Beauty and the Beard episode three has arrived and this week we get to talk to the beautiful and very talented Olivia Henry. With each edition of Beauty and the Beard we aim to talk some of the world’s most interesting women in the fields of sport, music, writing, film and more. In the past we have spoken with Heather Victoria of Jamla Records as well as German based musician Laura Lopez. This time around however, it is the turn of Oliva. We talk to her about her musical idols, her top albums and of course her taste in men and beards:
When did you start your career in music? Can you tell us a bit about who your musical idols are?
I’d say I officially began my career in music when I self-released my first EP about 4 years ago. It’s not that I wasn’t serious before that as I had been performing and working towards that goal, but the release of an album feels a bit more legitimate as it’s a product you can stand behind.
My musical idols are vast and diverse. I grew up on classic rock like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Stones, CSNY, Bob Dylan and also classical music from Beethoven to Chopin and Maria Callas. I’d say as a singer… Ella Fitzgerald, Fiona Apple, Erykah Badu, Jeff Buckley, Diana Ross and Freddie Mercury are all some of my biggest influencers in music.
What genre would you class your music?
Pop, Cinematic Pop, Art Pop, Alternative Pop with a mix of some Neo-Soul and Blue-eyed Soul in there. Take your pick, genre’s are kind of a thing of the past these days.
Do you play any instruments? Or have you always wanted to be a singer?
Both. I play piano and write all of my songs with that as my main instrument. I taught myself how to play when I was in college as I knew I needed to play an instrument if I was going to put music to the lyrics I had been writing for so many years. I’ve been singing since I could speak, and I remember writing down in Kindergarten that I was going to be a “famous singer” when I grow up, so as long as I can remember, it’s what I’ve wanted to do.
A hard one now! Can you tell us your top 3 albums of all time?
Jeeeezzz… Okay. Full Albums? I have to say “of all time… this month” as it would be impossible to choose just 3!
1) Jeff Buckley- Grace : It’s just one of the most beautiful albums ever made.
2) Fiona Apple- Tidal : This is the album that made me want to start writing music when I was a little girl. I can remember hearing this for the first time and thinking… yup, that’s what I want to do. I want to do that.
3) Otis Redding- Otis Blue : Still gives me goosebumps every time I play those songs. Nearly that entire album was recorded in a 24 hour period! Crazy.
4) Bob Dylan- Blood on the Tracks : At no point can I ever not put him on my list. He won a Nobel Prize for his contributions to literature in the form of his songs. That album is genius.
What is your favorite song that you have written?
My favorite song is not released yet, but will be next year! It’s called “Tear Me Apart”, and it’s currently my vibe right now. Although, I may have unrecorded songs that I recently wrote that I think just topped it. I hope to always feel that way as I keep writing and growing as an artist.
Is there anyone or group that you would love to collab with in the future?
I feel like I’d have a list 10 pages long and that would just scratch the surface. It would be a dream to work with Alt-J, Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, Diplo, Sia, Ariana Grande, Pharell, The Weeknd, Halsey, Jack White… producers like Jon Brion, Mark Ronson, Emlie Haynie, Danger Mouse, etc. etc. etc.
Now onto the guys. Do you prefer your guys with facial hair or clean shaven? And if you like a beard are you for a big bushy beard as well as a the well trimmed look?
I really think it depends on the man, and self confidence has everything to do with that. But if I’m honest… I’m a big fan of beards. Any length and size of beard can be attractive as long as it’s well groomed. I’ve dated men with pretty sizable beards but they made sure to shape it, oil it, get a neck and cheek shave, or proper edging…those things matter! There is a HUGE difference when you kiss a guy who takes care of his beard and face. So as long as it’s groomed, I don’t discriminate.
Do you have a type when it comes to men? Would they need to be musically minded like
A type? First and foremost I look for men who respect women, that’s number one, men who have similar values in life as me, and at this time in our history, similar political outlooks as well. Being musically creative is not necessary I’ve found, but having a deep appreciation for music and art in general is. I think it’s possible to grow with someone who does something entirely different than you do as much or even more than someone who is in your same field of work, and that can keep things interesting. Ultimately, all that I really require is mutual appreciation for one another, and a willingness to be open to learn from each other always. And laughter… lots of laughter.
Is there a scent you go for on a guy? What do you think of the black pepper and sandalwood scent we use in the Bear Grooming range?
SANDALWOOD! I think a general consensus would tell you that everyone is attracted to sandalwood no matter their gender. I like it on myself too. Having said that, I really enjoy masculine scents on men… so leather, black pepper, musk, even tobacco is an attractive scent, but only if it’s not coming from cigarettes. Haha, I really don’t like cigarettes.
What is on the horizon for Olivia Henry? Anything cool you’re up to that you want to tell us about?
So much! I’m about to release another single called “In My Touch” along with a music video that goes with it, and shortly after that self-release my full album. I’m working on getting shows together not just in LA and around the states, but in the U.K. as well, maybe even as soon as January. Most of this year I’ve been studying music production and engineering so that I can have more creative control in the process of creating my sound. I’ve got a lot planned, and I’m confident more will be coming my way once I get everything rolling. All my music can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes. So stream me to your heart’s content!