Nottingham based singer-songwriter and guitar driven troubadour Jonny Olley announces his eagerly awaited debut single “Slow” for Friday 30th October 2020.
With powerful, raw vocals and astute lyricism, he blends the sounds of his eclectic influences ranging from Ben Howard and Bob Dylan to Jamie T. and Bon Iver to form something truly unique.
In 2017, Olley won the acclaimed national music competition Open Mic UK proving his talent’s worth.
Drenched in cynicism and melancholic hope, the hook in this understated debut “make thanks for the mess” has perhaps captured the mood of our time.
We got a chance to ask Jonny some questions, here’s what he had to say.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
The music that has inspired me has always been pretty diverse but on the whole, it tends to be guitar driven. I fell in love with the instrument when I heard the ‘Free bird’ solo when I was like five years old travelling somewhere in the car with my parents. Growing up they exposed me to blues rock bands like Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Cream which definitely inspired me to start playing.
From there I branched out into bands like the Chili’s and Nirvana before hitting an emo phase in my teens with bands like jimmy eat world and funeral for a friend.
As I got older, I developed more of an appreciation for great lyricism so that led me onto bands like The Cure and The Smiths before starting along the singer songwriter trail with artists like Bob Dylan and John Mayer. Told you it was a mix hahaha!”
What has been your best gig?
“Playing the Rescue Rooms main stage for Dot to Dot festival 2019 was pretty sick. I played it with my band to a near full room as the first act of the day. I remember being humbled by the turn out and thinking we played pretty well so I was buzzing! Also Headlining the jam cafe stage at hockley hustle 2018 was pretty crazy. That was the second time I’d ever played live with the band and we didn’t get on ’til about half past midnight. Everyone was smashed! It was great!”
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“My debut single “slow” was written when I was feeling pretty lost after university life. I didn’t know where I fit into the world. It’s a very reflective track and I like to think sets a tone for the sound to come.
Moving forward I’m looking at releasing a set of singles. There’s a larger project in the pipeline but you’ll have to follow the release train and see what happens there….
Generally speaking, though I view my music as kind of raw expression really. I write on paper more regularly than I pick up my guitar to song write so when I feel a song’s there it’s usually to let out an overwhelming emotion or a load of energy. It’s a very cathartic process for me. In that sense the result is a mix between being lyrically focused and also very emotive. There’s a definite rootsy backbone to it as well but in terms of genre it’s hard to define. On my socials it says alt-indie-blues singer songwriter… some people say its just jonny olley….?? I dunno…”
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“Raw, honest, emotive”.
What makes your music stand out?
“Tricky question for me to answer… you’ll have to ask one of my fans I guess…. But hopefully because it’s authentic. When I write I aim to be honest. I want to create something truthful and pure. There’s too much b*llsh*t everywhere nowadays. Everything is aiming at a sale. I hope that never comes across in my music…. if it ever does, let me know and I’ll retire…”
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
“For the remainder of 2020 I’ll be keeping warm in the studio!”
If you had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“Just for being a decent bloke, I think. If everyone was just a little bit more compassionate I really believe the world would be a better place for sure”.
Do you have any gig’s coming up?
“I wish! I’m keeping all my toes crossed for early summer next year, but we’ll see how this pandemic pans out!”
By Siân Parker