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An Interview with Olivia Miceli

I have been joined by Olivia Miceli, who has joined me to chat about her musical journey in song writing and producing!

Welcome to Totally Music would you like to introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Olivia Miceli and I'm a singer, songwriter and music producer from Stoke-On-Trent in the UK.

What got you into music?

I've always been invested in music, enjoying musicals from a young age and asking for keyboards and guitars for Christmas. I always tried playing instruments just for fun, and when I was 11 my next door neighbour gave me an upright piano, which really started my musical journey. I started getting piano lessons and worked through the grades and taught myself guitar as well.

You started off Songwriting but in 2020 you moved on to the recording side, what inspired you to move into recording, producing and publishing your own music?

I wrote songs for a long time, writing more for myself than anyone else, but when I started university, I began using the recording equipment and production tools they had in the studios and found a new love for recording and producing. Unfortunately, my starting university coincided with the start of lockdown, so I had to find a way to continue learning how to use the equipment whilst being at home. I bought myself a microphone and interface, recorded my first original song and submitted it to a songwriting contest. I won a guitar amp and decided I wanted to continue to improve on my recording and producing skills as it felt like I was bringing my songs to life.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of writing, recording and producing your own music?

When recording and producing my music I always look to artists who I find inspiring to see if there are any techniques which I can incorporate into my own work. When producing, I always strive to try and make my music different from my other songs, whether this is using different instruments or different recording techniques, and it can sometimes be difficult to think of how to do this, whilst also making all my songs sound like they're all by me stylistically.

Writing lyrics is what I really enjoy; I love the poetry of it all and how I can get all my emotions into a song that can tell a story. I think the biggest challenge for me when writing songs is gauging how much to write for other people or for myself. A lot of what I write has always been very personal, but writing solely with an audience in mind has always felt inauthentic, so I try and write for me rather than for others, which is exactly what I did on my most recent release, 'Nostalgic Heartbreak'.

You have recently released your new album ' Nostalgic Heartbreak' would you like to tell us about it?

Nostalgic Heartbreak is a compilation of songs which I started working on way back in 2021. The running theme through the album I would say is longing, whether it's longing for someone, for love, or for times that were never ours; each song has a wistful nostalgia about it. The first song that I wrote for the album was Hopeful, but not romantic. I was inspired by Taylor Swift's 'The Lakes', writing in a more poetic style than I had before, which set the tone for the rest of the songs on the album.

What do you feel you have learnt whilst being a musician which helps you creating and producing music?

I've learnt to be more fluid with my music making and less particular about making everything sound too perfect. I think a few wrong notes or timings which are slightly out can give my songs more authentic emotion. Using more real-life instruments rather than all MIDI also helps to make the song more believable as a song born from feelings, rather than a song built from fake sounds.

What have been your favourite set of lyrics you have written and why?

Some of my favourite lyrics I've ever written are probably 'Nostalgic Heartbreak for times that were never mine' from my song Hopeful, but not romantic and 'We've derealised, we've materialised, we've become everything the poets told us not to' from my song The Fate of The Romanticists. Whenever I write a song, there's almost always a pivotal lyric for me which makes the whole meaning of the song clear, and in both of these songs these were the lyrics which felt the most determining in defining their meaning.

For anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps of either writing or producing music what advice would you give them?

I would say to really explore what you enjoy and to write and produce in a style that you are passionate about. It's important to have an audience that likes your music, but it's also important for your audience to feel your excitement about what you are making. I'm constantly writing, even if I'm not feeling it at the time and I'm always trying out new production techniques which can be out of my stylistic comfort zone, because it helps me to learn and grow as a musician.

What's next for you?

I love writing music and have already started to write more stuff to be released in the future! Songs from Nostalgic Heartbreak have been played on a few radio stations which has been really lovely to hear, so continuing to get my music heard on the airwaves is something I definitely look forward to! I have also been writing in a more commercial sense, writing radio jingles which have also been used by stations I've written for, so I really want to continue writing in a way that could be used commercially to broaden my skills as a musician. If you would like to check out 'Olivia Miceli's' Music you can find her music here:

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