Olivia Dean at Abbey Road with Lickd

Newly signed to Virgin EMI, London talent Olivia Dean has been on repeat at Lickd HQ for weeks. The perfect antidote to a tough morning, her soulful storytelling can turn even the deepest of frowns upside down. 

To celebrate her debut EP, ‘Ok Love You Bye’, going live on the Lickd platform, we caught up with Olivia for an exclusive interview. Read on to find out more about how she got into music, the inspiration behind her EP and the YouTubers she can’t live without. 

We love your sound! Tell us more about your journey into music. 

I was only eight when I told my mum I wanted to be a singer. I started out doing musical theatre – I used to be quite shy – so it was a confidence thing too. I just kept doing it and totally fell in love with singing. 

I moved to the Brit school and commuted every day from East London. It took me an hour 45 every morning but it was so worth it. I met so many amazing musicians there, even some of my band. I started writing and as I came out of college got a manager, put some music out and here we are.

Olivia Dean performing

What do you like most about making music? 

For me, it’s like therapy because it’s all stuff I go through in my life that I get to be really honest about. It’s really nice when other people send you messages saying they related to it and it helped them through something. It just makes it all feel worthwhile.

You’ve piqued the interest of tastemakers like the BBC and FADER, do you ever get nervous when performing? 

I don’t get nervous, I get excited. I think it’s because I’ve been singing since I was so young. I just get so into the performance. I don’t even think about anyone else being there, I just sing out – it sounds really cliche to say ‘like I’m the only person in the room’ – but literally that’s what it’s like. 

How do you feel about your music being on the Lickd platform? 

I’m very excited about it. I think it’s such a good idea and I feel privileged to be part of it. I watch YouTube a lot and I’m always going down wormholes so it’ll be really cool to see my songs on people’s videos. 

Olivia Dean interview

What sort of YouTube videos do you watch? 

I watch makeup stuff, it’s so relaxing. And when you find someone you like I just want to listen to them talk while I’m drinking a cup of tea. There’s this British beauty vlogger called Sammy Maria and I’ve literally been following her since I was about 14. I feel like we’re friends even though we’re definitely not. 

I listen to a lot of music review stuff too and a few comedy things, I need to up my subscriptions!

Every person that joins Lickd has their favorite album hung on the wall of fame at Lickd HQ. What would yours be? 

It would have to be Graceland by Paul Simon. I love horns and saxophones and all the stuff on that album completely inspired me. It actually inspired ‘Ok Love You Bye’, the title track of the EP. I’ve seen him live and I cried the whole way through. 

If you could soundtrack your life right now what song would you choose? 

I found this Marvin Gaye song the other day that I really like called ‘Where Are We Going’ I think it would be that! 

If you haven’t already, check out Olivia’s music on the Lickd platform, sign up and get 25% off your first track!