Singer/songwriter/musician and environmentalist Olivia Frances unveiled her third album Orchid on June 14th.
The fan-funded pop-folk record was produced by Pat Lassiter and was co-written by Frances and Mike Astrachan. Combining her love for music and nature into one, the singer/songwriter explores the subject of self-love and finding love in this third album.
“I have tried to show or sneak my affinity with nature in my own way as a constant reminder of its importance in our lives,” says Frances.
Orchid includes her previous singles “Moon to My Sun” (which was the Vox Pop Winner in the Love Song Category at the 2018 Independent Music Awards), “It Just Takes One” and “Lettin’ Summer Shine.”
Orchid is now available on major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Olivia Frances. I’m a multi-award-winning pop/folk artist from Cincinnati, OH. I recently released my third, full-length, fan-funded album Orchid. I’m so excited it’s out in the world!
What's your story?
I’m a pop/folk artist, singer-songwriter, musician and environmentalist. I’m a tea-lover, adventure-goer, knitter and dreamer. I’m greatly inspired by the beauty of the world around us and in turn love being in nature. I’ve been singing and writing since forever. I’m a Midwestern girl, who has been living in Massachusetts for four years, but my heart is in Tennessee. In May, I graduated from Clark University with a degree in Global Environmental Studies with a minor in Music. Music has always been in my heart and when I’m writing, playing, singing, or performing, it’s where I feel most at home.
Could you describe us your childhood a little bit? How would you describe it?
I grew up in a very loving household with two parents, a little brother, and a dog in the suburbs of Cincinnati. I’m grateful that my parents always supported my love of music. They signed me up for piano lessons when I was 6 and bought me my first guitar when I was 12. I remember rolling down the hill in the backyard with my Dad and going on long walks around the neighborhood with my Mom. I’d describe my childhood as simple and filled with adventure.
When did your love for music begin?
My Mom likes to say that when I was 6 months old I screamed a lot and that’s because I was trying to sing. On my SoundCloud page, I have a recording of me singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from when I was three-years-old. I’d say I was born with a love for music.
When did you start singing?
I started singing when I was a toddler all though middle school talent shows and high school musicals to today.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career? What did your friends and family think of it?
Although there was not an exact moment when I decided to pursue music, the moment I’d pick is when I decided to take a gap year and move to Nashville before college. I’m so thankful that my parents were supportive of this decision. Looking back, I like to call my gap year my dream year because it was such an incredible experience and allowed me to meet so many Nashville songwriters and musicians who have become like family to me.
Who was the first person to ever believe in you?
Since I can’t pick one or the other, I have to say my parents were the first to ever believe in me. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
How would you describe Olivia Frances, the artist?
Olivia Frances is a quirky, down-to-earth gal who wants to spread her positive energy on stage and with her music.
How did your sound and artistry evolve since your first release? What did you learn since then?
I feel an innate sense of responsibility growing in me as an individual and a conscious member of this society, I have always felt a deeper connection with the universe and have tried to express it through my music. But the last few years in college since the first album I have given myself time to learn and understand the world around me and that has reflected in my writing and sound, I feel it has been a maturing journey as an artist.
You recently released your new album "Orchid" - how would you describe this album?
I would describe this album as a culmination of all my years of hard work and dedication since I started writing music at the age of 12, I have tried to connect the two things I cherish the most in life Music and Nature with “Orchid”, every song has a part of me, and is connected to the world and all its beauty. It’s been a labor of love and I’d especially like to thank Pat Lassiter, my producer, Mike Astrachan, my main co-writer, and the 172 Indiegogo contributors who helped make the album and its promotion possible.
When did you start working on this album? Who did you work with?
The first song I recorded for Orchid was “Moon to My Sun,” my single which was released in September 2017. Then, in 2018, I released “It Just Takes One” and “Lettin’ Summer Shine.” I had the great privilege of working with Pat Lassiter of Riverfront Recording Studios on all of these songs. Some of the songs came together more easily than others like “Porcelain” and “Orchid.” On some of the others, we spent countless hours trying to get it right; and I’m proud to say we did.
What are the different topics you are talking about on this project?
Honestly, I have been working on this album for so long, it has become a coming of age experience for me and similarly for the project. I sing about self-love in the time when we most need it with my song, “Flowers for Myself” while I also write about finding love and feeling loved. In all my songs, I have tried to show or sneak my affinity with nature in my own way as a constant reminder of its importance in our lives.
What was the hardest part about making this album? And what was your favorite part?
The hardest part of making this album was trusting the sonic direction we were going in. While in the studio, my brain has trouble imagining which instruments should be playing what and as I watched the tracks get laid down, it was easy for me to think, “Should the guitar be playing that lick? Should the tempo be 1 BPM faster?” I’m so thankful that I felt comfortable enough to express these types of thoughts to my producer Pat Lassiter, who really listened and cared about what I wanted these songs to become. Overall, the scariest part is that once you record the songs and you fix things here and there overtime, declaring, “Ok, this song is finished,” is scary because once it’s online, it’s pretty much cemented in stone.
A particular favorite moment I recall was co-writing “Do You Know?” with the talented Michael Astrachan, who co-wrote 9 out of the 11 tracks. I remember that song was just so upbeat and fast to write. I had written the first verse and we followed that pattern and finished the song in about 2 hours.
What do you like the most about this record?
I like how it came together in bits and pieces overtime. It wasn’t a project where I recorded all 11 songs in 2 weeks. Like what I wrote in the liner notes of the album, these songs began as seedlings of ideas and with time and space they have blossomed and are ready to be heard. It was amazing to first watch “Moon to My Sun” be the VOX POP Winner in the Love Song Category at the 16thAnnual Independent Music Awards. Now, it’s been amazing to read the various reviews I’ve received for Orchid. I’m just so happy it’s out in the world as one whole entity now.
What is your goal for this album?
My goal for this album is for it to reach the right ears of the people who need to hear it most. Just to give an example, my friend Emmye shared my album on her Instagram story and one of her other friends told her that she saw the name of my album, listened to “Orchid,” and started crying because she had just been mulling over whether to start a blog called “Orchid” about the journey she’s taken with her mental health. This friend then came to my show and thanked me for my music. If my music can inspire people in some way, that is the greatest gift and goal.
What do you want to accomplish with your music?
The beauty of music is that it’s a universal language. I want my songs to connect strangers. I want my songs to make someone’s day a little brighter. I want my songs to make someone re-think a decision or feel comfort in their choices. I want my music to move people.
What does singing make you feel?
Singing makes me feel weightless, as if I have wings.
How do you want to be remembered for?
WOW! This is a big question but if I can be remembered for making a positive impact in people’s lives or just one person’s life, that’s a blessing.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Since I can’t pick one, here’s a list: Better public schools, less inequality, more vacation time, higher minimum wages, an invention to clean-up the plastic in the ocean, more open-mindedness, more flowers.
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
Always be kind. The person who may be able to help you most could be sitting in the same room as you. You just never know.
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