Exclusive Interview with Hawaiian Country Artist JoLivi

Born and raised in Hawaii, JoLivi‘s love for country music started at a young age. She caught the music bug as a child and quickly began singing wherever she had a chance. After graduating with a theatre degree from Colorado State, JoLivi decided it was time to make the move to LA to pursue her music career full time. Now residing in Nashville, JoLivi just released her brand new single, “Stuck”.

I got the chance to talk with JoLivi about who inspired her to pursue a career in music professionally, the songwriting process for “Stuck”, what she’s currently nerding out about and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!

Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.

I was performing at a very young age. I was doing musicals and showcases and I just loved the stage. My grandfather was a Hawaiian singer so music was always present all the time.

Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?

100% my Grandfather. He played a lot at family gatherings and we would usually have one once a week. When he would play and sing, I would be staring at him in awe. He was a beautiful man.

I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your sound would typically be classified as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?

It’s real, relatable and raw. I want people to hear my music and truly connect with the lyrics and energy. 

Speaking of country music, you were born and raised in Hawaii. What’s the country music scene like there?

Old country music and old Hawaiian music are very similar, but when I was younger, there wasn’t a big country scene in Hawaii. It’s very much there now and it’s awesome!

Who are some of your musical influences?

James Taylor is for sure one of my all time favorites. My mother had a library of CDs and every genre of music was listened too. But JT had a way of tugging at my heart strings. I’m a super fan of Prince, Alanis Morissette, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Kris Kristofferson, George Strait, Willie Nelson, etc. There are so many!

Let’s talk about your most recent single, “Stuck.” What inspired that song?

I wanted to write a song where the word “Stuck” was used in a positive way. If you were an island, I’d want to be stuck there with you. 

What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?

I wrote the song with Skip Black and Brian Maher and when I came into the studio I had a melody in mind and this concept. Two hours later, “Stuck” was born.  

Something I’ve always been curious with songwriting is how topics come to mind. Did you know what you wanted to write about going into the song session that birthed “Stuck” or did it just come about organically once you were in the session?

I legit did not read this question before I answered the previous one so this is kind of funny [laughs]. But yes, the concept was there for sure but the guys really helped get it to that level of awesomeness.  

Was there any major changes to “Stuck” that happened once you guys got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?

There were not any major changes at all. The vibe was there and I didn’t want to touch it.

I know this single just came out, but are there any plans for a new EP or full length project to come out anytime this year?

As of right now, it’s single by single. But I’m always out writing new tunes and then my team and I get together and decide which track we should release next. It also depends the season. It’s summertime so a great summer vibe song might be coming next.

You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?

I’ve actually been doing music a very long time but I am new to the country world for sure. I’ve done a lot in the year I’ve been here. Everyone has been so supportive and I love the industry out here in Nashville. Of course there are always goals to reach. I’d love to go on tour; that’s always the goal but touring with a purpose.

Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?

[Laughs] At the moment, Shark Week and reality TV.  

For more information, make sure you visit JoLivi’s website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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