Canadian singer and songwriter Olivia Lunny recently released Sad to See You Happy, the first single of her debut album, which is set to premiere in late June. The 22-year-old artist won an episode of The Launch has not stopped moving forward in the industry since then. Last week, Olivia sat with us to talk about her upcoming album, the release of Sad to See You Happy, its music video, and her career.
The Launch is a Canadian singing competition TV series where an artist is selected each episode to record a song produced by famous musicians. In Lunny’s case, winning meant having “I Got You” as her debut single after winning the fourth episode of the series’ second season.
Since then, Lunny has released her first EP To The Ones I Love and a few singles, including Bedsheets and Think of Me. Before beginning her musical career officially, she grew up in her family’s house in Winnipeg, surrounded by music at home, and by 17 she was already performing at coffee shops and local bars.
In the recently released music video for Sad to See You Happy we can see Olivia moving into a new house she just bought, while optimistically attempting to dive into her new single life. She seems to be feeling herself in bright-colored clothing until she realizes her next-door neighbor turned out to be the ex-lover she was trying to get over. “Thought I could go on with life / Until I saw you and her smilin’ now,” she sings as she stares at her ex on her balcony.
As the video emphasizes when she is absentmindedly chopping vegetables and tearing her clothes apart, the lyrics narrate her frustration of not being able to get someone out of her head. Sad to See You Happy makes Lunny’s sweet voice and mellow tone shine in a fresh and light indie-pop that will get stuck in your head after the first time you hear it.
Watch the full interview here and a snippet of her single, or read an extract below.
Do you remember how you felt the day you premiered your first EP
Yes, I remember I was so excited to get a body of work out into the world that was more than just one song because I think EPs and albums, they are great to really kind of encapsulate you as an artist.
Why was your single Sad to see you see you happy the chosen one to be the first from your new album?
Good question! I think, I mean it’s always so hard to choose, it’s like choosing a favourite child, but this song was, I think the most fun, and the most energetic, and it just felt right, it kind of chose itself. It’s one of the first songs we wrote for the project so we just kind of rolled with it.
Is your songwriting usually inspired in reality, or is it more fictional?
I would say almost 80-20. So usually I write songs about my personal experience or things going on in the lives around me, but the other day I watched a movie, for example, and it inspired a song idea. So I’m slowly drawing inspiration from things in my environment.
How do you measure success? What do you have to reach in order to think to yourself that you’ve made it?
Well, I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers and artists, who they’re collaborating with or comparisons to others and their success, but ultimately if you are happy and you feel like they can also generate income for you to live, I think that is the epitome of success is just happiness.
How would you summarise your songwriting in your upcoming album?
I would say it’s honest, it’s super vulnerable. And it’s also very fun! Up until this album I hadn’t actually written super happy songs, just like sad love songs, but I’m super excited that I have some really happy, fun, new songs.
What would you like your music to inspire to your future fans?
I think at the end of the day, I know that music I listen to– I always gravitate to music that makes me feel a certain way and that I resonate with. So, if I can make music that make other people feel something, whether it’s happy, or whether it makes them wanna cry or feel confident, that is my goal. To make music that can become a soundtrack to people’s lives.
So who would you say should listen to your songs?
Everyone! But I guess more specifically, I definitely write lots of emotional things in terms of relationships so, anyone who’s ever known heartbreak or who’s ever needed a confidence boost. I got you and you should listen to my stuff.