Inspired by her spiritual roots and love of classic and contemporary music, Gold Coast indie-pop songstress Olivia Gane – aka OMRA – has been immersed in her creative cave, writing and recording since early 2019.
After teaming up with Gold Coast Producer Kent Tonsheck to create her signature sound, OMRA dropped her debut single ‘Energy Vampire’ in June of 2019, closely followed by her second single ‘Bewitched’ in November. Wasting no time, OMRA has just released her third and favourite track with Tonsheck ‘Hold Me With Your Eyes’; a song about vulnerability and surrendering to love. With 132 monthly Spotify listeners, the three tracks have collectively clocked up nearly 6000 streams already.
We wanted to catch up with OMRA to have a chinwag about the new single and get the lowdown on what else she has in store for the year.
Congratulations on the release of ‘Hold Me With Your Eyes’ . Could you tell us a little bit about the track, the inspiration behind it and what it means to you?
Thank you! I’m really happy with it, I think it’s my favourite so far, so I’m rapt with the response it’s been getting. The concept behind the song formed around the start of COVID in early March. I was struggling with the idea of being isolated, which brought up a lot of other emotions. My writing is mostly based on personal experience, but it’s rarely literal. The song may reflect the love of a romantic relationship, but for me, it reflects my connection to myself. I’m a creative writer, so I channel a certain emotion or mood into a relatable story. In this case, being alone and stuck indoors inspired the metaphor of a couple who find solace in their connection while their fears melt away outside as if it’s them against the world. It’s a song about vulnerability and surrendering to love, but they’re not actually touching, so I guess you could say it’s ‘COVID safe!’
You have been working with Gold Coast producer Kent Tonscheck on your three singles to create your signature sound. What is it like working together and could you give us a behind the scenes peek at the process of creating ‘Hold Me With Your Eyes’ together?
Kent is great! We met through a mutual friend at a local bar one night and I ended up filming his first music video. We used to watch his gigs, and at the time I was itching to have a crack at recording. My experience was limited to the ADR room at film school and writing songs in notebooks from an early age, so I was super excited to see Kent’s humble little studio at his place. We recorded all three songs there, starting with ‘Energy Vampire’ and ‘Bewitched’ in 2019. We’ve definitely gotten better as we’ve discovered the process that works for us based on trial and error. He’s the one with the music degree, and I don’t technically play any instruments, yet. I come to him with some chords and lyrics and a few crazy ideas for base drops or harmonies, and we sit together while he weaves his magic on Logic. It’s great that we’re friends, because it can be quite an arduous process throwing changes and suggestions back and forth when we’re both super busy with other things. At the end of the day, we always finish up in time for one of his weird board games or an arvo sesh on the roof with his housemates. Sometimes his girlfriend takes some BTS footage… it’s a pretty chilled environment!
You have listed some of your influences as Meg Mac, Vera Blue, Hozier, Tia Gostelow and Matt Corby. Could you give us an insight into your songwriting process and how these artists have influenced you?
I get most of my ideas when I’m alone with the acoustics of the kitchen, or travelling up to Brissy in the car or train. Usually, I’ll have a few notes in my head and start humming before I throw in some sample lyrics, literally whatever comes to mind. From there, I begin to shape the concept and see if I’m engaged in the story enough to form a whole song. If it sticks, I hit the keyboard to flesh it out. When I feel like writing but there’s nothing in the tank, I’ll listen to the music of a few different artists, then I turn it off and try to create something original based on whatever musical element sticks in my head. That way, the structure is there as I let my brain fill in the gaps. I find that my best ideas come when I’m tired or not overthinking anything.
How have you been going during COVID and what have you been up to?
COVID has been many things, good and bad, but I’m an optimist! I’m working as a co-writer/producer in the film industry, so as we’ve continued to develop projects I’ve been surrounded with creativity and support. I’ve been taking time to do a lot of work on myself, as many people have, and that’s allowed me to redefine my approach to my brand and content.
What have you got coming up for the rest of the year? Any more new music we can look forward to?
I’d love to try different genres, and currently, I’m working on an EDM track with Brissy artist Jambi, who I met on Instagram. We’ve been working online and had our first zoom meeting this morning. Online networking has connected me with a lot of other emerging artists, so there are definitely other collaborations in the pipeline! I’d love to combine my passion for music and film someday by intertwining my careers, whether that means creating the score for a movie or writing songs for bigger bands. I’m a bit of a dreamer, but I’m just as much of a believer. So far it’s paying off!
‘Hold Me With Your Eyes’ is out now on all of your favourite streaming platforms. You can follow OMRA over on her socials Instagram and Facebook and can catch some covers and sneak peeks over on Tik Tok @omramusicofficial