Future Stars: Olivia O’Brien (Island Records)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Back in March, when I first heard the song i hate u, i love u and instantly knew it was a future hit, I was tempted to feature Olivia O’Brien here, instead of the main artist, gnash. Her vocal and songwriting contribution was clearly the main attraction, and the pretty 16-year-old singer has much more star potential. She started out posting covers on Soundcloud, which led to a tour and collaboration with fellow Californian gnash. In fact, she originally released i hate u, i love u as a slower, more stripped back solo demo called hate u love u 7 months before gnash uploaded his version. She’s now signed to Island and recently began releasing original material. Much like Maggie Lindemann, her tracks are filled with relatable lyrics for the teens of today. Trust Issues is personal and thoughtful (for the Tumblr crowd), while Root Beer Float is edgy and sassy (for the Snapchat kids). She certainly doesn’t look or talk like a 16-year-old is expected to, but that only makes her more apt to speak to a generation the adults of the music industry can’t truly understand.

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