By DONNA BALANCIA – Olivia Dvorak is making music her own way.
“I grew up in the country with horses,” said Olivia, who was raised in rural Illinois. “My horses always loved the country music I would play on the radio. So I gravitated towards writing and playing country music.”
The 23-year-old and her music could have gone in another — more traditional direction — her mother is a music teacher and her sister, Lillian, is an accomplished classical pianist. And being raised in a Christian household has enabled Olivia to put a positive spin on even the toughest moments in her young music career.
“My faith plays a big role in how I handle my career,” Olivia said. “I feel there’s a way to get ahead and still keep your own values.”
Olivia has carefully selected like-minded people for her team, people who also work hard and try to do right by others.
“It’s just the way we all live,” Olivia said. “We try to help others and we make that a priority.”
Olivia’s love is anything country. Among her top picks in music are artists Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Martina McBride. Her biggest influence has been the music of K.T. Tunstall and her favorite song is “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.'”
Her album, Don’t Come Knockin’ is extremely entertaining and Olivia is one to keep your eyes on.
To see Olivia perform is like watching a whirlwind in action. She has control of the stage and knows how to make the audience feel good. Within moments she can quiet down a noisy room.
“You have to feel out the audience, see what mood they’re in,” she said. “The audience is different everywhere you play and that affects your performance.”
The songs Olivia has written are catchy and her voice is clear. At her young age and in her infancy stage as a performer, Olivia is already amazingly accomplished. A one-woman band, she achieves a remarkably robust sound with the help of a simple JamMan Looper Pedal.
“I have a great team and regarding my sound, I rely on my right-hand guy Jeremy Rollefson,” Olivia said. “He tells me what’s the ‘latest and greatest’ as far as the tech side.”
One of the biggest influences in her life is Olivia’s mother, Betsy, the music teacher.
“My mom, Betsy, taught me about music, and my dad, Scott, is a graphic designer,” Olivia said.
In her spare time, Olivia loves to draw or go for a run. She’s a big believer in giving back and recently played a gig to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes.
“The veterans give so much to us and I want to do what I can,” she said. “I also want to mentor younger people. I know my music has healed me and I want others to see their own value as well.”