When you find yourself with a hit single that everybody associates just with you, and fans want to hear every time you perform, that tends to be a pretty good sign. And it's definitely something to smile about. For Olivia, that song is 'Leaving Tipperary', and it's just one of many reasons the girl from Ferbane in the Faithful County has to smile about over the last few years.
Since first coming to national attention as a contestant on TG4's Glor Tire early in 2016, Olivia has quietly but quickly established herself as one of the brightest young talents on the Irish country scene, to the point where she's now one of the circuit's most sought after performers. This year alone has seen Olivia tour nationally and internationally with both Nathan Carter and Derek Ryan, as well as adding to her collection of awards, having been recognised as one of Irish country music's leading entertainers at the Sunday World Music & Entertainment Awards, the Hot Country Awards, and the Keltic Country TV Irish Entertainment Awards.
But it's not just Olivia's captivating voice which has earned her so much attention from country fans and country radio in all four corners of Ireland, and beyond these shores, too. When it comes to bringing a room alive to the magical sound of the accordion, Olivia is more than capable of holding her own against anyone. Indeed, the odd jamming session with other well-known accordion aficionados, the aforementioned Nathan Carter being one, and Michael English being another, have been witnessed by a lucky few on some rare (and late!) evenings...!
Olivia's nuanced vocal skills aim straight for the listener's heart. And, with a gentle precision granted only to a few, those skills find their target every time. This ability, coupled with her always easy-going and friendly personality, have helped make this midlands lady a firm fan-favourite on concert stages, in dancehalls, on the Sunday World stage at C2C in the 3Arena, at national events such as the famous Tullamore Show or National Ploughing Championships, or on special appearances with a national treasure like 'Uncle' Hugo Duncan on BBC Ulster. Indeed, wherever else the her musicial journey takes her, too.
And for Olivia, that musical began at only five years of age when she discovered the tin whistle. From there, she progressed to the button accordion, demonstrating her ability on this instrument at numerous Fleadh Cheoils around Ireland. In fact, in 2005 Olivia placed second at the All-Ireland Fleadh in the under-18 age group.
Olivia’s family run the well-known midlands public house, Tom’s Tavern, in her home-town, and it was here that the appeal of country music first became an important part of Olivia’s life. With different bands in the bar every weekend, it quickly became the norm for Olivia to make ‘guest’ appearances for a few songs, from Philomena Begley’s version of the Billie Jo Spears classic, ‘Blanket On The Ground’ (also the very first song Olivia ever learned), to tunes from Olivia’s other musical inspirations such as Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Lee Ann Womack and Alison Krauss.
Olivia released her debut album, 'Another Heartache', in 2015, featuring a beautiful rendering of Lee Ann Womack's gorgeous song, 'The Healing Kind', which also became Olivia's official debut single. Her version of the country classic 'Good Hearted Woman' followed as single number two, with the collection's title track becoming the third and final single to be released from Olivia's first long-player. The videos for all three singles have proved to be immensely popular on all of the country TV shows.
As a contestant on Glor Tire, Olivia was mentored by an iconic figure in Irish country, Johnny Cash's 'Woodcarver' duet partner, Sandy Kelly. During her time on the show, Olivia had the opportunity to open concerts for established stars such as Mike Denver, The Fureys, Johnny McEvoy, and American songwriter Max T. Barnes ('Love, Me', Collin Raye's massive #1 hit). As well as these moments offering hints at the success that was soon to come her way, they also showed that Olivia's talent easily transcends most genre-boundaries by conquering hearts and winning admirers among both trad and folk audiences.
Olivia's second album, 'Forever Country', was released in April 2018, and brought her not just her first, but also her second #1 singles, as first of all 'Don't Think Twice' (originally by Bob Dylan) and then 'Leaving Tipperary' both topped the country charts. In March of 2018 she was invited to represent the best of Irish country on the Sunday World stage at the C2C Festival in Dublin's 3Arena, performing on the same night as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Brett Young, Kelsea Ballerini, and Old Dominion (Olivia returned to the Sunday World stage at C2C in the 3Arena for a second time in 2019). In May of 2018, Olivia joined Daniel O' Donnell for a recording of his tv show Opry Le Daniel in Derry's fabulous Millennium Forum.
On top of all of that, Olivia even found time - for a little while, and until her schedule just didn't make it possible anymore - to record her very own tv show 'Keltic Country Ireland with Olivia Douglas',
So now, as 2020 rolls into view, what's next for the lady known with affection by many as 'the flower of Ferbane'? Well, there's going to be a new single very soon, we can tell you that! But what's even more exciting is that album number THREE is also in the works! And that's just one of the reasons to keep an eye and an ear out for the lady whose putting smiles on faces everywhere she goes...
TEAM Olivia, December 2019
“Olivia is not only a beautiful singer, she's also a very talented musician. And her latest single, 'Don't Think Twice', is just something else! A lovely person, and a good looker, too! Here's to a huge future in the business xx. ”
— Joe Cooney, Midlands Radio 103
“Olivia can sing the most traditional of country songs every bit as good as any artist who's ever set foot on a stage in Nashville, Ireland, or anywhere! And she can handle a traditional Irish country tune just as well. We'll be enjoying this young lady's voice for many years to come.”
— Hugh O' Brien, Hot Country
“Olivia's passion for country music shines through in her stage shows and recordings. She's a lady who can sing this music genre just as good as any of her top female counterparts. With her stunning good looks, fine vocal ability, and great musicianship, she is all set to make her mark on the Irish country music scene. Without a shadow of a doubt, she is a young lady destined for stardom.”
— Mary Mooney, 'Showbiz Scene', Ireland's Eye magazine.