sift through most if not all of each artist’s discography (yes, even Derek Webb’s giant, unbelievable catalog). Being a songwriter myself, I listen for lyrics that either punch me in the face with personal relevance, or prove themselves to be the heart of the song they belong to. Here is the lyric in each OM artists’ songs that makes my jaw drop and eyes well up every time.

Jill Andrews - A Way to You Again (The War Inside)

“My face tells a story,

Blind by light,

Every moment i thought of you,

Written right there in my eyes.”

This is from the last song off of Jill’s newest record, and wow it’s a powerful one. The build-up of harmonies and instrumentation throughout the track is a staple element of a final track on an album. This line is in the second verse, and leads perfectly into the second chorus.

Matthew Mayfield - S.H.a.M.E. (Gun Shy)

“You're not the one who,

Is willing to push through,

And look at my face.

But I am the one who,

Is able to walk through,

And see what awaits.”

This lyric is from the last chorus, which is a variation of the chorus sung throughout the song. End variation choruses always seem to fulfill a song in the best way, and Matthew tied a beautiful, vulnerable bow onto the end of this brutally honest song.

Lydia Luce - More Than Heartbreak (Azalea)

“Everyone asks how I'm feeling

Like they own a piece of the truth.”

This is one of those “oooohhh” lyrics you know? The one where it immediately takes you to how you felt when you were going through something and dealing with the constant questions from people, and how your answer seemed to get more and more automated each time. Lydia hit every “feel” available with this one.

Hush Kids - All My Love (Hush Kids)

“When I wandered from your arms,

I was searching for something else,

Now I'm running back to you 'cause,

'Cause where you are is where I find myself.”

Ugh… Just ugh. Part of me wants to just leave it at that. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.

Ruthie Collins - All I Wanna Be (Get Drunk And Cry)

“But your heart's the heart, that mine

keeps begging for and

All I wanna be is yours.”

Beautifully simplistic, that’s what Ruthie does best on this track. The heart wants what it wants, and no matter how much our head can fight it, the heart wins in some way or another - might as well follow it.

Derek Webb - I Love/Hate You (Stockholm Syndrome)

“But your love is a noose around my neck,

I give up and I know I will regret it,

Your love is a weight around my legs,

But I don't know who I am unless you're holding me.”

This is one of my favorite choruses out of all of Derek’s discography because of the upfront and powerful analogy. Finding/retaining identity and independence in a relationship is so important, and this is a great example to show how easily it can be lost.

Jenn Grinels - Love Again (brokenHEARTbreaker)

“Oh, heart, please let go of this,

Nothing comes from bitterness,

And everyone says that the way you loved,

Is the only way to live.”

Some say the hardest part of getting your heart broken isn’t the grieving, it’s being able to love again. The only true way to love is wholeheartedly, and that’s exactly what Jenn is saying here.

Smooth Hound Smith - Crazy Over You (Smooth Hound Smith)

“Set me free or hunt me down,

With your guns, and your knives, and your bloodhounds,

My body shakes like a lonely child,

Won't you hold me for awhile?”

Zack and Caitlin paint such vivid pictures in their songs, and this is a prime example. My favorite part about this lyric is how raw and almost abrasive it is, and then it ends with “Won’t you hold me for awhile?” I love how these mood-contrasting lines mesh together so well.

Autumn’s Favorite OM Artist Songs

This summer, I have had the pleasure of getting to know a handful of new artists, in a genre that I don’t find myself listening to as often. Nonetheless, I have still enjoyed this adventure, and I wanted to the share the songs that have stuck out to me during my time here. It’s always hard to pick a favorite song from an artist, so really, a more accurate title would be “the ones I’m digging right now”.

“Dog in a Manger” - Smooth Hound Smith

Whenever I fall into one of those “roots rock” or folk moods, I will definitely be going back to this song and the rest of Smooth Hound Smith’s discography. Seriously, this is so good.

“S.H.a.M.E.” - Matthew Mayfield

As someone who tends more towards rock music than any other genre, I really appreciate Matthew Mayfield’s style. His whole album Gun Shy is fantastic, but I definitely love his song “S.H.a.M.E.” for its depth, relatability, and its message of hope. I’m also a big fan of using strings in guitar heavy songs. (Also, sidenote: I LOVE Matthew’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on YouTube)

“Tell That Devil” - Jill Andrews

My true favorite Jill Andrews song is one that has yet to be released (shhh), but since I can’t tell you about that, my other favorite is “Tell That Devil”. I love it’s upbeat vibe and it’s eerie sensibilities.

“Good As New” - Jenn Grinels

I absolutely love the bouncy, jazzy vibe of this song. I wish there were more artists who brought this kind of vibe to their music, no matter the genre. This song reminds me of an artist I used to listen to a lot when I was younger, Francesca Battistelli.

“The Spirit vs. The Kick Drum” - Derek Webb

This song has a nice groove with an important message. In this song Derek draws a distinction between authentic faith and a faith built on feelings that ultimately don’t last. If you’re a little confused, that’s totally okay. If you want to know more, you can check this blog post which breaks down the song.

“Talking to Myself” - Hush Kids

As someone who prefers uptempo songs, this Hush Kids tune is especially enjoyable for me. I love the background vocals in this song, and how they help make it memorable for me.

“Me and Emmylou” - Ruthie Collins

Who doesn’t love a good song of confidence and empowerment? “She thinks she’s the queen of some Mexican desert”. What a lyric!

“Azalea” - Lydia Luce

Last but certainly not least, “Azalea” by Lydia Luce is an excellent track. I love the combination of the heavy, distorted guitar and the strings. Lydia’s thick, strong vocals also fit the whole vibe of this song. Catch her live in the next few Wednesdays at The 5 Spot in Nashville, TN. (BTW, Lydia looks exquisite in this video)

I hope this list helps you find your new favorite artist! These are my personal picks, and I’m sure others in the office have different songs they like best. Be on the lookout for new music from each of our artist. First up: Smooth Hound Smith’s new album coming August 9th!

What Makes a Hit Americana Anthem

By Kara Greskovic

Kara is a music producer and audio engineer based out of Nashville, TN. She has recorded artists across a wide-span of genres and currently works at the largest record studio in Nashville, The Tracking Room.

As the musical tides have shifted, the Americana genre has continued to persevere throughout the years. But what exactly makes a great Americana song? I dived into the hit Americana songs of yesterday and today to see what makes them all so memorable:

            A Simple yet Prominent Acoustic Guitar

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            The top Americana songs are driven by an acoustic guitar melody, one that is fairly simple and repeats as the song progresses. Listen to Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires” as an example. The acoustic is simple finger plucking and remains the sole rhythmic element of the song. If you played that acoustic by itself with no vocals, the song would still be meaningful. Let’s take Iron and Wine’s “Bitter Truth.” Although other rhythmic elements exist, the acoustic is still ever present and drives the song’s emotional element. Still need another example? Listen to “The Bricklayer’s Son” by Eddie Berman. The entire song is acoustic led and yet bleeds emotion.

A Top-Lining Fiddle or Harmonica Melody

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            This usually happens at the beginning of the song or during interludes. The Brother Brothers’ “Frankie” does an excellent job at this. The song opens with an 8-10 note fiddle masterpiece, grabbing the listeners attention even before the vocals begin. Ruston Kelly’s “Mockingbird” makes an opening burst of a harmonica sound commercial. And finally, my classic example is Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” in which he plays the song’s melody line as a powerful harmonica solo. If you play that harmonica solo anywhere, people will know it’s a Dylan song.


An Infectious Percussive-Based Beat

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If an Americana song is 90 BPM or higher, many times you’ll find yourself clapping or stomping along to it. The beat is filled with bright reverberant claps/snares followed by a dark kick drum on the downbeat. Our own Jill Andrew’s “Tell That Devil” is the prime example of this technique. Another example that is less obvious is I’m With Her’s “Call My Name.” It has slight percussive sounds and snares in the background that give the song that extra push it needs. One more example? “Shake” by the Head and the Heart.

A Song from The Heart

The best Americana music exudes emotion. The words have meaning and so does the instrumentation. If you have all the technically elements in place, they won’t matter if no emotion is felt by the listener. If there’s one thing that all the great Americana artists have in common, it’s that they sing from the heart and play from the soul.

What To Expect From an OM Internship

The past couple months at Olivia Management have been jam packed with good music, hard work, and great people. Here are ten things you can expect from an OM internship.

  • A friendly and motivating office environment

  • Learn how to effectively plan and promote a tour

  • Find out what goes into releasing great music

  • A photoshoot with a horse

  • Occasional dogs in the office

  • Become proficient in all of the programs (Airtable, Asana, Artist Growth, etc.)

  • Listen in on meetings with artists, and go to their shows

  • Make a tour poster, or a promo video

  • Learn how to effectively use social media

  • Be surrounded by some really smart, BOSS women

If you’re looking for an internship going on coffee runs and sorting file cabinets all day, look elsewhere! As an OM intern, you’ll have a hand in anything and everything you want to be a part of. Most of all, you’ll feel like a valuable part of an awesome team.

June 2019 Highlights

Lots of exciting things have been happening for our artists here at Olivia Management! Here are some of the highlights.


Smooth Hound Smith announced a new album coming August 9th, 2019, so get ready for that. To get a taste of what’s to come, you can check out their latest single off the upcoming record ———————————>


In addition, they announced a new tour starting this fall. Check out the dates below and see if they’re coming to a city near you!


Also this month, our artist Derek Webb kicked off his online concert series, with each show dedicated to each of his previous records. The next show is this Thursday 6/27 at 9:00 PM EDT, featuring the album I See Things Upside Down. Grab your tickets HERE.

Lydia Luce also just announced her 5 Spot Residency! Come stop by one or all of these shows to see Lydia in her various modes of creativity.


For more updates on what our company is up to, follow us on our socials to get all the deets in real time!

What I Learned at My Favorite Internship Ever

by Suzannah Peek


When I started at Olivia Management in January, I had no idea how much I would come to love these ladies and how sad I would be to leave them. Y’all… THIS is an internship. I laughed, I failed, and definitely embarrassed myself a few times. Most of all I grew. With every failure came a lesson and I will forever be grateful to Erin, Madeline, and Maggie for this experience. If you’re reading this and need an internship, do this one!! There’s going to be hard work, spreadsheets, Calypso Café, live music, and maybe even some bowling. Keep reading to find out the top three things I learned from the past 4 months.


I’ve had a couple of internships where I learned insane amounts but never knew if I was doing a good job. Each week in our Monday meeting we would write down personalized notes to each other saying anything we liked about the other person. We would then go around the room and read them out loud. It could be something specific that they did well that week, a compliment on their overall personality, or encouraging words if they weren’t having the best time. This seriously changed the game for me. Knowing what I do well helps me center my focus and saves time by allowing me to move onto tasks that I don’t do as well. It makes me feel valued and makes me want to work even harder. Every company should do this, no question.


Before coming to Olivia Management, part of me wanted to work at a big company. After this internship my mind has totally changed. Seeing Maggie build a tour from the ground up and seeing Erin run this company like the boss she is inspires me so much. They created everything they have themselves and it’s that kind of entrepreneurial drive that makes me proud to have been a part of Olivia Management. A big time management company has more artists and more resources but Olivia Management is just so hands on, you feel proud of what you made at the end of the day. This semester the interns were involved in editing videos, creating album art, and even setting up some of the artist’s websites. I don’t know of another internship that gives out that much responsibility. I was so immersed in the artist management world and I gained knowledge that I couldn’t get at a large company. THESE LADIES ARE HARD WORKING AND IT SHOWS.



 I’m graduating in a little over two weeks and it is scary. It’s painful, things are ending, and my life is changing. Everyone at Olivia Management went through the same thing and they have been so encouraging and helpful throughout this process. They have given me job searching tips and forwarded job postings my way. I worked hard for them (at least I think so) and they have returned the favor 2x over. Internships don’t always have to be about coffee runs and grunt work. There are companies out there (OLIVIA MANAGEMENT) that care about your growth. Maggie and Madeline always asked me what types of tasked that I liked and tailored them that way. For that reason, I genuinely loved the work I was doing and who I was doing it for. Work hard and people will do the same for you. Ok I’m emotional now goodbye.

The Hardest Goodbye

By: Emily McCreight

This past semester has been one of the most life changing experiences in my entire college career. I have learned more than I ever thought I could in just 4 short months, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the 5 strong women that helped me through my first internship.



Everyone loves to be told that they’re doing great or that their hard work is paying off…but I don’t think people realize how much it’s needed in order to be motivated in such a cut-throat industry. The music industry comes with high’s and low’s everyday, and it can be draining for some. I learned through Olivia Management that giving affirmations is essential to keeping your team motivated and ready for whatever this crazy environment throws at you. Celebrating accomplishments, no matter how big or small, is extremely rewarding. I’ll never find the love and kindness this office has at any other workplace.

Be your true self

Walking in on my first day at Olivia Management, I was extremely scared to say anything, move a certain way, or even eat. Little did I know that there was nothing to be scared of. A couple weeks into the internship, I was told at our weekly meeting that they were happy I was finally becoming comfortable and coming out of my shell. If I was still as shy as I was on that first day in January, I would never be where I am right now. These women have given me confidence in my work and personality that motivates me to keep going in the music industry. I have been told and shown time and time again that I can’t expect things to happen, I have to make them happen for myself. (While also being graceful)

It’s all in the~Details~

I’m already a pretty detail-oriented person, but whether or not it shows in your work is what matters. Over the past 4 months I have been given multiple projects that were time consuming and tough, but these were also my favorite things to work on during my days in the office. I worked on a single cover for one artist and paying attention to detail really payed off because now that single cover is on Spotify. 2 years ago I never thought my work would ever make it to something as prestigious as the top streaming service in the world, but lo and behold, because of my hard work, IT DID. I cannot thank this company enough for giving me opportunities I never thought I would have the chance to take.

From discovering people’s hidden talents, to first Monday of the semester dance parties, to tarot card readings, I will always look back at my internship with Olivia Management as my best internship. With all the love in the world, Em ♥︎

From discovering people’s hidden talents, to first Monday of the semester dance parties, to tarot card readings, I will always look back at my internship with Olivia Management as my best internship. With all the love in the world, Em ♥︎

What the heck just happened?

By Mackenzie Fey

Well, I’m glad you asked, because let me tell you—I learned. So much, too! I have two semesters worth of more knowledge to share! Here’s a few that would actually fit onto one blog post without it turning into a short novel:

Music Bizz (Artist Management, to be specific)

There are so many different moving parts in this industry, and I have been lucky enough to get a magnified view into what that looks like. With artist management, I’ve learned how much it requires real love of music, believing in the artist, taking risks, thinking outside the box, creativity, and patience. That, and more of course. I have found I learn so much more about what the industry actually looks like in the real world through experiences here than I typically would in the classroom settings. And even after about a million and one times trying to explain it to me, I finally understand what overages are (thanks Madeline).


I remember sitting in Erin’s office during one of my first days here at Olivia Management last August, and as we were going through what the semester was going to look like, the word “excellence” was brought up a few different times. This means working hard, being honest, checking your work over, and showing nothing but kindness. I can’t express its importance enough. Excellence has been shown to me through Erin, Maggie and Madeline without fail. They are shinning examples of the word. I’m like 99.9% sure if you search “excellence” on dictionary.com, their names appear in the definition. It’s something I’ve strived for this semester, and will be carrying with me even after I leave the doors of this sweet, teal building.

Just Listen

Huh? What did you say? Just kidding! Whether that’s listening to instructions, or listening intently during all-company meetings, you’d be surprised how much you can absorb and learn from by just from staying quiet to observe. I’m definitely guilty of sometimes not being the best of listeners in my personal life, so learning how to be an attentive listener has been more than valuable here. It’s still a learning curve, personally, but I’m on my way!

Ask questions

With only just finishing my sophomore year in college, I’m still in the early stages of my music business knowledge in the real world (I still feel twelve years old most days). It was made known to me from the start of the semester that my internship at Olivia Management was a space to ask the questions I had about anything and everything going on with the company and/or industry. This is an incredible asset in an internship, and I have my wonderful supervisors to thank for that. Asking questions is how you take your learning to a whole new level, but, if you can google your question…then go ahead and just google it.

“Just do it!” - Shia LaBeouf


Sometimes, it can be a scary thing to do things you’ve never done or had the opportunity to do before, but as a wise man once said, “Just do it”. This can mean stepping out of your comfort zone and applying for that internship, reaching out to a professional, showing up at an artists show or industry party without knowing anyone, sending that email for a pitch, asking honest questions about something you’re really unsure about…the list could go on and on. There have been times I’ve been very unsure if I’m doing the right thing, or doing it correctly but I’ve noticed my tendencies to overanalyze and think about something way more than necessary. I’ve now learned to do it, and to be confident in myself and my abilities through and through.

NASH You Oughta KNOW

Sometimes I am overcome with emotion when I think about how many talented folks and friends there are in this city. I’ve been trapped in my own bubble lately, not paying attention to new releases, but I recently went to a show that inspired me (Oginalii!) and popped my bubble. There’s a constant flow of incredible music coming out of this city, and I’m making it a priority (and declaring it here to the internet world to keep myself accountable) to highlight my friends, friends of friends, friend’s bands, friends’ bands friends or just great Nashville music. (But most of them will be friends of friends ‘cause Nashville, you know?) Thus, I present, “Nash You Oughta Know,” where genre has no meaning, and music that makes you feel something and pops your bubble of day-to-day monotony is as meaningful as it gets.

Some Lydia Luce and Andrew Duhon Musts

by Mackenzie Fey

Starting this Friday, Lydia Luce and Andrew Duhon are hitting the road for their Follow the River Down Tour. This is their very first time sharing a stage together, and we’re all over the moon about it (or should I say river….ha)! Living in all the exciting preparations for this tour, I can’t help myself from listening to both Andrew and Lydia nonstop. Here are a few songs you must listen to. I insist on it. Enjoy!