I met newcomer Olivia Lane back during the 2014 CMA Music Festival. My first impression? She has star potential.
The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s debut single “Steal Me Away,” a track from her Love Thing, provided a good introduction to country radio, and Lane couldn’t be more thrilled to see her hard work paying off and her dream coming to life.
A case in point was her first big “pinch me” moment that took place at a very special place, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where she and some of country’s biggest stars took part in the annual Country Cares fundraising event.
“I was all dolled up in the elevator,” Lane told me recently over coffee. “These 12 and 16-year-olds came in, and they were like, ‘Wow, you look so pretty. Where are you going?’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m here for Country Cares. There were like, ‘Oh! Who is here?’ I said, ‘The Band Perry is here,’ and they screamed. I’ve never heard so many screams in my life.
“And this one girl in the back pops up and goes, ‘Wait a minute. I know who you are! You popped up on my Pandora the other day. You’re Olivia Lane!’ And they all just erupt in screams. And I’m like ‘What? This is crazy!”
“Crazy” is a good word to describe Lane’s life right now. My head was spinning as she talked about her schedule in Nashville and on the road. She’s the mastermind behind the scheduling, songwriting, recording and career strategy. She’s at the helm of this ship, steering it every step of the way without the help of a major label.
“We are totally independent, so I am wearing a lot of hats,” she said. “Me and my manager and producer are all acting as sort of label execs, so when all the cards seemed stacked against you and you get those little rewards, those are little nuggets of “OK, I’m going down the right path.”
She’s learned to multitask. On any given day, the Texas-born beauty might wear her artist hat and focus on her guitar work and songwriting. The next day might be all about business and emails. Lane admits it’s tough to strike a balance, but she’s more than up for the challenge.
“I want people to feel empowered when they listen to the music and for that to be my message,” Lane told me.