An Interview With Olivia Castriota
The brand new release from Olivia Castriota dubbed I Need A Minute is completely loaded with colorful pop songs with soulful and passionate R&B vocal stylings and endless hooks.
A polished combination of radio ready choruses and powerhouse tracks showcase the artists knack for songwriting and natural ability for performance.
Castriota ushers along some killer attitude and brings that edginess to shimmering pop songs and it all totally works.
Songs like "Leaving You" hits the way a country song does with a slight roughness and twang that sticks while others like "Damaged" is more of a building indie-pop ballad that gets her unique and alluring vocal touch.
That's the thing with this record. The songs are amazingly well produced but it's her vocals that keep you coming back. Incredibly feverish and intense at times, and sultry others. Sometimes both at once.
This is a genuine pop album that contends with those in the big leagues. Olivia Castriota has certainly put herself on the playing field with I Need A Minute.
We wanted to talk with her about this release, so we did just that.
Here's What Happened.
TSWS: So Olivia, let's start with your single "Fixed". This is a passionate track and very emotionally driven. Where did this song come from?
Olivia: The Story:
The phone call lasted longer than expected. Forty-five emotional minutes later, I hung up and couldn’t get it out of my head. Normally, I don’t talk to you about this kind of thing, but that day was different. I couldn’t mask my feelings any longer.
You’ve never known me to be anything but happy, but lately internal waves of sadness, fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness overwhelmed me. I finally told you. I went from airplane mode to my unfiltered truth. Bluntly you uttered ‘we need to get you fixed’ and the call was over.
February 2019 is when ‘Fixed’ all started. I had just gotten off of a phone call that was extremely emotional and honest and the best way for me to personally process things is by writing, so that’s what I did. I wrote about the phone call and then texted Regan McCroskey, my go-to writing partner, and told her all about it. We went back and forth with a few ideas and demos for about two weeks and then as soon as I got to LA in March to work on the album, it was ready for production.
I played the demo for Sean, we restructured things a bit and discussed how it should feel and off we went! Sean is kind of this master of all trades, musically. He’s hands down the best producer I’ve ever worked. He’s like a machine. A man of few words but he doesn’t have to say much because everything comes through in the music. In ‘Fixed’ we wanted to capture a modern electro pop sonic direction while incorporating unique sounds to keep the listener's attention. We wanted this track to begin feeling cold, spacious, distressed and sad to represent my feelings of depression and uncertainty but then move into something bright and dreamy with more feelings of inspiration, empowerment, and hopefulness.
TSWS: The video for "Fixed" is intense! Did this take a long time to create? Did it come out the way you'd hoped?
Olivia: I worked with Azur X Vibes Productions on this video. We shot everything in Rhode Island in three days but of course the preplanning / editing is much more time consuming.
Yeah, the song is heavy. The video is heavy. I think the whole point of art is to make you feel. So hearing this song and watching this video is either going to make you say “is she okay?” (sidenote: this is a personal favorite quote that my family likes to ask me after almost every release, haha) or “oh my god, that’s exactly how I feel too.” And my hope is for the people that fall into the latter category that they see they aren’t alone.
TSWS: You have some incredibly powerful vocals. What artists influenced you for this? What artist really changed you?
Olivia: For this song I was really just influenced by the creatives directly around me who worked on the song. In a short amount of time we made something really captivating and special.
In general, I'm musically obsessed with Ed Sheeran, D'Angelo, Jessie J, Etta James, Christina.... any super soulful powerful vocalists really.
TSWS: How did this all begin for you?
Olivia: I started singing when I was a little girl. I taped magazine pictures all over my walls from floor to ceiling and would sing albums back to back to my "audience." I just always wanted to sing ever since I can remember.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
Olivia: Well, I almost never sit still that is for sure. So, it honestly might be easier to answer what don't I do! I love cooking, biking, running, drinking coffee, working on photoshoot sets, watching documentaries and trash reality TV, traveling. I like to keep busy!
TSWS: Will you be performing live when the time comes? Someday... when will that be?
Olivia: Nobody knows. But I have a killer show ready to go when concerts are back in action!
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Olivia: I'm going to release a Christmas cover song! And keep writing and feeling my feelings through music. Let's see where that takes me.
TSWS: You've gained a great fan base with almost 40k followers on Spotify alone! What advice would you give to other aspiring artists out there?
Olivia: Don't stop. As an independent artist, all the responsibilities fall on you. If you don't do it, no one else will. It's exhausting to self-promote all day but as soon as you connect with someone who actually digs your music and what's to be a real fan, it's amazing. So, I just keep trudging forward and hope for the moments to fuel me through all the bullshit.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express to your fans?
Olivia: Gratitude. Thanks for listening and feeling with me. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for the support. Thanks for being part of the journey. I'm only getting better with age, so fasten your seat belts and get comfy because it's a long ride.