Singer and songwriter Olivia Ooms may be young, but her drive, dedication, and talent have already made her dream of becoming a leading vocalist in the country music industry a reality. The 18-year-old country-pop artist from Huntington Beach, California discovered her love for country music during guitar lessons when her instructor started teaching her the ropes.
“I was pulled into the songwriting and the storytelling, the fun and the sad, the wild and the sweet. He introduced me to all sorts of people who booked me for gigs, and I got to work with a lot of great individuals who were twice my age, but they brought me in as one of their own. That’s what country is…family,” shares the rising star in an exclusive Celeb Secrets Country interview.
Before the pandemic hit, the country-pop songstress would dream about moving to Music City. Ooms told Celeb Secrets Country about the day she first stepped foot on Broadway and how she was imminently inspired to become a part of the fabric that makes Nashville one-off. “I felt such a pull and a belonging. I wanted to let the world know I was here and ready to make music,” says Ooms.
The quick getaway was the main inspiration behind the lyrics in her recent release, “Name on This Town.” While the pandemic, might have derailed her future plans – she hopes the motivating and up-tempo track encourages listeners to take a risk, or even a leap of faith to do something that they have always wanted to do.
Olivia penned and produced the energizing track “Name on This Town” alongside ACM award-winner Jamie O’Neal. However, this is not the first time the two powerful female musicians joined forces, as this recent release follows their singles “Hideaway,” “Baggage,” and “California Country.”
“Jamie O’Neal is an absolutely dream-come-true to write with! She is patient, funny, down-to-earth, and unimaginably talented! When Jamie has a suggestion, I listen! I am thankful for the moment I met her at a women’s in country event and she decided to work with me,” she spills about the creative process.
It’s no secret that Olivia’s secret talent is juggling being a student and a developing country artist. While hitting the books at California Polytechnic State University, she managed to capture the attention of CMT and scored a spot in their “Artist Discovery Program” and became the first female country artist featured on Radio Disney’s RDYou Station. If you think that’s impressive, the breakthrough star also opened up for the co-ed country group Lady A and Old Dominion at Coastal Country Jam.
If you are anything like Celeb Secrets Country, your mind is blown right about now – keep reading and learn more about Olivia’s rise to fame and recently released single “Name on This Town.” Mark our words, this musician will be playing at the Grand Ole Opry in no time!
Let us know if you included her upbeat anthem to your playlist by leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet at @CS_Country. You can keep up with Olivia by giving her a follow on Instagram + Facebook + Spotify.
Celeb Secrets Country: How did you get into country music?
Olivia Ooms: “Country music is super popular where I live here in California! I was lucky to have a guitar teacher who was in a local country band, and he drew me into the country so fast I never looked back! I was pulled into the songwriting and the storytelling, the fun and the sad, the wild and the sweet. He introduced me to all sorts of people who booked me for gigs, and I got to work with a lot of great individuals who were twice my age, but they brought me in as one of their own. That’s what country is…family!”
Celeb Secrets Country: How would you describe your sound?
Olivia Ooms: “I am the first to admit that my sound has been changing as I have grown and matured. Empowering and strong is how I hear my sound, hoping to continually improve on that every day, making my music relatable to everyone.”
CSC: Which musicians do you turn to for inspiration?
OO: “I absolutely turn to songwriters like Chris Stapleton and Tanya Tucker. I love old-school country and would love more than anything to work with Dolly Parton and Shania Twain someday. I also love the Nashville musicians who work tirelessly, sometimes four or five gigs in a day. They are incredibly talented and give it their all every single time.”
CSC: What was the inspiration behind “Name on This Town?”
OO: “This song was inspired by my impending move to Nashville! From the first time I set foot in that town, there wasn’t anything I wanted more than to just be a part of the fabric that makes it so special! I felt such a pull and a belonging. I wanted to let the world know I was here and ready to make music!! Alas, those plans got deferred a bit due to COVID, but it’s ok! Everything happens in its sweet time, and I’m ok waiting.”
CSC: How would you like us to feel when we listen to “Name on This Town” for the first time?
OO: “I hope you feel the sincerity and the energy that drives this song! Everyone wants to make a mark on this world in one way or another and for me, it’s been through music where I’ve found my calling and passion. I want this song to empower people to get out there and go after their dreams! Make connections, friendships, work hard, build a foundation and make a name for themselves!”
CSC: Do you write from real-life experiences?
OO: “Yes!!! Absolutely!!! I have written so many songs I haven’t even released. This is really just the beginning for me since I just turned 18. I feel music connects us all and so many people have similar shared experiences in one way or another. My hope is that my personal struggles and dreams can connect us all. Sometimes real life isn’t perfect. It’s raw and can be sad, but it’s all who we are, and together we can be stronger!”
CSC: What is it like to write with ACM Award winner Jamie O’Neal?
OO: “Jamie O’Neal is an absolute dream-come-true to write with! She is patient, funny, down-to-earth, and unimaginably talented! When Jamie has a suggestion, I listen! I am thankful for the moment I met her at a woman in country event and she decided to work with me. It’s been a fun journey!”
CSC: How is “Name on This Town” different from any other track you have released in the past?
OO: “The beginning starts off with a vocally bold but simple beginning that isn’t traditional for a single but it’s something I strongly believed in keeping for the final mix. This track is also different because it really lays out my hopes and dreams. That’s really a personal place deep in my heart so I feel while it’s upbeat and fun, it’s still very vulnerable. I recorded it in Nashville last summer. It was almost impossible to get a ticket because the flights were restricted. We all wore masks, except me when I was singing. I also realized that it was going to be a lot longer before I would be back in Nashville full time like I had envisioned when I wrote this song pre-pandemic. But now, the quarantine is lifting, so this song is a call to get out there and live your best life, no matter where you are!”
CSC: Can we expect a music video for “Name on This Town?”
OO: “I love working with my director, David Javier, so much! He is a genius music video director! I am now a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which is a fantastic country/agriculture/college town in central California. I think putting my boots on and getting a bunch of people there to join me would be such a great music video!”
CSC: What is it like to be a college student trying to break into the country music scene in California?
OO: “At the moment, I’m still online and at home. Everything has been so shut down, it’s absolutely changed my outlook and opportunities. But with things reopening, I am ready to find my people and bring the music! It’s what energizes, motivates, and makes me happy! Can’t wait for the wineries, festivals, and more!”
OO: “It was a dream come true, ‘pinch me is this real?’ moment. This was the biggest music event on the beach held in my hometown! It was perfect!”
CSC: What do you want fans to know about you?
OO: “I love sharing music and just want people to know this is from my heart and who I am to my core. I don’t care about fame or wealth, that’s fleeting, I just care about connection, creativity, and people. I want everyone to just get out there to be their best selves. Oh, and I love animals too! I have a Husky Pup who is the love of my life! Love your fur babies!”
CSC: Since we are Celeb Secrets Country – Do you have any secrets about writing or recording “Name on This Town” that might surprise us fans? Or do you have any secret projects in the pipeline?
OO: “Well…I do have a secret project in the works that I am very excited about!!! It involves a very well-known country guitarist, who I am going to be recording with for an upcoming Airline Ambassadors International concert. Be sure to check out my website and social media for more information! It’s going to be awesome!!!”