The London-based artist departs from her ethereal soundscape for her new rock-inspired single.


After her previous single “Cry”, it has been no secret that OLI is not afraid to explore the dark — and her latest release proves no different. Fusing sin-soaked beats with ecstasy-laced melodies and sugar sweet vocals, OLI collaborates with Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan to produce the enigmatic track, “Does That Hurt?” While the song begins with a Western-style instrumental, OLI introduces her intimate lyricism, which plunges into suspense as the track reaches Dave’s first verse. Soon enough, ‘Does That Hurt?” transforms into a tug-of-war between OLI and Dave, whose haunting soundscape gnaws and shakes at OLI’s symphonic production.

On the making of the track, OLI explains, “I wanted it to seem like two people who just couldn’t see eye to eye. They both aren’t really listening to each other, they’re stuck. It’s almost like they are interrupting each other throughout the song. A lot of the song was already finished when I first heard it, so I wanted to make it mesh well with what I would sing. I think I wrote 5 or 6 versions of lyrics because I was so nervous to make it work… It’s a special song to me, it’s my first time leaning into the rock genre, and I really love it.”

Marking a clean departure from her dreamy pop tendencies, “Does That Hurt?” rubs grit into OLI’s ethereal sound, and leaves all of her fans guessing as to what will come next. Before this, we spoke with OLI all about her music, her inspirations, and what she’s most excited for next.

To stream “Does That Hurt?” and for the full interview, scroll below now…

Hey OLI how are you? How has this past year been for you?
I feel very lucky to say that I’ve had a really great year despite the craziness of covid. My family and I have grown closer, we would drink and make up stupid songs together in lockdown. I think having those moments made my music better.

With everything that happened in during the pandemic, was your creativity affected?
The fact I’ve been able to be around my family more has made me a lot more creative. I’ve written songs with my dad for the first time which is something we’ve been trying to do for years. He’s a great guitarist.

How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
My parents are musical, so I was always singing and writing. I’ve honestly never really thought about another job or future besides music. I am very lucky!

Where are you from? Do you think your hometown impacted your sound in any way?
I was born in the US but London has been my home for most of my life. The music community is almost unbelievable in London, everyone knows each other or is a friend of a friend. That creates an extremely supportive environment.

And you’ve just dropped your new single, talk us through your mindset going into it?
I really love Americana style production. Benny had been working on a project with Dave Gahan and played me the demo. It was so moody and cool. I think I wrote 5 versions of lyrics because nothing ever felt good enough…I knew this was a special opportunity and I just didn’t want to waste it. I’m glad we took our time though; I am so proud of the final song!

And you say it’s a special song to you, why is this?
It took well over 5 years to complete and features one of the most iconic vocalists of all time. Having a song with Dave Gahan has been the absolute top moment of my music career now and (honestly) forever.

What do you hope people take away from your music? 
I just want people to escape a little. Even daydream to my music. That would be very cool.

Who would you say are your inspirations?
Sade, Melanie Martinez, Stereophonics.

What are you most excited for? What’s next?
I have a couple singles coming out this year, one of my favourites is ‘Float’. But I am also hoping to collaborate with other artists, I don’t think I realised how much I love it.


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