Fresh off of her recent tour, Coffee House Sessions, Olivia Aujla caught up with Odina to talk about everything from her musical inspirations to the meaning behind her latest track, and what it felt like to bump into One Direction’s Harry Styles at one of her gigs!
Olivia: Hi Odina, this is Olivia from URF at the University of Sussex. How are you doing today? Odina: I’m good how are you?
Olivia: Odina, you’ve just come off of your very exciting tour, Coffee House Sessions, round a huge number of British universities. What was your favourite part about touring? Odina: So many things! It was a cool learning experience, being able to visit so many exciting cities that I’ve never been to before.
Olivia: Does a particular gig or moment, good or bad, stand out for you?
Odina: I really enjoyed two dates in particular where I was playing with friends, who were doing the backing vocals. It’s so much more fun performing with other people.
Olivia: Is there a university you particularly enjoyed performing at? Odina: Bath Spa was really nice! Loughborough uni was another of our favourites.
Olivia: Why is that?
Odina: There was a good vibe and everybody treated us really nicely.
Olivia: Do you have a favourite song of yours that you enjoy particularly enjoy playing at your gigs? Odina: On this tour, I’ve been playing a new song that I’ve never played before. I’m hoping to release it soon. I would give you the title, only I haven’t decided on a title for it yet!
Olivia: Harry Styles is said to have turned up at one of your gigs recently! That’s really exciting!
Odina: Haha! Who told you this?
Olivia: Chris! (Represents Odina)
Odina: Oh that’s so funny! I haven’t told anyone about that!
Olivia: How did you feel at the time? Have you had any other special guests come to your gigs?
Odina: It was so unexpected! I bumped into him once I’d finished playing, it was really surreal! I was playing at a nice venue in Camden, supporting another band and I was like “woah! what’s happening!”
Olivia: You’ve just released your latest single, Why’d You Make Me Cry. You describe it as a very special song for you, and one you feel quite vulnerable about. Why is that the case? Is there a story behind the track?
Odina: It’s a personal story and a bit sad. When I was writing the song, I was crying. It’s literally describing what I was going through at the time. I’m really happy to share it and it helped me move on and become stronger. It’s about someone who is hurting you when they shouldn’t be hurting you. It can happen in any kind of relationship, romantic or not, and that is the takeaway message.
Olivia: Do you have any favourite artists who have inspired your music?
Odina: Growing up, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen were always playing around the house. I’ve been listening to Bon Iver over the past three years. Another big inspiration is Keaton Henson, who I only discovered last year but the way he writes is a big inspiration for me.
Olivia: That being said, what inspires you when it comes to creating your music? For me, writing is like therapy. I write in moments when I’m not very comfortable with myself or when there’s something inside me that’s haunting me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something in particular, but it’s good to get it out.
Olivia: Are there any artists you would love to work with and collaborate with in the future?
Odina: Keaton Henson! I would love to write with him. But I’m open to working with anyone really.
Olivia: Lastly, if you could describe your music in 3 words to someone who has never heard your music before, what words would you choose?
Odina: Ooh that’s a hard one! I would say mellow, vulnerable and folky.
Olivia: And why have you chosen those particular words?
Odina: I chose vulnerable because that’s a place where I come from when I write my songs. Mellow – because that’s how a lot of people describe my songs, and folky because for people who haven’t heard my music they might want an idea of the genre. It’s hard to put my music into a specific genre but that is the most similar.
Odina’s latest single, Why’d You Make Me Cry, is now available for purchase and streaming via iTunes and Spotify.