Olivia Management

Artist Management in Nashville, Tennessee

Looking Ahead: An Update on Olivia Management

By: Jalena Noakes

Wondering what Olivia Management has been up to? Look no further! We've been pretty busy the past few months preparing an exciting summer for our artists. Here's an update:

THE SECRET SISTERS: The Secret Sisters are looking forward to an exciting summer with an album release and tour! Their upcoming album, You Don't Own Me Anymore, will be out June 9th and we can't wait for you all to hear it. The Secret Sisters are excited to get back on tour and perform these songs live. Check out the music video for their single, "Tennessee River Runs Low": 

 

JILL ANDREWS: Jill will be performing at Musician's Corner on Friday, May 12th! Musician's Corner supports emerging artists and provides inclusive arts enrichment and educational programming for adults and youth, in and around Nashville. We're excited Jill could be a part of it this year!

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MATTHEW PERRYMAN JONES: MPJ is working hard to release his 5th album! He's been working with Pledge Music to fund this next release. The record is "Just me, a guitar, basic recording gear, and the spirit of a place." (MPJ). To follow along behind the scenes and receive some exclusive rewards, check out this link and help MPJ bring this next album to life: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/mpj

AMANDA SHIRES: Amanda is currently staying busy while on tour with the legendary John Prine! If you check out her Instagram, you can also feast your eyes on some photos of Amanda, Prine and Jason Isbell feasting on what seem to be some magical meals overseas. See all of her upcoming tour dates by clicking here

FORT ATLANTIC: If you haven't checked out Fort Atlantic's vlog series yet, Vlog Atlantic, now's the time! Jon's takes us on a journey through his lens and gives us enough "food for thought" to hold us over until the next episode. Check out Vlog Atlantic's most recent vlog, "What Are You Waiting For?" 

5 Stages : 5 Genres

By Delaney Willson

 Sally Anscombe via Getty Images

 Sally Anscombe via Getty Images

Sometimes life doesn't go the way we want it to. We get knocked down. It happens to all of us. It's what happens next that defines us; do we get back up and keep going or do we give in? If the former is to be true, and I hope for all of us that it is, we have some work to do. Smile as you might, we all know that this process isn't going to happen over night. There are steps, five to be precise. 

You've probably heard this in your high school psychology class, but according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a person must navigate five stages of grief in order to properly heal. First comes denial, then anger, followed by bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance. Those first four sound like the antithesis of "getting over it" but jumping to acceptance too soon can be dishonest and bad for our health. So why is this on a music blog? Well, if you're anything like me you turn to music after a tough time. Your favorite album. Maybe that punk rock album from high school that just gets you like nothing else can. You may not realize it, but that mental playlist you built said a lot about how you were grieving. 

So if you're in that dark place right now, or you think you might be one day, and you don't know where to start in that old cassette collection, I've got a starter pack to jog your musical memory. Take a look and take a listen. Take a breath. It's going to be okay. 

 

Denial

  • Pop: Not Over You - Gavin DeGraw 
  • Hip Hop: Flashing Lights - Kanye West 
  • Alt/Indie: How To Disappear Completely - Radiohead 
  • Classics: I Don't Want To Know - Fleetwood Mac 
  • Wild Card: End Of The Road - Boyz II Men 

Anger 

  • Pop: Cry Me A River - Justin Timberlake 
  • Hip Hop: Dead Wrong - Biggie Smalls 
  • Alt/Indie: Gives You Hell - All American Rejects 
  • Classics: Mississippi Goddamn - Nina Simone 
  • Wild Card: Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers 

Bargaining

  • Pop: Stay - Rihanna 
  • Hip Hop: how you sell soul to a soulless people who sold their soul??? - Public Enemy 
  • Alt/Indie: Anthems Of A Seventeen Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene 
  • Classics: I Want You Back - Jackson 5 
  • Wild Card: Please Do Not Go - Violent Femmes 

Depression

  • Pop: Say Something - A Great Big World 
  • Hip Hop: Until The End Of Time - Tupac 
  • Alt/Indie: Atmosphere - Joy Division 
  • Classics: Hurt - Nine Inch Nails 
  • Wild Card: Lost It All - Jill Andrews 

Acceptance 

  • Pop: Stronger - Kelly Clarkson 
  • Hip Hop: Finish Line - Chance The Rapper 
  • Alt/Indie: Aphasia - Pinegrove 
  • Classics: Don't Think Twice It's All Right - Bob Dylan 
  • Wild Card: I Forgive You - Renn 

 

New music from The Secret Sisters!

We are so excited the day is finally here! We can officially tell the world, the new record from The Secret Sisters will come out June 9th! The wonderful folks at NPR premiered the video for the first song "Tennessee River Runs Low" today, which you can view below in all it's glory.

No Excuses: Seven Artists Who Beat The Odds

By Delaney Willson

"Beethoven Deaf' by Artigas - http://artigas.deviantart.com/art/Beethoven-Deaf-152169442

"Beethoven Deaf' by Artigas - http://artigas.deviantart.com/art/Beethoven-Deaf-152169442

Two days ago I sprained my right wrist. Any one who's done the same knows it's mostly just a nuisance; lifting textbooks, writing papers, and tying shoes just takes a little more grit. All in all, not a big deal. Until I picked up my guitar.

Immediately I knew that I wouldn't be able to play the way I wanted, and having never faced any obstacles to playing since I started, I didn't realize how debilitating that would feel. After a few minutes of self-pity though, I got to thinking "what if it was like this for the rest of my life?" Like any good college student, my curiosity turned into research and before long I had a running list of musicians that had overcome incredible odds to become virtuosos, rock stars, and story-tellers. 

The best part about inspiration is that it often strikes when you didn't know you were looking for it. If you're ever feeling like you can't overcome an obstacle to your dreams, remind yourself of the legends on this list. I promise it will put a sprained wrist into perspective faster than Kanye can interrupt an awards ceremony. So without further adieu, here are a few of the greatest physical obstacles ever overcome by famous musicians: 

7. Jimi Hendrix

Okay, this one wasn't so much a physical ailment but that's why it comes in at #7. Jimi didn't ever have an issue with his hands (have you seen the way they fly across those frets?!), but as any blues lover can tell you, he did have a strange issue with his equipment. His guitar, to be exact. Born a left-hander, Jimi was gifted his first guitar by a friend. Naturally, he modified the guitar by flipping the stings and the corresponding nuts to play lefty. But there's a catch. Jimi's dad, Al Hendrix, thought left-handedness was a sign of the devil. So any time Al was around, Jimi would flip the guitar upside down and play the chords in reverse! Call it crazy, but some people swear this is one of the reasons Jimi was able to shatter all the rules of rock and roll with those sweet, sweet blues licks. 

6. Bill Withers / Ed Sheeran 

So on the surface, these two are nothing alike, right? Right?! Wrong. Their musical styles may be night and day but they share an important trait from their childhood: they both stuttered. Withers claims that his speech impediment wasn't physical, but rather stemmed from his fear of how those listening would perceive him. Using silly tricks like imagining everyone naked, Withers was able to garner the courage he needed to leave the Armed Services and move to California where he eventually wrote the smash hit "Ain't No Sunshine." 30 years and 3 Grammys later, Withers has walked away again, this time from the music industry - and he couldn't be happier. Sheeran, on the other hand, points to a laser eye surgery where a doctor forgot to apply anesthesia as the source of his childhood stutter. Luckily, it doesn't seem to plague him too much while he's singing, and the red haired dorky kid from the UK is now the world's most recognizable singer-song writer. 

5. Hank Williams 

A lot of people don't realize it, but Hank Williams was plagued by spinal problems his entire life. His condition, spina bifida, left him unable to even walk normally by 1950. In fact, it got so bad that he underwent corrective surgery at Vanderbilt (hey that sounds familiar) in 1951. After having to cancel several shows, Williams was able to return to a successful career, spinning off hits like "Hey Good Looking" and "Honky Tonk Blues." Eventually however, the pain returned and Williams turned to alcohol and drugs to numb it. The substance abuse ultimately led to his untimely death, but before he died Williams left his fans a hauntingly vivid depiction of his condition with the song "Walk a Mile in My Shoes." 

4. Stevie Wonder 

Blind since shortly after his birth, Stevie has got to be one of the most gracious musicians the world has ever seen considering his circumstances. Perhaps it's because of the success he's had since an early age. By the age of 11, Wonder was signed by Motown Records. In classic Barry Gordy fashion, Wonder was offered a five-year contract that withheld his royalties until he turned 21, and was paid $2.50 per week while on tour with his mother. By the age of 12, Wonder had landed his first hit with "Fingertips" which eventually went #1 on Billboard's Top 100, making him the youngest to earn the honor at age 13. Wonder would leave Motown as soon as he could collect his royalties, and went on to write the hits we all love like "Superstition" and "Isn't She Lovely." 

3. Ray Charles 

Arguably the father of modern pop music, Ray Charles is beloved across generations, whether we millennials realize it or not. Charles's songs have been sampled in hip music since the early 80's but most recently in hits by artists like Kanye West, D.R.A.M., and Wiz Khalifa. Raised in a poor household in South Carolina, Charles lived an incredibly difficult life. Before going blind at the age of 7 as a result of glaucoma, he witnessed the drowning of his little brother. Determined to make something of himself, he learned to read sheet music in Braille. For the pianists out there, I know what you're thinking. He had to learn the left hand parts while reading with his right hand, then learn the right hand parts while reading with his left. After memorizing each note, he'd synthesize the two together and before long he was playing masterful renditions of Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. By 1948 Charles was composing with Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillepsie, and by 1951 he was signed to Atlantic Records. The rest is history. 

2. Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Rick Allen had already had years of success with Def Leppard before a severe car accident in 1984 took him out of commission for two years. The accident left Allen without a left arm entirely and he fell into a state of depression, thinking he'd never play again. With some encouragement from his bandmates and some help from a drum manufacturer, he set out with a team of engineers to design an electronic kit he could play. Replacing some of the arm motions with kick pedals, Allen was able to return to Def Leppard in 1986. The incredible feat earned him the nickname "Thunder God" from adoring fans, and Allen went on to record Hysteria which sold over 20 million copies. 

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven 

I guess there isn't much surprise here. In an art form that celebrates sound, you just can't beat a deaf composer. Born in 1770, Beethoven had just begun to impress the crowds of Vienna with his musicianship through pieces like his 2nd piano concerto. But in 1796, he started complaining of "buzzing sounds" in his ears and by 1801 he had come to terms with the fact that he was going deaf. Take a look at the timeline of his discography and you'll see how incredible this is. Some of his most famous works that are still performed around the world today were composed when he was almost entirely unable to hear melodies or distinguish pitch. Fur Elise, the 5th Symphony, Ode to Joy...I could go on and on. 

 

 

The Secret Sisters at SXSW

by Maggie Adams

The Olivia Management team flew to Austin last week to accompany our very own Secret Sisters as they made their debut at SXSW. If I were to describe the whole week in three words it would be: exhausting yet productive! The girls had a jam-packed schedule with five showcases in total (two of which were official SXSW showcases presented by the Americana Music Association and New West Records) and at least two promo events each day, some of which including short sets for radio. That meant singing up to 2 or 3 times a day! The girls maintained their stamina with incredible Austin eateries, a lot of caffeine and a trusty rental car to carry them through the congested SXSW traffic. Check out the gallery of our trip below! 

Check out what other people said about The Secret Sisters' SXSW debut below! 

"Soul Searching" in Music City

By Delaney Willson: 

Almost three years into my Nashville residency and I still haven't picked up a southern twang. In fact, a week in Mississippi does more to my vernacular than living in this city seems to. Still, just like everyone else, I get the same questions upon returning home to friends. "Do you listen to country music a lot? Do you actually say y'all?" Well, yes. I would have answered yes to both long before leaving the beaches of south Florida. But if the world is so focused in on our ten gallon hats and cowboy boots, I worry they may be missing out on all the other magic that makes this city the wonder that it is. 

At its core, Nashville is a city full of people chomping at the bit to make their voices heard. People move here because they have something to say, and Nashville listens. So, of course storytelling lends itself to country music; but it's at the heart of Americana, indie, alternative, R&B, and rap as well. So, when commercial radio starts to wear on your soul, you can rest easy as a Nashvillian knowing that soul is something you can find around just about any corner from Franklin to The Hermitage. Think of this as your Nashville* Soul starter pack: 

*artists originally from, newly transplanted, or frequently stopping in Nashville 

Brandi Carlile Fights for Children with New Album

By Delaney Willson

Musicians across the world are idolized for their talent, their charisma, and their ability to inspire us through song. There's no doubt we value music in our culture more than ever. Still, like a rite-of-passage, there come's a time in almost every artist's life where they are forced to confront the age old question: how am I making a difference in the world? Never one to shy away from adversity, Brandi Carlile tackled that issue head on this year, creating a musical project with impact lasting beyond even her own powerful vibrato. And to our absolute delight, The Secret Sisters were asked to be a part of the magic.

Carlile's upcoming album, Cover Stories, is a collection of cover songs from her 2007 hit album The Story, and is intended to support her nonprofit, The Looking Out Foundation, in it's quest to raise awareness for children around the world affected by conflict and war. 100% of the album's proceeds are being donated to War Child, a nonprofit based out of London dedicated to the same cause. The album comes at a time of uncertainty and unrest in the Middle East, and has attracted the attention of major politicians across the world. Most notably, Barack Obama, volunteered to provide a forward to the album. When asked about his involvement, the former president replied that "as an artist, Brandi Carlile is using her talent on behalf of the most vulnerable among us, children living in areas of conflict. She reminds us that, together, we can build for our children a more just, peaceful world." 

Carlile has always been vocal in her support of social causes. Her foundation has led campaigns to combat community violence, deter women from committing crimes leading to prison sentences, and has adamantly supported LGBTQ rights. So when the opportunity to partner with War Child presented itself, the totality with which Carlile committed herself to the cause surprised nobody. Enlisting the help of her musical friends and heroes, she has put together a cohort that looks more like a list of Hall of Fame inductees than the credit listing for a single album. Among the names are legends like Dolly Parton, Pearl Jam, and Kris Kristofferson. Continuing their friendship, our very own girls in The Secret Sisters contributed a hauntingly beautiful version of "Losing Heart." 

While the other 13 tracks were recorded in 2016, Adele's rendition of "Hiding My Heart" was originally included as a bonus track on her album 21. According to Carlile, Adele's cover was the original inspiration for the venture. A decade has passed, but Stories still has us on the edge of our seats every time we hear it. This time around, Cover Stories is sure to move your heart as much as it is to move your feet. 

Cover Stories is set to be released on May 5, 2017. 

For more info visit www.coverstoriesalbum.com 

Jalena's Spring Break Playlist

By: Jalena Noakes

           Clearly, my mind is already in Spring Break mode since I'm one week away from laying on the beach with some of my closest friends! So close...yet so far. 

          Since I'll be in the car for about 8 hours straight, I figured I'd create a playlist to help ease that pain. Also, now I can force my friends to listen to this playlist while we all get slightly burnt by the Florida sun. I've included some familiar names, some new songs, and some oldies but goodies. Gotta be well-rounded, ya know? This playlist promotes some pretty chill vibes, I hope you'll take a listen and like what you hear. 

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Spring and Summer Festivals: A Way Too Early Comparison

By Delaney Willson

Punxsutawney Phil may have told us we were in for a longer winter, but the weather here in Nashville seems to have other plans in mind. With weekend temperatures reaching up into the 70s I'm daydreaming of pontoon boats, pool lounging, and of course, MUSIC FESTIVALS! If you're anything like me, you want to go to all of them. Unfortunately at up to $400 per weekend, most of us are going to have to be a little more frugal. Lucky for you, I took the time to compare what each festival has to offer this summer. Broken down into headliners, supporting acts, and overall experience, this should be a good starting point for deciding which direction to point that rented minivan full of your best friends. My mom always told me life was all about choices; I just didn't know they would be so hard! 

Best Headliners - Coachella

  • No expense was spared here, and for good reason. The festival's GA passes start at $400 before even purchasing a camping spot. Accordingly, the top lines are filled with absolute legends. Radiohead, Beyonce, and Kendrick Lamar lead the charge with support from artists ranging from The Head and the Heart to Glass Animals, Schoolboy Q, and Bon Iver. The festival does an amazing job of not only attracting different genres, but booking the top talent in just about every category. Evening shows at Coachella are bound to be magical this year. 

Best Supporting Acts - Boston Calling 

  • This lineup caught my eye from the second it was released. Not for the the top line (I mean seriously why is Tool on there...) but for the litany of incredible writers that make up the rest of the festival. Singer songwriter like Brandi Carlile and Car Seat Headrest find themselves alongside alt rock phenoms Frightened Rabbit, Cage the Elephant, and Whitney. Lookout for a cool collaboration between Francis and the Lights and headliner Bon Iver who together released "Friends" along with Kanye West last year. 

Best Additional Experiences - Hangout Fest 

  • It's really not even fair. You want to make a festival better? Put it on the beach. It's a tried and true recipe for success that has been serving Hangout Fest well for years. This year the festival features beach volleyball, obstacle courses, art exhibits, a ferris wheel, a hammock jungle, and a variety of top notch bars and restaurants. You may not get the gritty camping experience here, but let's be honest, having a shower and cocktails nearby isn't too bad of a tradeoff. 

Honorable Mentions

You may have noticed some big omissions so far. Bonnaroo, while still a local favorite, has taken a bit of a new direction by adding more EDM than in past years. Still, there are some incredible acts this year, as always, and you might even catch an Olivia Management artist there if you're lucky! Okeechobee Music Festival has done an incredible job thus far, especially considering this is only it's second iteration. Still, until they lock in their own identity, it seems a lot like a Bonnaroo copy with some added Florida rave culture. Governor's Ball deserves an honorable mention for sure, but it typically slides out of my radar as a southerner. Of course, you may be holding out entirely this summer until the Lollapalooza line-up comes out. The same can be said for October's Austin City Limits. Or maybe you prefer scouting out the next big stars at SXSW. I respect that. 

The Verdict

If money were no object, it's got to be Coachella. In the end, it comes down to the music, and their lineup just can't be topped. There's probably no where else in the world that you can jam to Queen B and then get lost in Thom Yorke's vocals before heading off to see Kendrick all while wearing a tank top and fanny pack in perfect 80 degree weather. Keep being weird, California. I love it. 

 

 

Erin's Grammy Hopes

As Maggie stated, in the office we have a lot riding on the Grammy's this evening- the losers of our office pool are going to be cooking for the winner.  I'd like to think as a woman who's been in the industry for a while, I might have a leg up on predictions. However, I quickly realized as I perused the nominees that I am out of touch with the young people today. (Also- where's FRANK OCEAN.)

Photo: Wild Granny by Sean Wilkin

Photo: Wild Granny by Sean Wilkin

Here are my top HOPES for the Grammy's tonight:

  1. Marren Morris. She's got a great team of folks in Nashville and they all deserve a win. She's co-written with our Jill Andrews and she's worked really hard. 
  2. Cage the Elephant. Those dudes have beeen consistently releasing my favorite rock record and I hope they get the recongnition that's due tonight!
  3. Adele everything. 25 might be the last physical CD I purchased and it hasn't come out of my car CD player since last Thanksgiving. 
  4. Bon Iver- really just for the "Who is Bonnie Bear" memes that will hit the internet tomorrow. 

Grammy Musings by Maggie

By Maggie Adams

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In case you're wondering why we all decided to comment on the Grammy's this year, it's because 1) we work in this industry and it's important to pay attention to its traditions and 2) we have a bet going in the office that involves home-cooked meals for the winner. Of course, because of the second reason, I have been researching different outlets' predictions for what's to come this year. In doing so, I think I have furthered myself from the tasty winnings I desire so much because in my attempt to gain an answer, I have confused myself with all of the potential outcomes. So, I'm just going to comment on one category. Also, I'm incredibly competitive (ask any one of my friends who has played board games against me), so I don't want the record to show all of my predictions in case I'm wrong. (Note: if you'd like to help me win three, YES THREE, home-cooked dishes and happen to have a history in correctly predicting Grammy winners, please get in touch with me...I will give you a bite of my winnings.) 

Album of the Year

Nominees: 25 by Adele, Lemonade by BeyoncéPurpose by Bieber, Views by Drake and A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson

Winner Prediction[Edit:Ramblings]: This is the category where I'm most conflicted because I think there are three scenarios that are the most probable. First, and I think most commonly agreed upon, is the scenario where Adele's 25 wins. According to Nielsen, the album had the greatest sales week of all time, so its universal appeal and commercial success could be reason enough for the Recording Academy to give her the win.

The second scenario is where the controversial, insanely collaborative and, in my opinion, genius Lemonade wins. With subject matter ranging from race to politics to gender struggles, Beyoncé made a piece of art that challenges the status quo and involved many artists who regularly do the same (seriously, there's a lot of collaboration, check the album credits here). However, the Recording Academy doesn't regularly reward obvious political commentary, so I won't hold my breath for beloved Queen Bey.

Third scenario: the upset. Sturgill Simpson was voted into this category, clearly the dark horse. He obviously has some supporters in the voting realm, and we've seen outliers in a category dominated by pop stars upset the predictions before - most recently with Beck's Morning Phase. Like before, the mainstream votes could be split and prove Sturgill the winner. If this is the case, I sure wouldn't be mad; he's definitely deserving of the award - the Nashville Scene can tell you more about why. Although I'd love to see someone so representative of my city win this award, I think the Recording Academy is going to play it safe and vote for Adele. I say that because voting for Beyoncé might imply agreeing with all of her forward-thinking opinions and voting for Sturgill would mean they'd be overlooking the incredible sales of 25

Who I want to win: Although I really respect Sturgill and his desire to change the current state of the country music regime, I have to go with Beyoncé (as you could probably guess from my carefully chosen stock photo of a girl drinking lemonade). Don't get me wrong, I also love everything about Adele, and getting to see her live last year increased my affection for her. However, if you know me, you know that I'm all about the girl power, not to say Adele doesn't have her own brand of girl power, but Beyoncé's album is a an anthem for women's equality.

If we're thinking about message and growth in the entertainment industry, then Beyoncé should be the winner here.  The fact that she created an entire album as well as a visual album, and both can stand as independent works of art is pretty groundbreaking. If you haven't seen the visual portion, I need you to find a way to do that ASAP. She melded sounds of pop, rock, r&b, rap, country and soul all into one album that makes sense, and that huge accomplishment shouldn't go unnoticed. (I would also like to add a quick factoid that Josh Tillman of Father John Misty and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend both wrote pieces of the song "Hold Up" off of this album. FJM is my favorite the fact that he contributed to this great collaboration of artists makes me giddy.) If you haven't taken the time to check out this album, I say to you, "GET IN FORMATION." 

 

 

Jalena's Grammy Picks

By: Jalena Noakes

Image via Billboard.com by Dale Edwin Murray

Image via Billboard.com by Dale Edwin Murray

I had to follow in the footsteps of Delaney and input my Grammy picks! Let it be known that these next few artists would definitely win if I had any say in this matter. Of course, I'm sure that reality will prove that we don't all get what we want, but I'll share my thoughts anyways! A serious congratulations is due to each and every artist/writer/producer/engineer that was nominated for this year's Grammy's, that's an insane feat. :) 

Album of the Year: 25- Adele

One week into its release, 25 became the year’s top selling album in the U.S. If you really want to understand how successful this album was, 25 sold 335 copies a minute (in the US alone) within its first week of being on sale. That’s crazy. I hate to admit this, but Adele sold more albums in her first week of 25, than Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold in an entire year. Adele's iconic tone and attention-grabbing lyrics set her above the rest. Adele did something right and deserves recognition for that. 

 

Best New Artist:  Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper. Where do I begin? He’s completely taken over the music industry as an independent artist- denying the help from a record label. The fact that he has even been nominated for a Grammy is astonishing. He takes honesty to a whole new level in this album and ties a spiritual element into every one of his songs. He defies hip-hop norms and challenges every other rapper out there to stop following intangible rules. He made music out of conversations with God and people listened. 

 

Song of the Year: Love Yourself- Justin Bieber 

To be quite honest, I really started to appreciate Justin Bieber after this release. It was nice to hear a somewhat stripped-down song coming from a heavily produced pop artist. Credit is given to Ed Sheeran who contributed a considerable amount to the lyrical success of this song. Bieber appeared on just about every major news station and radio station across the country to sing this song live, and he did quite an amazing job. “Hello” might possibly win for this category, but I would like to see Bieber take the Grammy for this one. 

 

Best Alternative Album: 22, A Million- Bon Iver  

Definitely wasn’t expecting the sound of this album. I’m intrigued to know exactly what is going through Justin Vernon’s mind when he gets a creative idea flowing. The thing I can appreciate about Bon Iver is that there is no formula to the music he creates. In this album, he empowers fears and evokes emotions we are unable to put words to. With this album especially, it is so obvious that his music is straight from the heart and has no limits what so ever. This is by far the most original and creative album nominated for this year’s Grammys. 

Delaney's Best of the Grammys

By Delaney Willson

The 2016 Grammy Awards stage. 2017's rendition will be hosted by comedian James Corden. 

The 2016 Grammy Awards stage. 2017's rendition will be hosted by comedian James Corden. 

It's almost that time of year again. We gather around the TV with a few of our favorite friends and audiophiles to yell at the screen when our favorite indie artist inevitably gets beaten out by another teen heartthrob. But still, the spectacle of it all is enticing enough for us to tune in year after year. Last year we witnessed a brilliant theatrical performance by Kendrick Lamar, saw Taylor Swift shake off the haters with a big win for her pop album "1989", and witnessed awesome collaborations by artists like James Bay and Tori Kelly. The best part? This year is set up to be just as dramatic and mesmerizing. It is showbiz after all.

This year's record of the year race pits superstar Adele's "Hello" against fellow icon Beyonce's "Formation." Rihanna has an outside chance with "Work" along with newcomer Lucas Graham while alt rockers 21 Pilots look to break the stranglehold that pop and hip hop have had over the category in recent years. Now none of these tracks are among my favorites, but like most people, I love a good underdog story. Here's hoping I'll be surprised come February 12. 

It'd be almost impossible to run down every award up for grabs in one blog post, so I'll do my best to give you the most interesting stories of the year. First off, it's worth noting that many of the flagship awards are dominated by the same artists. However, sometimes an unforeseen contender slips into the mix to make things interesting. Take Sturgill Simpson's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth," nominated for album of the year along with Adele, Beyonce, Drake and Justin Beiber. It doesn't take a keen ear to realize that this Americana album is a little out of left field when considering it's competitors. You never know how the voting is going to turn out in these crazy industry run shows, but we here at Olivia Management certainly would love to see a win for the Nashville native. 

Album art from Sturgill SImpson's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" 

Album art from Sturgill SImpson's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" 

Another war of opposites seems to be going on in the Best New Artists category. Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris of country stardom are squaring off against Chance the Rapper and Anderson .Paak who represent a new wave of lyrically driven hip hop. Also in the mix is the DJ duo The Chainsmokers. Regardless of your thoughts on each artist, this category undoubtedly represents a crossroads of American music. At the very least it's an interesting contest between twangy electric guitars, intricate stream of consciousness wordplay, and synthesized beats. I say the world is a better place with a little bit of all three, but I do have one gripe with this whole concept of "New Artist." All of these artists have been performing professionally for at least three years. Maybe a better name would be Best Artist to Recently Hit Number One. 

Chance the Rapper performs live, sporting his signature "3" hat. 

Chance the Rapper performs live, sporting his signature "3" hat. 

Now that you have a lay of the land, I'll reveal some of my own wishful thinking for this year. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it's no different for music. Well, you listen with your ears instead of your eyes but you get the point.  So love or hate my picks, I want to hear your thoughts! 

  • Record of the Year - Sturgill Simpson (A Sailor's Guide to Earth)  
    • In a contest filled with pop melodies and commercial music, Sturgill is a breath of fresh air. His album is framed as a note sent home from a sailor at sea in the Navy, which is about the coolest concept album somebody could conceive. And if that wasn't cool enough, he included a haunting version of Nirvana's "In Bloom."
  • Best New Artist - Chance the Rapper
    • Atlanta often gets credit for being the rap capital of the world, but we ought to be paying close attention to the uprising of impressive lyricists and producers taking place in Chicago, helmed by none other than Chance the Rapper. Chance does things differently. He's climbed to the top of festival hatch print posters without ever having signed a record deal, and while offering features to his friends and fellow Chicagoans along the way. His lyrics move your soul while his horn filled productions move your feet. There's really just nothing bad I can say about this guy. 
  • Best Pop Solo Performance - Justin Beieber (Love Yourself) 
    • I know I dissed the teen heartthrob image earlier in this post, but I'm only human. My favorite track he's done in a while is probably "Cold Water" with Major Lazer, but "Love Yourself" is a close second. I'm not saying I hang with Justin, but I'm willing to bet that the tagline was originally made with another four letter word, and that wordplay alone should earn this song a Grammy. 
  • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Bob Dylan (Fallen Angels)
    • The man won a Nobel Prize in Literature this year. Need I say more? I say we add a Grammy to make it one of the most impressive years on record. 
  • Best Rock Album - Cage the Elephant (Tell Me I'm Pretty)
    • These Nashville transplants have rocked our Live on the Green festival more than once and they never disappoint. This new album has a softer side and it really lets frontman Matthew Schulz's lyricism shine through. Rock and Roll is all about telling it like it is, and Cage the Elephant paints a picture of consciousness and societal expectations like nobody else could. 
  • Best Alternative Album - Bon Iver (22, A Million)  
    • This album is just nuts. Give it a listen, seriously. Once you're able to decipher the hieroglyphic names of the songs, you'll immediately be swept off your feet by the tuned vocals and vast soundscapes that dominate the record. Only a virtuoso like Justin Vernon could so delicately retain the emotion in each line while simultaneously emulating cyborg voices and delayed harmonies. I just don't even know how to describe this album. It's as much science as art, and it's all the more beautiful for it.  

 

 

 

 

Jalena's Review: John Mayer, The Search For Everything-Wave One

By: Jalena Noakes

JM Wave 1 .jpg

           After being spoiled with single after single for the past 12 years, John Mayer fans were antsy to hear what (and when) John Mayer would be releasing again. It was a seemingly three-year hiatus from any original music, but it felt like a lifetime.

            Following the recent footsteps of Drake and Rihanna, Mayer took an unconventional approach to releasing his music. He announced on Facebook that he would be releasing this next album, The Search for Everything, in “waves”; one wave would be released every month with each wave containing four songs. The Search for Everything-Wave One contains the previously released “Love on the Weekend” as well as “Moving On and Getting Over”, “Changing”, and “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me”. Each song takes on Mayer’s lyrical interpretation of his personal and relational growth, combined with a 70s pop sound within the mix.

             If hearing that we would have four new John Mayer songs each month wasn’t enough, I was excited to hear that he used most of the same musicians and engineers from his 2006 release, Continuum, which earned Mayer a Grammy and debuted at #2 in Billboard’s Top 200 Album charts. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer prided himself in the fact that this album’s success would “prove that you can - and should - explore as an artist. That success means freedom, not confinement. That you can take chances, making music that you love without worrying about their commercial reception, and then consciously return to making mainstream records with that much more depth to bring to them. This proves that we can release music in any way that feels native to the work, or how we want it to be presented.”

            It’s impossible for John Mayer to disappoint, or maybe that’s just my biased opinion. He was smart in releasing his album in this way, because he’s attracting attention from all audiences and taking part in re-shaping the traditions of the music industry into something that’s more centered around how the artist wants to release their music, rather than letting the label decide. I'm looking forward to hearing what these next few waves sound like and watching John Mayer dominate the charts again! 

New Spring Interns! Pt. 2 of 2

It's been a little hectic around here lately at Olivia Management, but this guy has been helping us out for a couple weeks now and has already started making life easier for us.  Introducing our intern Delaney Willson! A passionate, creative and organized Vandy student from FL, Delaney is a huge asset to us around the OM office. Read all about his eclectic musical tastes and love of Nashville below! 

1. What do you want to get out of this internship?

I want to be able to say I made a measurable and tangible contribution to the projects we’re working on. I want to easily be able to define what I was responsible for. Additionally, I’d love to learn more about the interactions that management has with other aspects of the industry, especially record labels, agencies, distribution, and radio.

2. What is your favorite part about Nashville?

My favorite thing about Nashville is the sense of collaboration between musicians, as well as between the various people that represent them. In so many other "music" cities, there is a sense of ruthless competition that really kills opportunities for sharing ideas and creating art as a community. I'd like to think that the music industry isn't a zero sum game, and for that reason I'd take Nashville over NYC, LA, ATL, or London any day of the week. 

3. What do you love to do? Hobbies? Activities?

Obviously I love music or else I wouldn't be here. So like most other music interns I love songwriting, performing, and just creating new music in any shape or form. In a world where we're expected to take 18 hours of classes while also nailing down more internships than you can count on your fingers, picking up a guitar can feel a lot like therapy. But aside from the world of music, I love baseball, tennis, road trips, and mentoring younger students. I get to do that last one a lot as an RA on campus, which is one of the most unexpectedly rewarding experiences I've ever had. 

4. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

I gotta go with Jalena on this one; nothing beats a nice juicy steak. If my college student sized budget could somehow afford it, I'd probably order one 5 times a week. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise because that can't be good for your health. 

5. Favorite musicians, artists, genres, equipment, shows you’ve been to...tell us anything you love about music.

For this, I'll try to start as broad as possible and then reign myself in. I'd have to say my favorite genres are indie rock/alternative and Americana. But I also love some R&B, hip hop, and even a little 90s/2000s country. To be honest, the best music in my opinion tends to blur the lines between at least a couple of those genres. 

  • Favorite Alternative act: Young the Giant
  • Favorite Americana act: The Lone Bellow
  • Favorite Hip Hop act: Chance the Rapper
  • Favorite Country act: Allan Jackson
  • Favorite Local act: Colony House

I'm not much of a gearhead, but I recently rounded out my own pedalboard setup with a sweet Electro Harmonix Cathedral reverb pedal and also picked up a TC Helicon vocal processor. I tend to write Americana-esque lyrics to indie/pop rock melodies, so I'm excited to see what new textures those effects will bring. 

There are too many great shows here to count, but my favorite experience might come from a venue that surprises you. Every year Vandy puts on a great spring festival and I've gotta be honest; my freshman year lineup is tough to beat. Check it.

  • Chance the Rapper
  • T-Pain (my middle school dreams came true) 
  • Young the Giant
  • Portugal the Man (we got BOTH _____ the _____ bands!) 
  • The Lone Bellow
  • RAC
  • Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes (an Olivia Management artist at the time!) 
  • Mocha (battle of the bands winner from Belmont) 

6. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I guess this is still up in the air a little, but I’m leaning towards working in marketing (still in music industry) and promotion, because I love the challenge of molding an idea into a strategy, and then taking that strategy and building a following.

7. Why did you want to intern with Olivia Management? 

I chose to intern at Olivia Management because I knew it was a place that I could get hands on experience, making meaningful contributions every day. Sometimes bigger companies get caught up in bureaucracy and that prevents people at the bottom of the totem pole from having much of an impact. I love how consistent Erin is in her messaging across all mediums because it demonstrates her ability to control content and develop a brand. I wanted to be able to learn under someone that had that level of attention to detail, but still had autonomy in their decisions so that if a good idea came their way (hopefully via myself occasionally) it could actually be used and not left by the wayside. My first couple days here definitely reaffirm all of my beliefs about the awesome direction Olivia Management is heading! And of course, it'd be remiss of me not to mention that I absolutely love the music of the artists that we represent! 

New Spring Interns! Pt. 1 of 2

I think most industry professionals would agree when I say, it's the most wonderful time of year! The time when we welcome new interns to the team after going through a brief period of heartbreak, induced by our lack of interns from early December to mid-January.

We are excited to introduce our first new intern of the semester, Jalena! A sophomore music business major, Jalena is super involved in extracurriculars at Belmont and driven to succeed in the music industry. Read more about our upstate New York native below! 

1. What do you want to get out of this internship?

Through this internship, I hope to gain a better understanding of artist management, what it takes to run a successful business, and how I can make a positive impact on the music industry. I’m excited to actually be interning with a management company and seeing what their daily tasks look like, as opposed to simply sitting in a classroom and learning about it. I’d like to become more conscious of my time management and would like to further develop my music business skills and abilities. 

2. What is your favorite part about Nashville?

My favorite part about Nashville is the level of excellence amongst the musicians in this city. Before moving to Nashville, I knew I would be surrounded by great musicians, but I didn’t think they’d be this great! There are so many talented people here and they’re all willing to help others succeed and master their craft. Also, I can’t complain about the amount of coffee shops in Nashville; I’m never far from an overpriced, hipster latte. 

3. What do you love to do? Hobbies? Activities? 

In my free time, I’m either exercising or doing something with music. I love to clear my mind and go hiking or I’ll go to the gym. I recently started boxing and that’s been a great emotional release:) I love researching ways I can become a better musician and then applying those tools! I could definitely spend hours and hours playing instruments or producing music if I didn’t have any other necessary responsibilities.

4. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, it’s steak. A medium-rare filet mignon with asparagus and mashed potatoes on the side. Also maybe throw in some fries because I couldn’t imagine life without french fries. 

5. Favorite musicians, artists, genres, equipment, shows you’ve been to...tell us anything you love about music.

I’m constantly inspired and motivated when I listen to artists like Jon Bellion, 6lack, Melanie Martinez, Snarky Puppy, John Mayer, and The Lumineers. I also love to study the styles of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Nat King Cole. In my opinion, those artists paved a way for themselves and introduced their own genre and a sound that is identified solely by their music. Drake’s producer, Noah Shebib, is a huge inspiration to me. I spend as much time as I can devote to learn from him; I think he is one of the most intelligent producers/audio engineers of this generation. 

6. Why did you choose to intern here? 

I chose to intern with Olivia Management because this company has a reputation of taking care of their artists and taking their business very seriously. It seems that everyone in Nashville knows of Erin and has only great things to say about her and her company. I wanted to be able to make the most of the time I would spend interning, and I knew that working here would be a perfect fit. 

Maggie's 2016 Favorites

2016 was filled with extreme ups and downs, but one thing that kept it consistent was the high caliber of music that was released throughout the year.  Listen to the soundtrack of my 2016 (songs are in no particular order) and check out my other favorites of this year! 

Favorite Albums of 2016

1. Angel Olsen - MY WOMAN

2. Beyoncé - Lemonade

3. Margaret Glaspy - Emotions And Math 

4. Whitney - Light Upon the Lake

5. Kid Freud - American Boy EP

6. Big Thief - Masterpiece

7. Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing

8. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

9. Amanda Shires - My Piece of Land

10. Wye Oak - Tween

Favorite Shows of 2016

1. LCD Soundsystem at Bonnaroo: I'd never seen LCD live and I was really anticipating having a great time at this show, but it exceeded my expectations. With a spot near the front with all of my friends, I really did dance myself clean...

2. Angel Olsen at Terminal West in Atlanta: This was obviously going to be high on my list since it's my favorite album of the year. Angel is mesmerizing with her million mile stare, cool demeanor and emotionally cutting songs. 

3.The Secret Sisters at City Winery New York: Our gals always put on an impressive performance, but the crowd in NYC was part of the reason this show was so special. It was my first time visiting, and I didn't expect the audience to be so responsive, but they were really showing The Secret Sisters how much they were enjoying themselves; the sisters were definitely feeding off of that excitement.

4. Allen Stone at Cumberland Caverns: Allen Stone. In a cave. Need I say more? 

 

5. Adele at Bridgestone Arena: I couldn't not include this on my list. I lucked out because my friend had an extra ticket. You can't say no to a free Adele show. Her performances are special because you get just as much talking as you do singing, which I personally like. You leave feeling like you've just hung out with her for a couple hours. 

6. Jill Andrews at Moon River Festival: (pictured above) This festival was fun for many reasons. It was one of my first few weeks with Olivia, the company my best friend works for put on the fest, and it was the first time I saw Jill perform. Most magical moment: at the end Jill joined Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, David Ramirez and Johnnyswim to sing "All You Need is Love". 

7. The Weeks and Kid Freud at 3rd & Lindsley for Nashville Sunday Night by L100: TWO ROCK BANDS TO LOVE FROM NASHVILLE! Both of these performances were just so much fun and all of these guys are extremely talented. 

8. Amanda Shires at City Winery Atlanta: This was the first time I got to see the entirety of Amanda's show live. Her performance is captivating and authentic, and you experience a wide range of emotions between her witty stories, heartfelt ballads and KILLER fiddle skills.  

9. Dawes at Live on the Green: One of my favorite bands and one of my favorite parts of the year. Dawes always gives me all the feels. 

10. Tame Impala at Bonnaroo: The last time I saw Tame Impala, I experienced the worst migraine of my life, so I was very stoked to be able to see them uninhibited this time around. My friend and I fought through the mass of bodies to get a spot, made friends while dancing and soaked up every second of Kevin Parker's glory.

What I'm looking forward to in 2017...

1. The Secret Sisters will be releasing new music: guys, you're going to LOVE IT

2. Fleet Foxes new album and tour!!!

3. Margaret Glaspy at the High Watt in February 

4. Big Thief at the High Watt in January 

5. Olivia Management has some really exciting new things coming in 2017 that we can't wait to share with everyone! Check back here on the blog to stay posted! 

Erin's Favorites of 2016

Favorite Songs of 2016 (presented in no order):

I made you a playlist of all of my jams this year.

Including: Angel Olsen, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, M83, Bon Iver, Dawes, Dylan LeBlanc, Jill Andrews, Langhorne Slim, Amanda Shires and more! 

Favorite Full Albums: 

  1. Ruby the Rabbitfoot- Divorce Party
  2. John Paul White- Beulah
  3. Benji Hughes- Songs in the Key of Animals
  4. Angel Olsen- MY WOMAN
  5. Frightened Rabbit- Painting of a Panic Attack
  6. Chaos Emeralds- Chaos Emeralds
  7. Becky Warren- War Surplus
  8. Amanda Shires- My Piece of Land
  9. Tame Impala- Currents (okay, okay, it came out in 2015, but I listened to it the most in 2016)
  10. Jill Andrews- The War Inside Deluxe (I'm also cheating on this one because it was only two extra songs that came out in 2016, but I just really love this album) 

Favorite Shows* of 2016: 

  1. The Secret Sisters at Cumberland Caverns for Bluegrass Underground: Harmonies in a cave, 333 feet underground. It was SO cool. 
  2. LCD Soundsystem at Bonnaroo: I think I stood completely still with my jaw open this entire show. It was unreal, the lights, the video, the dancing.  
  3. Becky Warren at Family Wash: This show was the day after the election. Becky's album is beautiful, and the songs tell a story about a couple dealing the fallout of PTSD after a soldier returns from the war. She played the whole album, told the story, she cried/I cried, she shared her heart, and she made me feel better about the world. I've see so many shows, I don't get moved very often anymore- and I was MOVED. 
  4. Amanda Shires at Station Inn during Americana Fest: At this show, I had been managing Amanda for less than a month. I hadn't seen her play live since we started working together. It was completely sold out and full to the brim, the energy was electric, her band killed it, she was hilarious, and Rolling Stone called her a superhero
  5. Timbre at WELD- Timbre plays the harp and sings like an angel. She sang about Christmas and made me feel like there is still magic in the world. 

*I realized while compiling this list that our artists played so much this year, I didn't go to enough non-OM shows. Making that a goal for 2017! Thanks to the artists that moved me in 2016!