[Interview] Up Close and Personal with JoLivi

Hawaiian-born emerging pop starlet, JoLivi, recently released her telling new EP, Just For You – a collection of stories of heartbreak and finding the strength to move on. The singer captured our attention with her seductive yet bittersweet video for “Games.” Think: Banks meets Tove Lo. Basically, it was a no-brainer that we ask her a few questions on the music industry, female empowerment and her killer influences. Her answers, however, taught me that we’re both 90’s loving cry babies with a big heart for family.

I love that you are inspired by female musicians of the 90’s like Alanis Morissette and Gwen Stefani! How would you say they have influenced your music?

Alanis for sure was for her wide range of vocabulary! I was also very little when Jagged Little Pill came out so I didn’t quite grasp the meaning of the songs till much later.  Gwen’s just a badass!!! Funky, grounded, and not afraid to break the norm! Her songs are catchy and you can feel the heartbreak she was going through.

You’ve stated that you want to show women that it’s okay to be vulnerable and heartbroken, which is something all women can appreciate yet we see female musicians (Taylor Swift, etc) getting bashed left and right for showing any kind of emotion. We’re often labeled as “crazy” and that often makes us feel like our emotions are being diminished. What are your thoughts on this and please be as frank as possible.

I am all about women empowerment! It’s hard to be emotional and not feel like you can’t express that without looking “crazy” or being judged. A lot of the times for me when people give me that label of being crazy I just want to be like, “ohhhh you think this is crazy???” Like Beyonce says, “I’LL SHOW YOU CRAZY.” It’s so silly because if we get cheated on, how is acting crazy not a typical emotion?  Like for fucks sake. 🙂

Your video for “Games” is visually stunning! Take us through what it was like seeing the finished product after the planning process!

This video was my first production based music video with a full crew, props, animals – it was a full day shoot and boy let me tell ya, it’s exhausting! Beyonce is GOD..lol! Seeing the finished product almost didn’t feel real. You spend all day dancing this way and doing this shot 500 times and then you see what the director takes from it. Pretty awesome.

Your new EP, Just For You, takes you on a journey through a rather rocky relationship. What was the writing process like? I imagine it was pretty cathartic.

Every time I went into the studio, I came with a theme. A storyline that I wanted to sing about. Sometimes it was something very specific..an event that took place in my relationship and sometimes it was more broad, talking about the relationship as a whole. I loved this person and probably always will in some kind of sense but for some reason (and I think a lot of artists will agree i.e.-Adele) writing a song when you’re happy is hard! And when I listen to the songs now it’s weird cause time heals all and I’m healed from that relationship so hearing me be so sad it’s almost like, “hey!! snap out of it Jo.” (I don’t know if that made any sense lol) Editor’s note: It totally did. 😉

Speaking of rocky relationships, the music business has been pretty insane these days. You recently moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles – how has the move and music industry treated you since? Would you say it’s getting better or worse, in your opinion, of course.

Being from Hawaii is something I cherish with every ounce of my being! It’s my roots! Even just thinking about Hawaii sometimes makes me cry! (I’m also a huge cry baby) There’s this sense of camaraderie; this constant love. My whole family is still there and being in this industry doesn’t really allow you to go home that often so my cousins, my nieces and nephews are all growing up and I’m not there for that. It hurts. My grandpa died a few years ago and he was our root. He was the captain of our ship. It sucks how fast time flies…(back to the question lol sorry) The music biz is always a rollercoaster. You have really high highs and really low lows. I’m so thankful for the team I have now and if it wasn’t for the low lows I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

Give us your top 5 favorite songs at the moment!

“Not Ready” – Elliphant

“Capsize” – Frenship

“Olivia” – Rayland Baxter

“Sweet and Low” – Tedeschi Trucks Band

“One Million Bullets” – Sia

Just For You is available now here.

Tina Roumeliotis

Tina Roumeliotis

Tina is the founding editor of The Daily Listening. She's also a professional music nerd for BUZZNET. You'll most likely find her where she finds most of her inspiration: introverting in her bedroom with her music collection and a pair of headphones.