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Today we Spotlight – Olivia Wik. Sitting down recently with Olivia we got to chat about her musical journey and new work. Check out our convo right here.

Welcome to the beautiful Canadian singer-songwriter, Olivia Wik. Thank you for joining us today. Before we get started would you like to give a quick introduction to our readers?

Thank you so much for having me here! I’m so happy that I have the chance to talk with you today.

 

My name is Olivia Wik and I’m a songwriter and singer from Edmonton. I have been writing songs since I was 16 and have been lucky enough to pursue it professionally for the last 9 years. Because of my songwriting, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world, meet and work with incredible songwriters and producers, and have my songs sung by many artists around the world. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s been amazing.

What is your goal for everyone who listens to your music? In a song written either for yourself or someone else is there an ultimate message you want to convey in every piece produced?

This might sound kind of basic, but I just want people to like what I write. The messages within the songs have to be unique and different depending on the genre, vibe, and content of the song; however, my goal always seems to be for the audience to like the song. I come from a marketing background as well, so I’m also always thinking about how a song can best connect with the audience it’s intended for. But it all boils back down to the idea that I really hope that people like what I write.

What is the difference between writing music for yourself versus a different artist? With yourself, I am sure you gain creative freedom but is it difficult without any preset guidelines?

When I write with other people and for other people, I’m always checking in to see if they like what we have created so far. If another artist is singing the song, I try to have them give me as honest feedback as possible so that they don’t walk away from our session hating what we wrote. I want them to feel excited about it and eager to share and sing it.

 

However, when I’m writing for myself, it feels easy. I know what I like, I know what I want to say and how to say it, and I give myself a lot of freedom. I learned early on that I didn’t want to be bound to the rules of any one particular genre, so I give myself a lot of space to write what I want. My only rule is that I always write what I sing.

 

What people in your life really fueled your love for music?

I was lucky because my parents allowed me to explore my passion for music at a really young age. They were really supportive of whatever I wanted to do and gave me a lot of positive reinforcement to explore my love of music.

I also have a lot of fabulous friends in the music industry that has always encouraged me over the years. My friend Troy Kokol is another incredible songwriter, producer, and artist, and he has also always encouraged me to be involved with music in any kind of capacity. He’s the kind of friend that everyone deserves to have in their life.

When you first got into music, did you receive any training or are you self-taught? How important do you think music education is when it comes to pursuing a career in the field?

I started to take guitar lessons when I was about 8 years old. I gave up on that and moved to voice lessons pretty soon after because my hands hurt too much when trying to play the guitar. The voice lessons were mostly casual and tried to teach me the basics of singing. But I eventually stopped those as I got older, but kept up with things like musical theatre.

 

Once I turned 16, I found an incredible vocal coach named Martha Livingstone here in Edmonton. She was the one that really taught me how to sing, harmonize, belt healthily, and understand the basics of music theory. I credit her for everything that I know about vocal techniques.

 

Around this time, I also started to take guitar lessons in high school through a class that was offered. It was the perfect way to get me back into playing guitar. But my friend Ryan Davidson is one of the best guitarists on the planet (I’m not lying. He’s a genius.) and taught me more about music theory when it came to playing an instrument.

 

Ryan and Martha taught me so much and I honestly think about hitting them up for refreshers on theory and techniques all the time. I think I’ll have to give them a call one of these days because I could use an update.

Take a look at your new song “Let’s Dance.” It feels more adjacent to your first release “When I Was Drunk”. A fun song about love and a good time. On the opposite end, we have your second release “Over and Over” When it comes to upbeat songs and emotional songs how does your process vary?

Let me tell you, some days you just feel frickin’ sad. When you feel like that, you’ve got to write it out. I’ve always found my music to be an outlet for my emotions, so my process for writing sad songs is always a bit more emotional. Although, sadness and heartbreak seem to be easier topics to write about because they are so universal. When you’re happy, you don’t always think to sit down and write a bop. But when you’re sad, you want to pour your heart out onto paper.

 

I find that it definitely takes more work to think of creative ideas for upbeat songs. I know some writers that feel the same way. You have to put more thought into it, think about the tempo, make sure that the melodies are elevated, and that it gets the listener feeling a certain way. Sometimes it comes easy, and other times it’s a struggle, but I definitely find myself listening to upbeat songs more than sad songs, so I draw inspiration from those as much as possible.

From pop to country to back to pop again. You are a master of many genres. Do you feel the genre follows the lyrics you have written or do you hear a song/mood already and write lyrics to accompany your vision?

It depends on if I’m working with an artist that lives in a specific genre or not, or if I’m toplining a song that’s for a specific pitch. If that’s the case, then I tend to stick to the rules of the genre. However, when I write for myself or with other writers that don’t have a specific vision in mind, I like to see where the song takes us. It may end up fitting perfectly into one genre or living in between many. It really all depends!

What is the genre you are least confident with? What are you still hoping to break into?

I wish that I could break into the pop-punk scene. I haven’t had the chance to write a punk song before, but I love the genre and would seriously consider releasing a song in that vein. I’ve regressed into the pop-punk phase that I never had when I was 12, so all the hits from 2007 have been on repeat for me over the last couple of years. I’m now obsessed with the genre and would love the chance to explore it as a writer and artist.

What is the genre you are least confident with? What are you still hoping to break into?

I am! I love being able to share my music with people. I don’t have an ultimate goal of fame and fortune; I’ve always just wanted people to hear what I write. That goes with anything I write. I have a background in advertising and found it so invigorating when I saw my words up on a billboard. Writing means everything to me and getting to share my music is just another way that I get to put it in front of people.

Your Twitter bio gave me quite a laugh. “Listens to Sweater Weather.” And it got me thinking about the language that dates back decades that LGBTQ+ have used to find each other. In the present day, we use those terms, girl in red, sweater weather, or even just a flick of the wrist. What do you think about this? If you could add a new lingo what would it be? Secret handshake, code?

Oh my goodness, I never thought someone would ask me about my Twitter bio! It’s incredible that you caught that.

 

I think that coded language is great. As you said, there has always been language and codes within the Queer Community used to safely subtly identify each other; these terms are just an updated version of concepts like “being a friend of Dorothy.” They’ve been around forever but they updated and change with the culture. 

 

I don’t know what I would create or say to help signal to others in the Queer Community. Maybe something related to oat milk?

Speaking of social media, so much about your cute kitty! Please tell us everything.

I love when people ask me about my cat! Thank you so much for asking this question; it makes me so happy when people want to know more about her.

 

Her name is Mimi and she truly is my whole world. I used to be a strict dog person before we adopted her, but now, I’m a cat lady through and through. I’m the kind of person that needs an animal in my life, but our landlord doesn’t allow dogs. So, I cried and complained to my fiancé enough to convince him to let us get a cat, and he eventually caved.

 

We went looking online at a rescue and saw a little orange girl named Mimosa, and I said, “Awe, we could name her Mimi instead.” And the name stuck! That little girl got adopted the next day and we were devastated but saw our Mimi on another site. We applied for her and picked her up on Halloween night, 2020.

 

Now, my entire personality revolves around being a cat lady, and I love it. She has brought so much happiness into my life and it’s been one of my greatest joys getting to live with her. She has such a massive personality and I love every bit of her ridiculousness. 

 

But I can’t tell if she likes it when I sing. Every time I do, she walks all over me and tries to get me to stop.

What is the music scene like in Edmonton, Alberta? I think out here in Ontario we hear about the stampede in Calgary but less from Edmonton.

Edmonton has a really established music scene. I’ll be honest, I used to be a lot more involved in it than I am now, but there are so many incredible musicians that live in this city. There are lots of venues as well that support local artists by hosting them on a consistent basis.

 

The people in the Edmonton music community are so talented, tenacious, and connected Some of my all-time favorite bands are from right here in my city! I hope that they get to share their talents with the rest of the country and world because they deserve to be heard.

You are very involved with many charities. Can you tell us a bit about some of the organizations you are invested in right now?

I have endometriosis, adenomyosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was diagnosed with these a few years ago while I was still in university. I developed intense pain to the point where I could barely walk most days, I was nauseous all the time, and had to take heating pads to my classes to help me cope with the bloating and pain.

 

It was so excruciating that it felt like the barbed wire was being torn through my abdomen. It sounds dramatic but it’s true that I felt like that every day for years. I knew I couldn’t live like that, so I started researching my symptoms and saw that I had all the tell-tale signs of endometriosis. I didn’t want to live with this pain so I found leading endometriosis specialists here in Canada and basically begged them to work with me. Because of their care and willingness to help me, in December of 2020, I was able to receive excision surgery and a hysterectomy to remove my endometriosis and adenomyosis.

 

I feel like endometriosis is just beginning to have its time in the sun as more people are talking about how it’s more than just a bad period. For me, it was severely debilitating, and I want to help support organizations like The Endometriosis Network Canada (TENC) that help people like me learn more about endometriosis and provide resources to help them in their journey.

 

Last March, I ran 110km to raise $1,100 for the 1 in 10 women that live with endometriosis. All of the funds went towards TENC to help support their organization as well as research on endometriosis. I plan on running to raise money again this year, but I might have to wait until April because it’s still winter here in Edmonton.

Thank you for joining us today. Before we leave, what is one fun fact you would like to share with your fans?

My fiancé and I taught Mimi how to high five and sit. People are surprised that we taught our cat how to do tricks, but it’s my favorite thing to show off. Maybe one day she can share her talents with the world.

Spotlight – Olivia Wik is a wrap! Big thanks to Olivia for taking the time to chat with us

Check out Let’s Dance right now

Keep up with everything Olivia right here

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