RGM Recommends – Olivia Browse

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to become a soloist?

I was in a band in college and we wrote a song together called ‘Nothing at all’. I’d never thought about writing songs before and I went home to write the lyrics to the music my band had made that day. When singing it back to my band at the next rehearsal, I remember being so shy and I didn’t know if people would think it was lame but it turns out I can actually write good lyrics! It gave me the confidence to start writing my own songs and performing them solo and I went on to continue this into university.

It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?

It’s been a weird one for me as I’ve only released music during lockdown and am yet to have the experience of releasing a song in the normal world. At first it was really hard to adjust as I couldn’t do any single launches which was hard when releasing my debut single ‘Sober’, but now I’ve grown accustom to working in this environment. It’ll be interesting to see how this changes when it all starts getting back to normal. I pass the time by recording with my producer ‘Shtum’ (aka Marcus Hutton) and doing as many livestreams as I can but I crave the live performances we all miss.  

How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?

I feel like everyone gave the year ‘2020’ a bad name because of the situation in the world but I am positive going into the new year. I think this summer will be the best summer for music if the current corona plans go ahead just because everyone is desperate to see/play events again. I’ve got a lot of plans for music this year so I hope that I’ll be able to see them through. I’m optimistic for the future. 

How has 2020  effected your mental health?

It’s been hard adjusting to changes made in 2020 and I still feel as though the whole year has been stolen by Miss Rona. I’ve always struggled with anxiety but 2020 definitely has contributed to it getting progressively worse over time. As positive as I am about the future, I think I will find it very difficult to get back to how things were. Even when I go shopping and am faced with large groups of people, I get more nervous than I ever have and I’ve been trying to combat panic attacks when in these environments, which is something I never thought I’d be saying. Even without corona, it has been a hard year for my family back home in Essex, I find it hard to be away from them all and can’t wait to see them again when we are finally able. 

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the manchester circuit?

I’ve been listening to Moth Slut’s song ‘a breakup song I guess’ I love the raw sound of it and it makes me get super in my feels. 

What support is out there for new artists in Manchester ?

When I moved to Manchester I was surprised by how much of a community there is here for musicians. One person in particular that helped me massively when I started performing here was Michael Webster. He runs a record label called Bread Records and I’m lucky enough to be releasing my new single Red Stripe through the label. The open mics in the city are super friendly and comfortable to play at and the support you get online (if you look in the right places) from other artists is great. I’m proud to be a part of this community. 

Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Manchester unsigned scene?

My friends, who are also musicians, inspire me to keep making music and continue to create. There’s also some fabulous Instagram accounts out there at the minute who inspire me, especially the ones who are promoting and supporting female artists. ‘Wherearethegirlbands’ & ‘girlfestmusic’ are a couple of great examples of this, helping to really get female and non-binary artists out there! 

If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?

There was a time in first year of university when I went on a soup diet (which is not something I’d recommend or promote). I had a song called ‘Sleep, I’d rather not be awake’, my friends kept changing the lyrics to the song and replaced them with “Soup, I’d rather not gain the weight” because of my new diet. They sang it so much that when I performed the song live I sang the parodied version instead and forgot the actual words – I ended up calling the song ‘Soup’ instead because of this. 

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

I don’t know if this is really a talent, but I when I get past a certain point of being drunk, I can act as though I’m fine – which is odd because when I’m tipsy I can’t control it. I’m also really good at lying and telling when people are lying to me – So don’t cross me 😉 

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

It’s hard to pick a certain time when I’ve had the most fun but probably performing at the first gig I ran myself which was at Leaf in Manchester. I liked the atmosphere of that gig because it was super friendly and everyone I knew was there so it felt like a load of friends enjoying each other’s tunes. I also really enjoy any time I play at Hatch as it’s nice to be out in the open! 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Probably just the times where I accidently got too drunk. One time in particular was on new year’s eve going into 2020 and I was playing at around 12am. Me and my friends were doing shots of vodka behind the sound desk and by the time I actually started playing I was pretty drunk and kind of forgot most of what I was supposed to play. Luckily for me, the only people who attended that night were another band that were playing and my friend who was also playing. Definitely was a sign about how much of a mess 2020 would be! 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

I actually need to wear glasses to see and I’m supposed to wear them every day but I never do. I. often get people messaging me saying they had waved at me in the street and I didn’t wave back and majority of the time it’s because I couldn’t see them.. 

Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)

I love these kinds of questions but it’s so hard to pick!

Lead singer: Jarvis Cocker.

Bassist: Thundercat

Drummer: Phil Collins

Lead Guitar: St. Vincent

Whats your biggest achievement as a Artist?

In January 2020 (can’t believe how long it’s been) I hosted, run & played at my own event to celebrate female songwriters in Manchester, called Doyenne. It sold out and the room was filled with people all there to enjoy some fabulous artists and it was just a really amazing moment. I had planned to do it all again after the release of my first single but maybe this year will be the reboot! Apart from that I’m just happy to release music that I’m proud of. 

What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?

I think people don’t often expect me to sing about the things I do. I remember my Uni lecturer once said that my songs are “sexy and sad”. I think because I’m quite shy people don’t think I’m going to start singing about sex and as honestly as I do. I think one of the things that makes me stand out the most is how straight to the point I am with my lyrics. I haven’t played with my electric in a while but my flower guitar that I perform with when I’m live is another thing that often gets me noticed, 

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 

I would probably say the way tiktok is blowing up songs – people literally make songs for that app now and some of them are just trash. The most annoying thing about it though is they usually get stuck in my head as I’m always on that godforsaken app.

Whats your favourite song to play live and why?

When I had a band arrangement going the last few times I played live, my song ‘Pretty’ was my favourite song to play. I loved how much heavier it felt as it really pushed the message of the song as its kind of a ‘fuck you’ to all the men that take advantage of women when they’re drunk. I also really enjoy playing ‘Sober’ but only because I can see everyone get gassed in the audience when I do, it’s not my favourite song I’ve written but it definitely is for the people that watch me! 

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

I wrote ‘Red Stripe’ with my producer last year; we were messing around and decided it would be funny to write a song that was taking the piss out of 2000’s indie tracks (out of love of course!). I was writing it in the perspective of a man that goes to 42’s nightclub on the weekend, drinks red stripe and exclusively listens to The Smiths & Joy Division. Although we wrote it as a joke, I had people constantly telling me that it was a bop so I thought I’d rerecord the whole thing properly and release it! 

How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late? The recording process hasn’t changed for me over lockdown. I record everything at home and I’m lucky that my partner is my producer! I’ve always felt comfortable recording this way and I’ll probably continue to do so in the future.

What are your plans for the year ahead 

I’m recording my EP right now! It probably won’t be released until the end of the year but the single from it will hopefully come out a while before so people know what to expect! It’s a daunting experience as I do everything myself but I’m excited to take on a bigger project. I also make all my own merch and I’m in the process of setting up my website so people can buy all the goodies I make. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Maybe just to go and check out my songs! If you follow my Instagram @olivia_browse you can keep up to date with anything I post and my new releases! 

Apart from that – see you all when we’re allowed! X 

PRE SAVE 👉 https://show.co/Da0U6cn