Olivia Nelson is the new British R&B singer you need to know. Hailing from Brentwood, Nelson specialises in cathartic anthems inspired in equal measure by the 90s and early 2000s genre classics and Motown girl groups. Possessed with a voice that outshines most of her peers, her talent is undeniable and her sound instantly engaging. Last Friday she released her debut EP, For You, a collection of tracks that showcase her breadth as an artist and potential to become as vital a voice in British R&B as Jorja Smith or Ray BLK. To celebrate the release of For You we got to know Olivia for this week’s Internet Crush.
Do you remember your dreams? Tell us about a recent dream you’ve had….
Recently, I’ve been dreaming that I’m back at dance class learning something / running late for school. Then I wake up like ‘huh, I’m 22 I don’t go to school anymore Olivia’ it’s quite strange.
Have you ever committed a crime?
When I was quite young I stole a pen from a shop because my mum wouldn’t by it for me. I think it was one of those smelly gel pens. I never told my mum. Sorry ma.
What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I got hit by a car when I was like 4. I was playing on the street with my cousins and I ran across the road without looking. It was driving pretty slow so it wasn’t that much of a near-death experience.
Describe your sound in three words…
Smooth, contemporary, urban.
What’s your star sign? (and are you a typical *whatever your sign is*?)
Aquarius. I think so, I’m stubborn and people say I’m aloof. I don’t mean to be.
When was the first time you had your heart broken?
When I was 18, its indescribable pain. I didn’t eat much and I went out a lot. I think I would rather be in physical pain over emotional pain. Physical pain heals and then it’s done, whereas emotional pain comes in waves and takes a long ass time.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic. I mean, whose wasn’t?
What would your biography be called?
Create & Meditate.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
It was probably a fake love song, fake because I wasn’t in love when I was first writing songs but I was trying to get in my feelings.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If you don’t know them personally, don’t take it personal.
How was high school?
I hated it. I felt a robot being told what to learn. I always knew what I wanted to do so it felt draining at the time.
Is sex important to you?
It’s a part of life and relationships.
What’s the biggest problem facing humans as a species?
Voyeurism. Like how people are quick to take out their phones to video a tragedy/injustice but won’t actually help. That’s wack.
Describe your own personal idea of hell…
Well, a tame idea of hell would be being in a confined space with a bunch of racist men with beer bellies who stink of alcohol and cigarettes.
What’s a lie you’ve told and what was the fallout?
That I loved someone when I didn’t. To be fair, I thought I did at the time.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to speak every language then I’d have friends from all over.
What’s one thing we can all do to contribute to equality?
Educate others, not attacking. People will only listen if they are being spoken to not shouted at.
When was the last time you cried and why?
Friday. My EP came out and I was listening to it in the back of an Uber and I just cried of happiness/ gratefulness that I’ve managed to get this far.
Where/What will you be doing at the end of the world?
I will be dancing on the beach in Hawaii, listening to early 00s R&B jams.
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