RIP: OLIVIA O’BRIEN BRINGS LOVE BACK FROM THE DEAD

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google

PHOTOGRAPHY + CREATIVE DIRECTION/ ANGELO KRITIKOS

GRAPHIC ART/ GARY COUTTS

STORY / ANGIE PICCIRILLO

A year ago, Olivia O’Brien had just moved to Los Angeles after uprooting herself from the small and quiet Napa Valley area. Her song “i hate u, i love u” a collaboration with singer/rapper and DJ Gnash had already become a proven hit. At the time, recently signed to Island records, Olivia seemed a bit nervous about putting herself out there, for all the world to see… and hear.
Fast-forward to almost a year later — and several singles and photo shoots later, Olivia is hardly the shy girl from a year ago who hated to be photographed. With her newest single and video, “RIP,” a tasty R&B influenced jam about missing a dude who’s seemingly changed for the worst, the video boldly opens with Olivia shoveling an open grave and thinking back on the good times of a relationship gone sour.
The video takes more of a shocking and almost morbid turn, when Olivia shows up in all white to a seemingly serious funeral with a baseball bat. With flashes of perhaps true-to-life turmoil of working in the studio and arguing via text, Olivia takes the bat to the memorial photo at the funeral, as guests watch in horror.
Bringing all the “Pretty Little Liars” dark vibes, paired with a deliciously pop-sprinkled R&B anti-love anthem, the video for “RIP” is deliciously filled both lyrically and visually with every girls’ revenge fantasy post relationship-gone-wrong.
 

What inspired you to write RIP — is this about a specific person or event that occurred?
I wrote this song about one of my first friends in LA, his name was Kyle. For about a year we were really close friends and would talk every day. He was one of those people that I didn’t ever have to try with, it just felt like everything came naturally and I could be 100% myself all the time because he understood me. I had a huge crush on him the whole time but he never reciprocated it and after some drama that happened when he started hooking up with another girl who for some reason hated me, I got upset and things started going south. This girl ended up getting back together with her boyfriend but it didn’t stop them from continuing their new friendship along with two of their other mutual friends. Eventually, I just wasn’t in the picture anymore. I tried to fix things but nothing ever quite worked and today I probably haven’t talked to him in any real capacity in like 6 months. The only thing I’ve said to him recently was me asking him to be in my music video for this song.
Your songs seem to always hit home with people because they can relate to the lyrics — do you think listeners will relate to RIP?
I would say that pretty much everyone has someone who used to be important in their life that they now never see or speak to, whether it’s a friend, family member, or significant other. When I write, I never really have the intention to make something that people will find “relatable.” I just simply write from the heart and from real, personal, emotional experiences that I have. This song especially, because it’s about such a specific event in my life, has so much meaning and so much significance to me. From my previous observations about my music, the more emotional and specific a song is, the more people actually will relate to it. Many people listen to music to feel something, or to listen to someone talk about how they feel using the words they wish they could say but could never figure out how to. I think that this song does a great job of that.
You’ve been living in LA for about a year now — how have things changed? Do you find it easier to be creatively inspired in Los Angeles?
My entire life has completely changed in every single possible way and I could not be more happy about that. Living in Napa and going to school was so unfulfilling for me. I hate to be so cliché, but no one really understood me or what I wanted to do with my life (or so it seemed). Sometimes I am inspired here and sometimes I am not. I don’t think it matters necessarily where you are, it matters more about the people you’re with and the things you are experiencing. I think that people here are definitely more outwardly vicious and willing to do anything to succeed and, in their mind, that means bringing you down so they can climb up. With all of that going on, it’s definitely easy to write about how fucked up people in this city are. That is something I never saw firsthand when I lived in Napa and therefore could never have used as inspiration in my songwriting.
The video for RIP has some pretty morbid moments — i.e. digging a grave, taking a bat to a memorial photo at a funeral — where did the idea for the video come from?
I wanted the video to be a bit shocking. The song is obviously not about someone actually dying, but I do say things like “it’s like you’re six feet in the ground” which imply just how much it really does feel like they’re dead. Because this is the main point in the song, I wanted the video to REALLY get that point across and be a little dark. Focusing it on death, even just as a metaphor, gives it more of an effect on people and makes it seem even deeper than it already is. A few people that I was working with on the video told me that it might be a bit too gory but I had a vision.
Do you think fans/listeners will be shocked at the video at all? Or do you think they will relate in that they have possibly fantasized about having the same moments?
I think there might be a few people who are shocked, but it’s all a metaphor and if they don’t understand that then they missed the point. I don’t think anyone in their right mind actually wants someone dead, but if we are being dramatic it would be really fun to break shit at someone’s funeral if you really truly hated them in that moment.
Parts of the video include you in the studio and texting — are these moments based on any true to life things that may have inspired the song? (i.e. working in the studio and arguing via text with a guy…. etc.) 
Those shots are supposed to be of me writing the song. I write all my songs on my iPhone notes, so yes it actually happened.
 
What are your plans next? After “RIP”? Any touring or plans for an EP/Album?
I have an EP coming out this fall and will be touring after that.

PHOTOGRAPHY + CREATIVE DIRECTION/ ANGELO KRITIKOS

GRAPHIC ART/ GARY COUTTS

STORY / ANGIE PICCIRILLO

 

Close Menu
×
×

Cart