There’s a freshness to Nashville songwriter Oliva Bandy’s music that grabbed me like the first time I heard a Carole King record back in the 70s. It’s rather remarkable to think that she’s still in college and recorded the demos for her new EP in her Belmont dorm room. Someone else that felt the same about her songwriting and performing skills was the legendary guitarist and producer, Wayne Moss, who recorded her debut EP, “Here to Home” at his historic Cinderella Sound studio in East Nashville.
I was overjoyed to see that Olivia’s EP was #16 last week on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, just three notches down from Carole King’s “Tapestry” from 1971. Find out for yourself why so many are loving this record and give a listen to “Ghosts I’ve Killed” from the new EP. Oliva also has an active YouTube Channel and Facebook page where she posts some great stuff for your listening pleasure.
Thanks, Olivia, for your 11 answers. I look forward to watching your career takeoff. But, be sure to graduate no matter what happens!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I am originally from Cleveland, TN, and I moved to Nashville in order to go to Belmont. I fell in love with the music industry from a young age and wanted to be in the thick of it as soon as I graduated from high school.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
When I was growing up, I listened to a lot of what my parents listened to. My dad always listened to James Taylor CDs in the car, and I think that’s where I first got a taste of good songwriting. As of late, I listen to mostly digital and some vinyl. The last vinyl I got was Reba’s 25th Anniversary Edition of Read My Mind. I mostly buy my “vinyls” from secondhand stores though.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
My first live concert I ever saw was Aaron Tippin. I saw him in Georgia at the Mountain Fair when I was around 14. The last concert I went to was Tayla Lynn and Tre Twitty who are Loretta’s and Conway’s grandkids. I was actually one of the openers, but afterward I got to go out front and watch the show with my family. It was a really fun experience.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
I would really like to see Alison Krauss’ name on the Music City Walk of Fame. She’s busted down a lot of doors for women in Bluegrass, Country and Americana and is just overall one of the best of the best.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
I don’t go for coffee a lot, but my go-tos when I have coffee dates or just want to get off campus to study are The Well and 8th & Roast. Mafiaoza’s on 12 South is good for pizza!
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
My favorite albums change all the time, but one that has really resonated with me is Lori McKenna’s The Tree. Something about the timing of it coming out, the same year I moved to Nashville, made some of the songs feel more personal to me and my family.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Sonic all the way. Mozzarella sticks or chicken tenders and a milkshake. Perfect.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Being at Belmont has given me awesome opportunities to become friends with so many people, and it is so cool to me that I have friends who are songwriters. I think I’d want to showcase myself along with my friends to show just how much talent Belmont has to offer. I’d ask Chloe Collins, Jacky Gibbs and Sarah Morey.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
My favorite venue is Soul Shine. It’s a little bit outside of Nashville (Waverly), but well worth the drive. I also like playing Douglas Corner and Alley Taps downtown.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
I think the beauty of working in music is that we can do it from anywhere in the world. Nashville is welcoming to those who are passionate about music whether they live here or not. I say, if you want to move here, come on! If you don’t, I’ll support you from wherever you are!
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I will always be a songwriter, but I also have a love for the industry and what makes it tick. As a music business student and a songwriter, I would really love to get into the world of publishing after graduation. I would be happy to be a songwriter or to have the opportunity to work with creative people.