Olivia O’Brien is keeping it real


Courtesy of Flickr

Olivia O’Brien performance back in 2018 at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

Since Olivia O’Brien’s collaboration with Gnash on the single “I Hate U, I Love U,” which hit number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, O’Brien has become an artist to watch. The 19-year old singer came out with her first official album April 26 titled Was It Even Real?.  

The album consists of 10 songs, which features her singles “I Don’t Exist,” “UDK,” “Love Myself,” “Just a Boy” and “Care Less More.” Each song plays a role in telling a story about love, heartbreak and moving on.

Was it Even Real? starts off with “purpleworld,” which is about a person who has hurt and betrayed O’Brien. She has resorted to blaming herself for letting the significant other take advantage of her. The color purple was once associated with the ex-lover, but over time purple has become a color of strength and resilience to her. The album ends with “Love Myself,” which is about learning to put her needs over the needs of others and trying to figure out who she truly is.  

The album is sandwiched with the highs and the lows that come with a breakup. She shows the healing process: at first people tend to blame themselves and then eventually they realize how to cope with it. O’Brien does not hold back the truth and the pain, which makes her album a very truthful one.

Despite promoting her album as a “pop” album, her album also has a heavy amount of R&B, which makes the album quite unique. She does not stick to the traditional route of pop, but rather utilizes a bass and the acoustic guitar as well as rap (fast spoken words) to convey her message.

The album relates to everyone whether or not one is going through a breakup. Each song has its own meaning that, when put together, tells a bigger story. I truly fell in love with the first lyrics and beat of the first song: “You said I wasn’t just another girl to you, a girl to use; I said you don’t care, you said, “I swear I do, I swear it’s true.” This album has become one of my all time favorites.