Get to know: Olivia Lunny
Olivia Lunny came across an ad for CTV’s The Launch on social media when she took a chance and applied on a whim. Now, the singer-songwriter has a hit song released from the show.
‘I Got You’ is an uplifting pop song with hints of the alternative sound Lunny has crafted for her original music (she released her self-entitled EP in early 2018), marking her transition to mainstream pop. The song was produced by Canadian DJ Shaun Frank and released under Big Machine Label Group.
ALTo caught up with Lunny to talk about her time on The Launch, how she made the song her own and the advice she received along the way.
Please note that the following has been edited and condensed.
When did you start writing songs?
I’m 20 now, but I’ve been writing music for quite some time. I grew up in a house that was very musical, my dad plays guitar and taught me, so I was immersed in music very early. I started writing when I was about 12 years old and would try to write things that were catchy. Eventually as I got older music really became this outlet for me to journal and to kind of get things out of my head.
You went head first into your music career after high school. Tell me about that decision.
Music was always something that was this constant in my life. I knew that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life as a hobby, but come around Grade 12 I started contemplating pursuing it as a career after high school. I’m very grateful to come from a supportive family. They’re completely supportive of that decision so it has definitely made it easier having that support behind me. Music is my passion and I just love it so much. I would kick myself if I didn’t dive into it fully.
How did you decide to audition for The Launch?
I came across an ad on Facebook and sent the application. I honestly didn't think much of it when I was filling out the form –– I kind of thought that it was a long shot. This show really does focus on the artist and that’s why I didn't hesitate to apply. And I’m very happy that I did!
How did you make ‘I Got You’ your own? I know you didn’t have that much time to record it!
Yes! That whole process happens in 48 hours so it was a very intense process but also super fun. I’ll be honest, I was a little bit intimidated the first time I was told we’d be singing a song that we didn't write because songwriting is really at the core of who I am. Once I heard the song, I instantly clicked with it and the message of spreading love and having each other’s backs. Shaun Frank (producer) really let me make it my own and gave me creative freedom. The combination of relating to it and having support from him and all the mentors on the show really helped me get in my element and put my own stamp on the song.
What was the most challenging moment of making it your own?
When I first heard the song, it was very pop-y so I was a bit nervous because my style is quite alternative. But as I got into the groove, I realized that I really liked this direction. It’s funny because going forward I think I’ll keep going into the direction of more mainstream pop.
Take me back to the moment you got launched. What were you feeling?
Oh my goodness, that moment was wild! I feel like it was one of the few moments in my life where I like. took a snapshot of it in my head. If I close my eyes, I can really relive it. It was absolutely surreal. I think as an artist the biggest thing you want is the validation from others who are already doing what you want to be doing. The fact that the mentors believed in me was the most amazing feeling ever.
What has your time on The Launch taught you about yourself?
It’s crazy how much you can grow in just two days. I don’t usually perform without a guitar, but the song on the show required a performance. So, removing that guitar was a big challenge for me and I honestly didn't know if I could do it at first. But with the help of Marie-Mai and Jann (Arden) in particular, they said, “If you want things bad enough, you’ll find a way to do it.” I remember walking out on stage and just saying to myself that I have to do this. It’s kind of symbolic and it’s more than performing without a guitar. In general there is going to be challenges in music, and if you want a chance in this industry you really just have to go for things. As soon as I did that, I had so much fun on stage.
Any advice for those wanting to go into music?
I would say to anyone who wants to pursue music fully, you have to go into it with your whole heart and take risks. The world will always be there but these creative opportunities won’t always be, and you just really have to stay authentic and true to yourself and that persistence is key.
Want to keep up with Olivia’s musical journey? Follow her on Instagram @olivialunny