Born and raised in Hawaii, JoLivi was inspired by the laid-back sounds of the Aloha State and caught the music bug as a young child from her grandfather. After studying theater at Colorado State University, JoLivi moved to Los Angeles before settling in Nashville, where she has been recording new music, including her recent single, “Vinyl.”
How did you get started playing and performing?
My grandfather was a Hawaiian singer and musician so I’ve been surrounded by music since I was young. I began singing when I was 4 years old.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
Before college at Colorado State, I knew music was going to be something I dedicated my life to.
While living in L.A., you had the opportunity to open for Andy Grammar, Gavin DeGraw and Lindsey Stirling. What did you learn from those artists that’s helping you today as you perform for country crowds?
I learned to be more comfortable singing for larger crowds. It was incredible watching the way they captivated the audience. I also got the chance to really learn how shows work behind the scenes on a large scale.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My biggest musical influence is my grandfather. He is the reason I have this voice, and watching him sing was so enchanting. In addition, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt have been very influential. James Taylor really influences my songwriting. I love the way he tells stories.
What three words describe you as a musician?
Soulful, gritty, ambitious.
What would you say is unique about your sound?
I bring a soulful island flavor.
What does your new single, “Vinyl,” say about you?
This song shows the more playful and fun side of me.
What was the first concert you attended?
Michael Jackson. To this day, it’s the best concert I’ve ever been to.
What’s the last song you heard that blew you away?
Runaway June’s “Wild West.”
What’s the first thing you do after a show?
Take a shot of whiskey.
What’s been your most exciting or unusual fan encounter?
Kiefer Sutherland backstage at the Stagecoach Festival last year.
What’s your favorite song to cover?
“Smoke” by A Thousand Horses.
What family member or friend has been the most supportive of your musical career?
My family has been crazy supportive. My niece—who is now 10—has been singing my songs since she was little. She’s my biggest fan.