Interview with Olivia Parr – 27th November 2017.
I caught up with Olivia Parr recently and chatted about her music and what the future holds. This is what she said to me.
How long have you been involved in music?
I have always enjoyed signing from an early age. I had a couple of lead parts in school plays in Primary and High School, but at the age of 13 I started to suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. It was quite scary at the time, as I didn’t know what was happening to me, so I turned to music as my comfort.
How did that affect you musically?
I stopped going out and very rarely was in school, this is when I taught myself how to play the guitar. After a lengthy spell and a lot of help and support I started to get better.
And it progressed from there?
Yes. I was then asked to support a local band Stillia at one of their gigs, it was very nerve wracking and I nearly didn’t go through with it! But I was so glad I did as the comments I received afterwards gave me a massive confidence boost.
Only You published on 23 May 2017
Olivia says this is a cover of a Selena Gomez song but I am showing my age because I remember it as a cover of Alison Moyet and Yazoo
So what happened next?
Not long after I was asked to support another local band, The Patriots and this was the start of where I am now most weekends and being paid for a job I love.
What has been the highlight so far?
To date one of my biggest highlights was being asked to sing at a Charity Ball at the Mecure Hotel in Manchester on 16th September 2017 in aid of a young PC Nicola Hughes who was shot whilst on duty. This was the fourth Annual Ball they have held and it is a very prestigious event. So I am thrilled to have been asked to sing again next year.
I see you are in a relationship with Matty Bennett, the drummer from St Helens Band Stillia. How’s that going?
Yes I am!! We’ve been together for more than two years now, I actually met him at the first gig I did supporting the band, it’s great.
Do you collaborate musically?
He helps me out with all the videos I put on and we’re always talking about music and jamming together! He’s really supportive and I always ask him for advice on my own material I create! He has helped me out at quite a few gigs that I’ve been too nervous to perform at on my own, he plays the cajon (drum box) while I play the guitar! He’s very talented and I love to play alongside him! He’s doing so, so, so well with Stillia now, it’s so amazing to see and really inspiring for me!
That’s really great Olivia, I am pleased for you both. Yes, Stillia are doing very well.
Where was the gig with Stillia when you met Matty?
I supported Stillia at the Liverpool St Helens football club, that was the first gig I sang at!
All I Ask – Adele Cover published on 28 February 2017
Who are your influences in music and life generally?
I have too many influences but I would have to say it would come from listening to all the classic 80’s when I was very young. I have a great passion for Motown (although I can’t sing many because the songs are so soulful and I couldn’t do them justice haha).
Then as I’ve got older my taste developed, I began listening to Amy Winehouse who is a massive influence. I absolutely love Fleetwood Mac (it would be my dream to form a band like Fleetwood Mac and follow in their musical genre).
I also love Cilla Black! I sing her song ‘Love of the Loved’ at my gigs, although I love her music I absolutely love her back story and how she became famous, she is a definite idol for me!
Did you see the TV adaptation of Cilla’s story performed by Sheridan Smith, she was awesome!
Yes I love it so much!! I’ve watched it more than five times now, I know it word for word practically! It’s brilliant.
You did a gig with Kiera Weathers, was that Clockstock or were there others?
Yeah, I think that was the festival that I was on the line up with! I’ve sang multiple times at the Clock Face Labour Club with Kiera Weathers!
I read that ‘Over the months Stillia’s line up had changed going from a five piece band into an all lads four piece rock n roll band’ Was it you who they said was part of the five-piece band?
Oh no that wasn’t me, I’ve never been in the band, I sang back up for them once at the Christmas Lights Switch On in St Helens.
Beauty and the Beast
What does the future hold for Olivia Parr?
Hopefully my future career will involve music, university is my next big step. I have applied to a couple that hopefully will help me carry on doing what I love: performing and writing music etc. I have also wrote and recorded my own song that has been played on BBC introducing, that was another big highlight for me!
It sounds like you have a busy future ahead. Good luck with everything.
Thank you! Yeah it’s been a massive rollercoaster for me for about 4 years now! But so glad to see brighter days ahead! Thank you so much for the support!
Thank you very much Olivia for chatting.
Thank you very much and thank you for the support! It really means a lot! xx
Olivia Parr was interviewed exclusively by Barry Grady for St Helens Now – November 2017.
Olivia Parr is from Sutton, St Helens.
Olivia’s new single ‘You’ll Never Know’ came out on 16 June 2017. You can download at Amazon.
This shows off Olivia’s great guitar playing.
This next video was recorded at St Helens Central Library on International Day of Happiness organised by Mike Lindley in March 2017. Subsequent to this Olivia was asked to sing at the Mayor and Mayoress’s charity ball after they heard her singing, she was made up. She has a lot of gigs booked now. Thanks to Olivia’s mum Sue Parr for informing me about this.
“Olivia is an amazing young woman! I was fortunate to hear her perform at my other half Michael Lindley’s event for Happiness Day earlier in the year in Central Library and to say Olivia’s performance was outstanding would be a huge understatement!”
Lynn Gerrard, 22 November 2017.
Audio tracks by Olivia Parr live at The Clock Face Festival, St Helens, 2015. It shows how talented you can be with just an acoustic guitar and a great voice.
Something you might not know about Olivia Parr – She once played Oliver in her school musical at St Cuthberts in Sutton, St Helens.
“OLIVER 2013 – CAST REVEALED!”
From St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School – July 2012
Selected festivals and gigs:
Carmel College’s Dalton Theatre, St Helens, 3 February 2011 – Tribute concert to the Chris Davies, 22-year-old Irish Guardsman killed during an ambush in Afghanistan with Lucy Davies, Queens Park Primary School, St Thomas of Canterbury Primary and De La Salle, plus Carmel College
Deanesfest, The Deanes House, Prescot, 3 September 2016 with The Patriots, Stillia, Eleanor Nelly and others
St Helens Central Library, Ralph’s International Happiness Day Event, 20 March 2017, organised by Michael Lindley with Stephen Smith, UC Crew, Lynn Gerrard, The Bordellos, Titors Insignia and others
Bull & Dog, St Helens, 16 April 2017
The Deanes House, Prescot, 27 May 2017 with The Alleys
The Clockstock Music Festival, Clock Face Miners ARLC, St Helens, 12 August 2017 with Kiera Weathers, Stillia’s Jack Bennett, The Patriots, Stuart Ogden (Titors Insignia), The Alleys and others
Deanesfest, The Deanes House, Prescot, 2 September 2017 with The Patriots, On Demand, Paper Mountains, Matty Lamb and others
Mecure Hotel, Manchester, 16 September 2017, Charity Ball in aid of PC Nicola Hughes
The Millhouse, St Helens, 28 October 2017
Except where otherwise noted, original recordings, videos, artworks etc. are copyright of their respective songwriters/performers/publishers/artists or whatever is applicable to that particular work with All rights reserved.
All links accessed and working on 28 November 2017.
Facebook: Olivia Parr Music
‘Our Chris would have been thrilled’ – St Helens Star, 3 February 2011
Ralph’s International Happiness Day Event in St. Helens – Eventful, 20 March 2017
Are you going to Clockstock? – St Helens Star, 11th August 2017
DeanesFest Returns – Prescot Online, 16th August 2017
This article was created, compiled and produced by Barry Grady. Last Updated 28 November 2017.