Already being compared to Beyonce and Toni Braxton, ya gal sat down with one Australian singer-songwriter currently securing plenty of international recognition.
Olivia Escuyos has been pumping out YouTube covers since the age of twelve and that’s not all, she also plays piano and guitar, often making appearances across her socials.
In 2014, she signed a deal with JOS Entertainment and the following year released her debut single, ‘One & Only’ produced by Grammy nominated producer, Needlz.
Following the release of her debut single, Escuyos toured Asia and even released her first EP, ‘Preface’ while residing in Atlanta.
Ya gal is mega pumped for the exciting future in store for Escuyos, it’s guaranteed only big things will be coming from this talented gal in the future.
So we sat down with her to chat all things music and future plans.
So how’s it all been?
Hey! Everything’s been as well as they can be at this time. I’ve just been in a space of self-reflection and growth to get me through these past through months. I feel like it’s really helped me have a better relationship between my work and personal life while in lockdown.
What’s it been like performing live in lockdown?
Performing live in lockdown is surprisingly a lot easier than what I thought it would be. I’m so used to doing cover videos, so it didn’t feel too unusual, the only difference is that the performances were for 30 to 40 minutes. The tricky part was having to set up equipment and lighting by myself which often took me almost two hours to get it right!!!
What sounds are inspiring you the most at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of PartyNextDoor, Summer Walker and Bryson Tiller at the moment, but it changes day to day. Tomorrow might be Sade, James Blake and Jeff Buckley. It all really depends on what mood I’m in and I think playing songs that match my mood helps me go about my day better!
Tell us a bit about your journey into music?
My journey in music started when I was four singing at my local church choir. My mum enrolled me into singing and piano lessons because the pianist at the time had told her I had a good voice. From then it was countless competition, concerts and shows but by the age of twelve my sister and I started posting some covers on YouTube for fun. After that, I realised doing covers on YouTube was something I really enjoyed, so I continued posting covers and was soon discovered by my current manager, Bobby.
As soon as I graduated at 17, I went to the US for the first time and met label executives and huge industry names such as, Vincent Herbert, Toby Gad, Dark Child, Jim Jonsin and so many others. A couple of years later, I decided to return to Melbourne to further develop my craft more deeply and work with other music artists. I now fly between Melbourne and the US of work (obviously not now because of lockdown lol).
What were some of the biggest tunes you listened to growing up?
I’ve always listened to a wide variety of genres since I was young. It started with my parents playing artists such as Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder every Saturday morning. When I started acquiring my own personal taste in music, I was inspired by Alicia Keys, Eva Cassidy, Brandy, Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley, Sade, Beyonce and many more. Overall, I resonated strongly with a lot of soul and RnB.
Tell us a bit about the tune, ‘When I Pray’ that you featured on – what is it all about?
When I heard ‘When I Pray’ for the first time I was instantly connected to Zuhair’s lyrics on unrequited love. When I wrote my verse I wanted to speak from the side of the person who may have caused the problems that led to the relationship fall out but never intended to in the first place.
The lyrics articulate the mix of ego, pride and missed communications of a past broken relationship. This is not based on a true story but I feel like it’s something people can relate to, even with relationships that aren’t romantic.
What was it like working with Zuhair?
Zuhair is one of the homies, we went to the same singing school and at one point I was teaching him how to sing (laughs). He’s just a really nice guy and I love his lyricism. When we worked on this song he told me he usually writes the verse for his features but asked me if I could write mine because he loves the way I write too. So it’s all mutual love here!!
What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome during your music career so far?
There have been many challenges I’ve faced in my music career. I don’t think you could ever go without facing challenges for something you love. I struggled to find who I wanted to be as an artist for many years because the transition from being a cover artist to being my own seemed like such a huge jump for me.
When I started making music, I was working with some of the biggest people in the industry but I knew that I needed to push myself further and work on my craft in order to feel like I deserved to be there.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
The biggest highlight of my career so far is honestly just growing closer to knowing who I want to be as an artist and being able to share my knowledge and craft with other people. Assertiveness has never been easy for me, so gradually overcoming that has been a huge accomplishment for me. Trust me, in this industry assertiveness is a must.
Where do you get most of your inspiration from when songwriting?
I draw inspiration when writing from my own experiences and flipping them into something different or fantasy-like. It could be something as simple as daily conversations with people or nature.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I’m not sure if there’s something that people don’t know about me but one thing people always assume is that I am or was signed to a major label. I’ve been independent since I started in the music industry! I’m just super blessed to have made a connection with people who work in the industry helping me along the way.
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
I’d love to work with PartyNextDoor or even just seeing his workflow in the studio would be incredible. I love the way he writes his lyrics and melodies.
Any exciting future surprises you can hint at or reveal?
I have more singles and an EP on the way! I’m very excited to release the countless songs I have stored in the vault.
In the meanwhile, go get some of Olivia Escuyo’s latest single, ‘ILWY’ HERE.