Sixteen-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Ooms has the mature vocals and songwriting prowess of an old soul. With her new single “California Country,” co-written and produced by ACM Award winner Jamie O’Neal, the Huntington Beach, California native combines her coastal roots and southern sound. “California Country” follows Ooms’ debut single “Thoughts of You,” which landed the emerging entertainer a spot in CMT’s Artist Discovery Program, a performance on CMA’s Spotlight Stage and placement as the first female country artist featured on Radio Disney’s RDYou Station. Ooms’ passion for country music is evident in every performance from opening for Lady Antebellum and Old Dominion with her band at Coastal Country Jam, to entertaining crowds of fans during CMA Fest, and opening for country music icon Tanya Tucker, whose path Ooms can certainly relate to as a teenage songstress rising to fame. While not on the road, Ooms is actively involved with her performing arts magnet program at her high school and throughout the community through her involvement with the Community Outreach Alliance, and beach cleanups.
We had a ton of fun catching up with Olivia with a rapid fire round interview!
Did you have a musical mentor when you got started? What is the most important thing they taught you?
Debbie Gibson was an important musical mentor to me when I was first getting started. She taught me at a young age that I have my whole life ahead of me to make music, and therefore, to always live in the moment and to take in all the good or bad things that get thrown my way.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given about working in the music industry?
The best advice I have ever been given about the music industry was to always keep pushing forward and keep working hard no matter what obstacles I face.
If you could choose one person, alive or not, to play a concert with, who would it be and why?
I would love to play a concert with Old Dominion because I’ve seen them play live twice, and they always look like they’re having so much fun up on stage.
Which of your songs gets the best crowd response?
The crowd always loves when my band covers “Ramblin’ Man” and my favorite venue to perform at was the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. The stage was amazing and the crowd was even better!
When and where do you do your best writing?
I do my best writing anytime I’m out in Nashville. There’s something about removing myself from comfortable surroundings that helps to inspire me, especially out in Music City. It never fails to keep me creative.
Where do you turn for inspiration or comfort when life in the industry gets overwhelming?
I turn to my friends to remind me that I’m still just a teenage girl who has her whole life ahead of her. The industry can be overwhelming a lot of the time, but having a close group of friends who encourage me helps to get me through some of my hardest times.
If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?
“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, most definitely.
Who would you choose to play you in a movie of your life?
Myself, of course!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I care a lot about the planet and am constantly trying to live my life in a more sustainable fashion in order to emit less waste into our environment and find ways to stay green.