INTERVIEW: Olivia Lunny on Her Sound, Songwriting Process, and What She Hopes Fans Learn From Her Music

Olivia Lunny takes listeners on a journey through music with her familiar themes of love and heartbreak.

Lunny was crowned a winner on CTV’s singing competition The Launch and scored her first Top 40 hit. She garnered worldwide attention with her heartfelt debut EP, To The Ones I Loved, which was released on August 28. The singer has been intentional about allowing contrasting sides of her art to shine with every new release. She also won a 2020 SIRIUSXM National SOCAN Young Canadian Songwriter Award.

Earlier this year Lunny was part of a charity rendition of “Lean on Me” alongside top Canadian artists including Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Sarah McLachlan, and more to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross’ COVID-19 initiatives. Read our exclusive interview with Olivia Lunny below to find out more about when she started writing and making music, her musical influences, what she learned about herself over quarantine, the best piece of advice she’s gotten, how she’s connecting with fans during isolation, and more.

GLITTER: When did you start writing and making music? 
OLIVIA: My dad taught me some basic chords on the guitar when I was about 12 years old. I started to play and write little melodies with those chords, which eventually evolved into full songs as I grew older!

GLITTER: How would you describe your sound? 
OLIVIA: Nostalgic Indie-pop with a sprinkle of alt-folk in the more acoustic songs. (i.e., Bedsheets)

GLITTER: Who are your musical influences? 
OLIVIA: I really enjoy LANY, Rufus du Sol; I’ve always loved Julia Michael’s songwriting too.

GLITTER: What is your songwriting process like?
OLIVIA: My process outside of co-writing sessions is usually very spontaneous. I’m always voice-memoing ideas and writing down words and lyrics on my phone!

GLITTER: What was it like being part of the charity rendition of “Lean on Me?”
OLIVIA: It was truly an honour to be part of a National project like that in these uncertain times. Simply being involved with such established artists was amazing and humbling as well 🙂

GLITTER: What have you learned about yourself over this quarantine?
OLIVIA: This has been such an introspective time for me. I’ve gotten into meditation and have learned to really embrace time spent resting both mentally and physically!

GLITTER: Do you have a karaoke Must? That one song you’ll sing every time if given the chance.
OLIVIA: “Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac!!

GLITTER: What is one piece of advice you got from someone that has always stuck with you?
Enjoy the journey, live presently in the moment, and the rest will come.

GLITTER: What is one thing you hope your fans learn from looking up to you?
Embracing your authentic self is so important. It’s so easy to get caught in the crossfire of social media- at the end of the day; I believe we are only truly happy when we’re content with our beautifully imperfect selves.

GLITTER: What do you hope fans take away from your music?
I hope listeners can build relationships with my songs so the lyrics can act as a soundtrack to their lives. I’m very honest and open in my music- I hope others can resonate because of this.

GLITTER: How are you connecting with fans during isolation?
OLIVIA: Social Media and live streams! It’s so cool to be able to connect with each other regardless of our whereabouts in the world.

GLITTER: When and what would you consider to be your big break?
OLIVIA: I’m still so early on in my career and have so much work to do. With that being said- one thing that really elevated my career was winning CTV’s The Launch in 2019. (A National Music TV Show)

GLITTER: Do you have any cool memories you can share from your career? 
OLIVIA: I had the Honour of opening up for Lionel Richie in Toronto last year. I’m still in awe of that moment!

GLITTER: What would be a dream collaboration for you? 
OLIVIA: Coldplay- forever a fan of theirs.

GLITTER: How do your family and friends support your music and career? 
OLIVIA: I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by family, friends, and my team who truly support me and this crazy journey I am on!

GLITTER: How do you use your voice for change?
OLIVIA: Behind the scenes, during COVID, I donated my time to Virtual Charity Galas. I think it’s so beautiful that we are all so far apart right now but are able to come together and be so close!

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign. What’s self-love mean to you?
OLIVIA: Self-love is taking TIME to check in with yourself. It’s movement and eating the right foods to fuel the body. Meditation is a huge part of self-love for me- Someone told me once, “you should treat yourself like a brand new puppy.” It made me realize how important self-awareness and love is!

GLITTER: How important do you think it is for voters to get out and vote this election? 
OLIVIA: Although I am not a US Citizen, I know tons of people who are. As individuals, we each have a voice. It’s so incredibly important to use that voice, especially in the context of electing a leader who has the ability to make such impactful decisions.

GLITTER: Who’s on your playlist right now?
OLIVIA: Rufus Du Sol, SG Lewis, Sabrina Claudio.

GLITTER: What’s a day like for you like on isolation?
OLIVIA: Wakeup, hydrate, workout, meditate, catch up on email, pick up the guitar, write a little. REPEAT.

GLITTER: Favorite ways to find your Zen? 
OLIVIA: I recently found the CALM app, and it’s amazing.

GLITTER: First place you’ll go when isolation ends?
OLIVIA: Somewhere tropical.. craving some heat!

GLITTER: What are your top 5 binge-worthy shows?
OLIVIA: I’m not a huge binger, but a few shows I recently binged were 1. Love Island (guilty pleasure) 2. Big Little Lies, and 3. Dead to Me.

GLITTER: Sage or Palo Santo?
Combination of both!

GLITTER: Kombucha or Green Drinks?
OLIVIA: Green juice, every morning!

GLITTER: Beach or Pool? 
OLIVIA: Pool with a beach view!

GLITTER: Sweets or Savory?
OLIVIA: Sweets…

GLITTER: Which are your go-to fashion brands? 
OLIVIA: Aritzia, AGOLDE (for denim), lululemon for athletica, I like finding boutiques in cities I travel to for unique pieces!

GLITTER: What’s your skincare ritual like? Any fav products? 
OLIVIA: Quarantine got me hooked on skincare… Fav discoveries Sunday Riley U.F.O. Facial Oil, Dr. Dennis Gross Wipes for breakouts & Peter Thomas Roth Cloud Cream!

GLITTER: What projects can you tell us about that you’re working on next?
New music… stay tuned!!

GLITTER: Name one thing fans might not know about you?
OLIVIA: I was very active and played lots of sports all through high school!

GLITTER: Best social platform for fans to find you?
Instagram @olivialunny 🙂 xx. Thanks so much for chatting!