Releases new single ‘Empty’
Follows “i hate u, i love u,” the worldwide hit collaboration with gnash
“The singer-songwriter from Napa Valley, California, just may be starting the next generation of cathartic Taylor Swift-esque anthems wrapped in the sweet vocals of Lorde and maturity of Lana.” – V Magazine
“She’s proving to be a name on the rise” – Complex
17 year old California singer and songwriter Olivia O’Brien, known to millions worldwide after her smash collaboration with gnash on her self-composed global hit ‘i hate u i love u’, releases her new single ‘Empty’ today, available via Virgin EMI and featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday UK. The accompanying scenic Los Angeles-centric video for ‘Empty’, shot by director Chandler Lass, channels the deeply personal and soul-searching lyrics of the song.
“I wrote ‘Empty’ when i was at my lowest,” says Olivia. “I had just moved to LA and was kind of lost in life. I didn’t feel like i fit in with my new friends but my old friends were moving on in their lives without me. I let myself wallow in my depression for months, letting it get worse and worse and not telling anyone until i started feeling like every aspect of my life was tragic and hopeless. Finally, when I started writing this song in a studio session I broke down and told the producer how I had been feeling. It was a very emotional day but I came out of it feeling so much better about everything and knowing I had just written my most vulnerable, emotional, and real song yet.”
Watch ‘Empty’ video
Since its release, “i hate u i love u,” which Olivia wrote the lyrics for in her bedroom when she was 15, has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, with over 467 million Spotify streams, a Top 5 hit in the U.S. where it is certified RIAA double-platinum, Top 10 UK (platinum), #1 in Australia (double-platinum), and so on, in nearly 30 territories. The video, in which Olivia is featured, has logged over 235 million YouTube views since its premiere in March 2015.
First titled ‘hate u love u’, Olivia released her original version of the song in December, which preceded and inspired the gnash collaboration. The new recording has gone on to net over 8 million total streams, entered the US iTunes Top 30, and was featured in Spotify’s New Music Friday UK and Apple Music’s Best Of The Week.
Raised in Napa Valley, Olivia O’Brien has been singing and writing songs since she was seven years old, and taught herself to play both the guitar and piano. She began posting her originals on SoundCloud for fun, not thinking anything would come of it, until gnash reached out on Twitter last year after she posted a cover of one of his songs. When he asked her if she had any original material, Olivia sent him a voice-note of the beginnings of ‘i hate u i love u’ and he invited her down to L.A. to record.
“It completely changed my life,” says Olivia, who is now writing and recording new songs with the goal of “creating music that people can identify with and enjoy. I’m looking forward to releasing more music and showing who I am as an artist and songwriter.” With a melodic gift and lyrical maturity that are rare for such a young artist, as displayed in ‘Empty’, a huge online following (with 80k followers on Twitter), and a groundswell of support with media, already receiving accolades from publications including V Magazine, Complex Billboard and NYLON, she is set to do exactly that.