I'm a topline writer of pop, disco, nu-disco, and lounge music. My toplines have been used on TV, recorded by other artists or released by me. Find me on Spotify Olivia Brown. I'm a Berklee Grad + Grammy Voting Member.
The pseudonym Olivia Brown comes from the name of my 1st guitar, muse (a pink, daisy rock) named Olivia combined with the last name of Brazilian musician, icon, and my hero Carlinhos Brown. All tracks released under the name Olivia Brown are electronic based, disco/pop songs written in collaboration with artists from around the world. Find me on Spotify Olivia Brown. 2019 Single Releases Include "Is This Love?", "I Gave You Up", and "I Know The Why".
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- Olivia Brown: Is This Love? (2019) Single
- Olivia Brown: I Gave You Up (2019) Single
- Olivia Brown: I Know The Why (2019) Single
- 2015-2018: Hundreds of songs co-written as topline writer
- Olivia Brown: Electrify (2015) Album
- Sheryl Cohen: 7 Songs (2014) Album
- Sheryl Cohen: Stay (2013) Single
- Sheryl Cohen: I’m Fine (2013) Single
- L'Queer: L’ Queer Is Here (2013) Album
- Sheryl Cohen: Singles (2012) Album
- Olivia Brown: Everything Will Be Alright (2012) Single
- Sheryl Cohen: I’m Amazing (2011) Album
- Sheryl Cohen: I Live In The Cracks (2010) Single
- Sheryl Cohen: Electric Eyes (2009) Album
- Sheryl Cohen: Album Not An Ordinary Girl (2005) Album
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Interview with Olivia Brown
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am a topline writer of both melody and lyrics. Clients, or collaborators as I prefer to call them, send me an instrumental track. I begin by uploading the track to GarageBand. I work on the song form, answering the questions, "is there an intro"? if so, "how many bars"? "Is there a pre-chorus"? or "is there just a chorus"? "Bridge"? while writing the melody. Once the song form and melody are complete, I work on the lyrics. Finally, I record a demo and send the result back to the client. The client can take the demo and use it as a guide for another singer. Or, if the client likes my vocal quality and sound, I can re-record the vocals to full quality, professional standards. I work remotely (email, Dropbox, etc) for the entire process and generally complete the project without ever having met my collaborator in person.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Anyone who works hard and stays humble. Carlinhos Brown, Benny Blanco to name a few.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Mac computer, Garageband, Vocal microphone with pre-amp.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I have a strong morning routine. I wake up, exercise, shower then sit down to write. I do most of my songwriting in the morning before going to the office. I am Senior Director, Culture and Oversight at A2IM. A2IM is the non-profit that advocates on behalf of US-based independent record labels and artists. I often record in the evenings after returning from A2IM.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be an asshole. This goes for music production and collaborating with others in general. Studio sessions or touring requires long stretches of time with others. Don’t be the person that undercuts the vibe. Be the kind of person that people want to work with and hang out with.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Benny Blanco and Carlinhos Brown. Both for their love of music, process, and people.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Nu-disco or disco Blondie
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I got into music in a manner that is somewhat cliche, but true, I followed my passion! Currently, I work on both the creative and business sides of the music industry. I’m a graduate of both California State University, Long Beach (Literature) (1993) and Berklee College of Music (Professional Music) (1998). During my time at Berklee, I co-founded a group called Brazz Jazz. Our repertoire was made up of jazz and Brazilian standards. The band then moved to NYC where we continued to perform regularly and even toured Brazil several times. In the early aughts, I turned my attention to songwriting and guitar. I began recording and performing singer/songwriter material at open mic nights in Brooklyn and NYC. Then, I recorded/released several albums and did a tour of CA. I was introduced to topline songwriting in the mid-2000s and felt an immediate connection to the collaborative process. My topline collaborations are more oriented towards disco-pop and dance music, a big jump from my Brazz Jazz days! Though I don’t write in the style of jazz, it is the single biggest influence on my writing (especially my singer/songwriter material). My degree in Literature and my love of reading informs my lyrics, while my love of Brazilian music is evident in all aspects of my art, particularly my vocal phrasing. On the business side, I am the Senior Director of Culture and Oversight at A2IM (American Association of Independent Music). We are a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for independent record labels. My role within the organization is to oversee the cultural/educational projects including our largest event Indie Week. My role at A2IM also includes oversight of the organizations budget and grant writing.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure the genre and style of music that are my strengths are a match for your project.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Can we change the key of the song if needed? Do you need/want to have any input into the lyric content? How quickly do you need a completed version?
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being an independent artist who has the opportunity to create art. To see a project move from the idea stage to completion, and put out into the world, is an extraordinarily great feeling. I also love working at the non-profit A2IM. As an advocate for independent labels and artists, I am directly working to affect positive change for the beautiful community of which I am part.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am known for catchy hooks and singable melodies. My lyrics are unique as they are informed by personal life experience as well as my love of literature.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Musically, my strongest skill is my ability to write catchy hooks. Professionally, my strongest skill is my openness and transparency with regard to dealing with clients.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My preferred styles to write for include pop, disco, nu-disco, dance, lounge. I'm also very familiar with Brazilian music and am proficient in Portuguese. Because of this, I have an affinity for bossa nova and samba.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Because I'm a musician, I must be struggling.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To be 100% committed to the song. Not every song will be great but I will strive to uncover greatness in everything I touch.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I've just completed a single "Is This Love?" to be released on July 19, 2020. This is the third song that I am releasing this year that was co-written with the UK based artist Enntice. While I look forward to collaborating with Enntice again in the future, I am currently looking for my next collaboration/collaborator.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: At the beginning of this year, and I was in LA for the Grammys and extended my trip to do a writing session in a writing room. Three of us were in one room and worked on melody. lyrics, groove simultaneously. I never work this way and it was pretty exciting. During a break, I picked up the guitar and was messing around one of the writers was inspired by something I'd played and added it to the bridge. I love this kind of give and take. Late afternoon we recorded a scratch demo of the song "Already Made It" which was inspired by Drake's Grammy speech. When we all returned to NY, a proper demo was recorded and is currently being pitched to other artists and TV shows.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Clara Lofaro, Uri Kleinman