Meet Ollee Owens

Divine Magazine
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Growing up surrounded by music, Ollee was influenced by legends such as Elvis, Odetta, and Bob Dylan. These icons shaped her sound as she honed her craft over the years. Even when she took a break to raise her family, music never left her side. As a music therapist and occasional performer, Ollee continued to write songs that spoke to the human experience.

Since 2016, Ollee has graced stages across Alberta, captivating audiences with her raw talent and undeniable passion. From the Badlands Amphitheatre to downtown Calgary’s live music scene, Ollee has left her mark wherever she goes. Her breakout singles Edge of Goodbye and Raging Fire have solidified her place in the music industry, showcasing her authenticity and honesty.

Ollee Owens is not just an artist; she is a storyteller, a healer, and a true musical gem. With a voice that can move mountains and lyrics that touch the soul, Ollee Owens is here to stay. So, do yourself a favor and meet Ollee Owens – your new favorite artist.

Ollee Owens Press Photo 2

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I deeply believe in the healing power of music, and this belief is the greatest guiding force in my artistic process. When creating and selecting material to record, my primary goal is to find pieces that speak to the human experience on a variety of levels – songs that tell stories and hold space for the listener. In the Blues/Soul/Rock genre, there is expansive room for emotionally charged sounds that reach deep inside the listener. I love using this space to create my music and connect with my audience.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

Being an artist gives me opportunities and channels to connect with listeners in a deep and meaningful way. To share songs and stories with live audiences is something that I never take for granted and see as a tremendous gift. While I enjoy the creative process and seeing my music come alive in the recording studio, I’m happiest when performing live and feeling that connection.

When did you start writing music?

Writing music started at a young age as it was a place for me to process my thoughts, emotions, and life experiences. My childhood was riddled with less-than-ideal circumstances and music became a healing force – giving me a voice, a way to survive and an opportunity to positively impact my community.

What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?

I tend to be inspired through life experiences and stories – both personally and those of our collective humankind.  On occasion I may read something that particularly impacts me and then finds its way into a song. Nature is another influence on my creative process. I tend to write from a universal perspective, which allows the songs to resonate for a broad range of people across a vast array of situations.

How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it?

Most of the time a melody begins to form in my head and I then start writing lyrics to fit. Sometimes, though, a lyric comes to me in the form of one single line, which I then build a song around. On rare occasions, a whole song will come out of my pen in one sitting.

Lord Protect My Child Single Artwork

Do you have any other plans relating to this release? A video? Online Shows?

We filmed a music video for “Lord Protect My Child “and released on Mother’s Day weekend.

I’ve performed this song in my live shows for years now – and have always found others impacted by my unique arrangement of this Bob Dylan classic. As a mother of three daughters, one of whom has a cognitive delay resulting in life-long vulnerability, this song resonates deeply for me. Whenever I sing it live, I visualize each of my daughters at different points in the song and sing from a place of genuine care and concern for each.

I wanted to visualize this song to increase its’ impact for the listener.  In creating a small window into my private life – my hope was to bring-to-life the authentic nature of my feelings attached to this song.

We had a few storylines on the table when we started – but none really grabbed onto our long-term imaginations. In the end, we adopted a very simple concept, depicting a day in my life where family and artistry converge. You will see a thread depicting my personal time alone and then with my family – and then a thread depicting a rehearsal with band members. At points the threads converge – just like the song does for me in that it straddles both of my worlds: It is something I perform and, at the same time, the nature of it is lived out in my private life. Though incredibly emotional and expressive throughout, the whole story is book-ended with me being depicted alone, feeling a full range of emotions as I think about my girls.

I also wanted to immortalize this moment in time – a time when all three of my daughters have perched themselves at the “edge of the nest” in their own development. Having them altogether for this video shoot was memorable, and having them altogether in this video forever has given me a living photo album which captures wonderfully this precious moment in time. 

OLLEE OWENS | Lord Protect My Child

Stream Lord Protect My Child

What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?

I am currently working on a new album this year and will be releasing another single from this project later on this summer, with the full project out sometime in the fall of 2024.

What was the last TV series you watched on TV?

Agatha Christie’s: Poirot.

I used to love playing the boardgame “Clue” as a kid, and spent many days reading a ton of mysteries. My daughter recently discovered this series and recommended it. I have thoroughly enjoyed practicing mental gymnastics in trying to figure out the various cases that have Poirot’s “little gray cells” actively working to solve.

What is your most expensive piece of clothing?

I love wearing interesting shoes when I perform yet need to feel secure and comfortable on stage, so I would say that my 4 pairs of Fluevogs are the most expensive pieces I own now. Thankfully they get a lot of wear, so the cost per wear decreases the more often I wear them J. This philosophy applies to how I select my wardrobe and jewelry – I choose quality pieces that represent me, and I wear them often.

What movie ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?

I remember feeling very frustrated at the ending of the 1994 version of “Little Women”. I thought it was quite strange that Jo ends up with the older professor and not Teddy. To me, this was a less than ideal outcome.  The fact that Jo was able to start her school helped a little bit, however I really wanted her and Teddy to work out their differences. Even to this day, I’m not convinced of this outcome.

What historical figure would you love to see in 21st century life?

I have always found people that stood up against social injustices to be inspiring. I would love to meet Harriet Tubman and hear her unconventional stories of saving countless people out of slavery. What really strikes me is that once she first escaped the South she could have lived safely away from the horrors of being enslaved, yet she chose to enter the gates of hell to save others from its grip.

What would be the ideal food to have cooked for you on a date night?

The perfect date night meal would be a BBQ’d medium rare steak smothered in butter fried onions and mushrooms accompanied by roasted broccolini or asparagus and a small side of mashed garlic and parsley potato paired with a nice red wine.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

    To young Ollee, I say this:

    “The world needs what you’ve got so don’t worry about what you’re not – or what others think of you. You are compassionate, strong, and brave. Focus on being the best version of yourself so that you can make a difference in the lives of all who get to know you – you have so much to contribute to this world. Shine your light, let your voice be heard, and watch the world become a better place – don’t let poverty keep you from being all that you were meant to be. Choose to walk with your head high into your destiny“.

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