“I’m really happy. I’m just trying to hold on to that and take note of the things that are making me happy and try to make a habit of those.”
As Olivia Dean documents her journey through love, identity and belonging, the 23-year-old is gearing up to be right where she wants to be. Dean and I have met once before, albeit via Zoom, but seeing her again is twice as fulfilling. In that year, it’s been hard not to keep tabs on the artist; to look forward to her Instagram posts documenting her life and potential new music, to soak up the glistening pictorial memories of a musical artist navigating the infancy of an illustrious career. And, if you subscribe to the idea that Instagram is a real reflection of who we are and the lives we live, then Dean seems to be having the time of her life.
And Dean has every reason to be gleeful. There’s, of course, the satisfaction of having a musical career that’s building organically, with notable commendations including being named Amazon Music’s 2021 Breakthrough Artist of the Year; releasing a stream of tracks that pull on the heartstrings, leave you full of love or desperate for it, introspective, but coddled in opaque hope from the music. And there’s also being an artist who’s beginning to reap the benefits of creating sounds and lyrics that resonate with more and more people each day.
Covering our Summer 2022 issue, the artist talks finding her identity, working on her WIP album and why she injects a sense of cynicism into all of her love-soaked lyrics.