I absolutely loved to follow Olivia Lane on social media and listen to her music after I happened to run into one of her Meet & Greet sessions during the 2019 CMA Fest. Thus, I was really curious about her latest project: A podcast which she started in May 2020, in parallel to the Covid-19 restrictions. It is called Living Instead, in line with Olivia Lane’s latest single. You can listen to it on various platforms, but I went for Spotify. I did expect Living Instead to be good, but I have to say that this podcast even exceeded my expectations. Now that the first season is completed, here is my episode-by-episode guide to Olivia Lane’s podcast.
Olivia Lane – About The Artist
The Houston, Texas, young lady Olivia Lane ist just about to turn 29 years old on 26th July 2020. She is having a quite high popularity in the country music scene already – You Got Me was her most successful track on Spotify, so far leading to nearly six million streams. Two more songs, Hey 3AM and You Part 2 made it to triple digit numbers of streams as well. In 2019, she released her last EP so far, The One. I also met Olivia in a quite intimate concert in Hassocks near Brighton in February 2020. You find some additional bio about her in the linked postings.
Two things boost Olivia’s career on top of her musical potential: first of all, she is very well connected to her fans. When we met again in Hassocks, she could remember when and where we had met before, which I felt to be quite impressive. She is also very popular on social media. She is having over 12k followers, 550k likes on TikTok and some 45k followers on Instagram, for example.
Olivia Lane – The Living Instead Podcast
Apart from the introductory episode, the first season of the Living Instead podcast has seven episodes. The episodes are about 40 to 55 minutes, only the second episode with country artist Mickey Goyton, which is split into two sections, is slightly shorter. The second season is confirmed to incept on 7th September 2020.
Episode 1 – Peaceful Barb (11th May 2020)
The first episode of the podcast has been with a very interesting person, Barb Schmidt, who is better known as Peaceful Barb and drives a popular podcast. This episode is very spiritual, dealing with topics like how to become a strong personality on the one hand, but also how to believe in yourself and accept your weaknesses. A really interesting start of this series of chats.
Episode 2 – Katy Robbins (18th May 2020)
Katy Robbins is Olivia Lane’s fashion consulting. This episode was one of the most interesting to me, as you tend to neglect the correct choice of outfit in this industry easily. Olivia even describes that her manager told her that she does not look like a star. If you also want to learn about the importance of an airport outfit, you need to give the second episode a chance, definitely.
Episode 3 – Chanelle Guyton (25th May 2020)
If you are seeking for some hints how to turn from a lousy under-the-shower singer to a top opera voice, you might be disappointed about the third episode of the podcast, in which Olivia is chatting with her vocal coach Chanelle Guyton. There are of course touchpoints about vocal usage and techniques – but there is also a lot about spiritual questions and religium in these 42 minutes.
Episode 4 – Katie Barnes (1st June 2020)
You really get to learn a lot of people of “Team Olivia”. The fourth episode is with Katie Barnes, who is her fitness coach. I felt that this chat was very inspiring, as it was also about training and nutrition which fits to you personally instead of having an “industrialized” method, which is just leading to demotivation. Very wide range topic of “staying fit” for the business.
Episode 5 – Mickey Guyton, Pt. 1 (8th June 2020)
There are two episodes with Mickey Guyton. The first part starts with how it is likel being a female artist in the business and also what the record company managers expect of you. Mickey Guyton is Afro-American, so on top of that, she is of course facing other hidden challenges. The ladies chat about finally creating music which they do not feel comfortable with and how young (and maybe: naive) artists struggle in the Nashville world. It even touches topics like alcoholism.
Episode 6 – Mickey Guyton, Pt. 2 (15th June 2020)
Next episode, same guest: after the interesting insights with Mickey Guyton in episode 5. The podcast is not too much about music and musical careers – it concentrates on political correctness, anti-racism and gives some advice (from an US perspective) how you could do small steps to improve the situation. I liked that episode as it reflects so much the social movement happening in the US, well-fitting to my thoughts on the Lady A renaming.
Episode 7 – Maggie Rose (22nd June 2020)
This episode is my absolute favorite, as it tells a lot about being an artist in Nashville. Olivia’s chat partner in this one is independent artist Maggie Rose. There is a lot about being a record company versus an independent artist. Olivia is also talking a lot about her relationship with her fans. Absolutely superb!
Episode 8 – Drake White (29th June 2020)
The eighth episode is really interesting again. Drake White is having a very intimate talk with Olivia. He is talking about how to grow in Nashville, but also about his health situation and how he collapsed onstage in August 2019. Very inspiring due to the great motivation and come-back spirit of Drake White.
Episode 9 – Nicole Pryor Dernersesian (6th July 2020)
Nicole Pryor Dernersesian is well-known as a musical actor. For example, she was the first African American to play her role in Phantom of the Opera. I have to say that it is likely my least favorite episode – first of all, because there is quite much information about careers in musical, which I feel does not match too well to the other episodes – but majorly Pryor’s English is just quite hard to follow as an non-native speaker. In addition (maybe due to the way it is cut), it often feels like a monologue – which makes it especially tiring. Bad luck, some of the topics are really interesting (in some parts, Pryor is just overdoing it, I feel…).
Episode 10 – Wrap-Up (13th July 2020)
No guests this time, just a wrap-up to close this first season of podcasting. The sum-up episode, which Olivia recorded from her holiday home in Colorado. One of the key statements of this shorter talk is We should celebrate our differences more, which Olivia states based on the first part of her Mickey Guyton chat. The wrap-up is very personal and adds more than you might expect from it. Furthermore, a short break-up gives a pre-listen of Olivia Lane’s song Nothing Changes to be released on 17th July 2020.
Fan Reactions (27th July 2020)
I have been rather surprised that two weeks after the final episode, Olivia released a 28 minute episode about fan reactions on the first podcast series and the Living Instead song:
Olivia Lane – Living Instead Podcast – My View
I first did not want to give you a full review without a rating – but finally I felt: why not? The podcast is amazing and truly deserves the Top Pick! badge on top of the posting. I love the way Olivia and her guests give you insights about life as a country music artist. While the first episodes of that first season are rather personal and about the team around Olivia, the podcast becomes even stronger by the additional guests. Mickey Guyton is likely my favorite, but all of them add topics to Olivia’s analysis of the current business situation. Nicole Pryor Dernersesian is maybe a bit too American to me – I guess people from the other side of the blue water are even more fascinated by her.
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