Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's new home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
This might only be Olivia Noelle's second single, but she's no stranger to the world of music. She's been singing, writing, and working in studios since she was twelve years old, all culminating in the release of "Faking It" when she was 25 years old.
Last month, Noelle released "Made Of Gold," a catchy single that would not feel out of place following Dua Lipa or Demi Lovato on your next Spotify playlist. The music video for "Made Of Gold" premieres exclusively right here on Refinery29, and we chatted with the singer about her journey thus far in the music industry, and her "no dudes" policy when it came to bringing the sophomore single to life.
How did you get started in music?
"I’ve been singing my whole life. I started writing poetry when I was about seven years old, and it wasn’t until I moved to LA when I was 17 that I started learning about what the real music industry was had my first couple songwriting sessions and stuff like that. I’ve just kind of been chasing it ever since and learning as I go. There’s no kind of blueprint to it. I’ve met some incredible people along the way who have been helpful and imperative to shaping where I’m at now and where I intend to grow into."
Who are the artists who made you decide to become a musician?
"I grew up on R&B and hip hop and Motown, so Mariah Carey was my idol, I’m absolutely obsessed with her. That was a big one. I loved Toni Braxton and obviously Whitney. I was also madly obsessed with the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys, so I think it’s kind of a cross of that, and my music is kind of like that too. I grew up on Tupac and Biggie and Outkast, there’s a little bit of that in there too, which I think is kind of interesting to hear."
How would you describe your style as an artist?
"I definitely think it’s like Urban Pop Music. It’s a little bit left of center pop, but it still feels pretty accessible to me, especially melodically and production-wise. I just think when you really take a minute to listen to the lyrical content, it’s not your average Taylor Swift song, and I think that’s kind of what differentiates me from a typical female pop artist."
This is your second single, how would you say you’ve grown since the first? How are they different?
"Definitely. Even after the release of the second single, I was like, ‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do next time instead.’ I think it’s all a learning process, especially with the way the music industry is now, it grows at an exponential rate. It’s not a linear thing where you’re like, ‘Oh, I could kind of follow this pattern.’ The way people are consuming music is constantly changing, and I think if you try to chase that, it’s really hard to keep up with. So for me, and my team, I think that our biggest priority is making sure that the content gets the light it deserves. I think we have some really incredible music here, we don’t need to chase down the newest most creative way to release a record. I think that just letting it speak for itself is kind of what I want to do."
What was the inspiration behind this music video?
"I had a couple different iterations of what I wanted the video to look like. I think for me I got to the point where I was just like I kind of want this to be an introduction to me and my style of music, just who I am as a person. So anything that I thought was pushing too much of an agenda I pushed to the wayside. I just want to do something fun that looks really beautiful that kind of showcases this independence and fun side without doing a kind of cliche thing. This one is really special to me because it was so much fun to make and the crew was so incredibly talented and so on point. The song goes into detail about this guy treating me poorly, but the point of it was like, I’m good. I don’t really care what you think of me. This is who I am with or without your validation. It was more about, let’s not show dudes. Let’s make sure there’s no men in the video. Let’s not show me feeling broken-hearted. The point of it was just to say ‘I never needed your validation anyway.’"
What’s next for you?
"The rest of the EP we’re releasing as singles, we’re just gonna try to figure out the timeline. I’ve been working towards my first album, we have a couple songs ready to go with that too. I’m just constantly working on stuff and either perfecting or throwing it out or starting over. We have the rest of the EP coming and I’m so excited for the next single. I think the timeline for that is top of next year."
This interview has been edited for clarity and condensed.
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