Olah Bliss: Fashion, Favorite Spots and Her New EP "Death Wish" [Interview]
Have you ever crossed paths with another human that made you say, “dang, you cool af,” so you get to know them some more and they somehow just get cooler? It’s like the more you get to know about them the cooler they get and then you get to a point where you’re just left there thinking, “how dafuq did you get so cool?” Olah Bliss has me all fucked up.
Having only recently landed on my radar when her single, “Death Wish (Hate Me),” landed in my inbox, it didn’t take long before I was a little (completely) obsessed. With a super unique voice, powerful lyrics and undeniable swag, her sound, presence and talent instantly cut through for me and had my total attention. After blasting this tune for weeks and only falling more and more in love with it, I pretty much had no other option but to check her out some more, dig into her catalog and see what else I may have been missing – and I am damn glad I did.
While her voice fucked me up from the jump, her aesthetic blew my mind. Check out her IG and you surely will agree that very few people can pull off any the looks she’s rocking. Cool music, cool wardrobe, cool friends – how could she get any cooler? I should have known that having a call with her would only make it worse for me and my Olah obsession, but I guess I am a glutton for punishment.
Since I was really hoping to do an interview with her, I reached out to Olah Bliss and asked if she’d be down to chat. Being as cool as she is (duh), she agreed, and after months of back and forth we were finally able to hop on a call. Before we spoke on our video chat, I was asked to make sure that I looked like shit for (she had been in the studio working for days and wanted to make sure I wasn’t too proper or fancy). While I had never been asked to dress down for a meeting before, I was happy to oblige since I work from home these days and sweatpants are life. When we were finally able to get on our call, we quickly realized we were both wearing matching hats; and from there it ended up being one of the most entertaining conversations of my adult life. I haven’t had a 52-minute phone call with anyone since I was like 12, but I loved every minute of it. How dafuq did she get so cool?
Having launched her solo project in 2018, Olah Bilss has been hard at work the last few years creating a lane of her own, unafraid to blend genres, blur lines and take risks, I can say confidently that there is not one artist in my mind that I can compare her to. With a dark, authentic, straight-from-the-soul kind of vibe wrapped around everything she does, you can listen to any of her releases and it will leave you feeling like she has given you a piece of herself.
Most recently, Olah Bliss released her new, “Death Wish,” EP, and it is a stunning 7-track offering that should be more than enough to leave you as a stan. With a variety of vibes throughout, top-notch production and her incredible vocals and penmanship tying it all together, her new project stands as both a testament to her talent and a turning point in her career. Having used this project to get things off her chest, show the world what she is made of and clear her plate for what she promises will be an onslaught of new music, “Death Wish,” is without a doubt worth a listen. This is a project you can rock from beginning to end without wanting to skip a tune.
In support of the new project and just because I am sorta (kinda) [totally] hooked, I was lucky enough to get Olah Bliss to answer some questions, so that we could get a bit more insight into her mind, music, and motivation; so if you feel like it, check out the EP and keep scrolling to peep the interview.
RDFO: I love your aesthetic so so much. How would you describe your style, and what/who would you say has played a part in you developing your own style?
OB: Thank you, that means a lot. Fashion has always been something I loved. When I was a little girl, I used to cut out pictures from magazines my mum brought home and made mood boards, sometimes I drew crazy fits in the classroom when teachers weren’t looking, thinking I will wear something like this one day. We didn’t have much money; it was rare for me to get new clothes. My mum had to recycle old ones, so when my sister grew out of them, I was wearing them. But you know how fashion is, by the time I got the clothes, it wasn’t fashionable anymore, I had to improvise quite a lot to make it look relevant. Now it’s like second nature to me, I’m very picky with what I wear and I know what I like. My wardrobe is about 80% black, it’s definitely my favorite color to wear. I crochet too, mainly balaclavas and hats, I love accessories.
RDFO: As someone who listens to a whole lot of music from thousands of artists each year, your voice hooked me instantly. There is something super unique about your tone/sound, has your voice always seemed to cut through and stand out from the crowd?
OB: That’s a huge compliment and I’m really glad my voice stood out. I think my tone developed over the years and listening back to records from even like 7 years ago, I sounded much different, I’m a lot more polished now. People always seemed to see something in me, so I guess maybe I had a certain quality from early, but it’s hard for me to say, I just always loved singing. I spent a lot of time in the studio by myself, recording, learning my voice, listening to music and this is the outcome… I’m so happy my art resonates with you, that’s all I could ever ask for really.
RDFO: What was it like growing up in Poland and what was the deciding factor that made you (and your family?) move to England?
OB: Poland is a beautiful country, rich in culture and tradition. I have an abundance of amazing memories and I’m very grateful for my upbringing and values that I’ve been taught. I come from a small town with not many opportunities, so I had to hustle my way through. I definitely excelled academically, I was almost overly ambitious and wanted to be the best at everything really, but I found my love for music very quickly and that’s just something I tried to do every day. The environment I was in was definitely tough and problematic though, I saw and experienced a lot of things no teenager should’ve seen, also did a lot of things I’m not exactly proud of, but it was character building and made me the person I am today. I knew I needed to get out, I wanted more, I wanted to make music, I didn’t want to get myself into more trouble, so I told my mum I’m moving to England and just kind of figured it out. I played this gig on NYE, it paid me enough to book a flight and have some spare change, one month later I quit college and the rest is history, I must’ve been 16 or so. Mum moved here later, around 5 years ago, because she wanted to be closer to her kids.
RDFO: There is seemingly an unlimited amount of talent and amazing musicians in London, how do you think living there affected you as an artist and your career?
OB: Oh, it affected me tremendously. I was never exposed to so many different cultures before, I was amazed. I quickly started making friends from all over the world and drawing my inspiration. My first year in London was wild, probably the best year of my life. I have never before felt so free, just living my life like nothing else mattered. It was so inspirational. As you said, London is full of talent and I was blessed enough to meet a lot of it. My fellow musicians taught me a lot, introduced me to new music, new experiences and it definitely allowed me to be free in the way I write and express myself. Just zero judgment. London is literally that, a place you can be yourself without getting shit for it. A city full of dreamers like me haha
RDFO: Who are some of your biggest influences in music and in life?
OB: It’s going to sound cliché, but definitely my mom. This woman worked so hard her entire life and always put everyone first before herself. The level of dedication, love and perseverance I experienced on her part is the best thing a person can ask for. I wake up every day and pray to be as kind, as loving and as forgiving as her. She’s my role model.
In music, I draw inspiration from many artists. Björk brought out the quirkiness in me, Erykah Badu allowed me to tap into my feelings and rap music was an outlet for my anger. I always wanted to be a rapper, I was just never that good at it! Other forms of art inspires me too, so does psychology. I think it all goes hand in hand really, artists create the best music and best paintings when they’re going through crazy waves of emotion, the psychology of the human mind amazes me and gives me plenty to write about.
RDFO: I love how your latest single, “Death Wish (Hate Me)” is a two part song and I love how they transition from one to the other. What made you do it this way instead of releasing two different singles?
OB: Two songs were written one day apart. Actually, I didn’t think Hate Me was that good to be honest. I went back to Brighton and I spoke to my friend Tommy who co-wrote Death Wish with me and I played him what I’ve done, he said it was incredible and we figured it would make sense to put them together. It was the right thing to do, they belonged together.
RDFO: Your album art is always cool af. Who comes up with the concepts/art direction and are there any artists in particular that you like to work with on these?
OB: Well, I make the artwork myself; just try to work with what I’ve got really. Eventually I would love to work with visual artsist like Ksti Hu (kstihu) or Craves (thisiscraves) for example and create a full project with Dani Hackett (danihackettlondon) as a creative director.
In terms of visuals, I directed and edited the early work myself, but for the last couple of years, I’ve been working with Filip Plaskowski (travel_ink_media), my fellow Polish creative. He’s just phenomenal and really understands my vision . He’s super passionate, extremely ambitious and one of those people who always set the bar high, at the same time he’s humble and thinks he’s always got more to learn, takes his craft seriously. Besides the overwhelming talent, he’s just a dope human being and I’m really blessed that I can call him my friend. I think we just inspire each other when it comes to creative direction.
RDFO: How much of the music making process are you responsible for/part of? Do you work with songwriters, producers, engineers, etc that you want to shout out?
OB: I could shout out a whole bunch. Where do I start tho? I write most songs myself, I will lay a demo and than send it to a few producers to see what we can do with it. I’m very hands on, so I co-produce too, it needs to sound right, so we just bounce of each other until we get the results that we want. I wrote a couple of records with Tommy Jules, one of my favorite writers, Phil Davidson, a dope writer, he also produced a couple of records on my project, but other than that, I love being on my own for most of the creative process. A little drink, a little smoke and a lot of my feelings, that’s how I do it. I record the vocals myself at my studio and working with a couple of mix engineers, shout out to Guy and Ziey! Big up Damian aka D Major, super talented producer who I personally admire and I’ve done loads of work with, and of course producer/amazing piano player Mindaugas Juozapavicius, my support system Kid Bookie, and Cameron Bloomfield, superstar levels.
RDFO: How do you feel things have progressed since launching this project? Do you think the growth has been faster, slower or as expected?
OB: I have no expectations. Of course every artist wants to be an overnight success, but it doesn’t always work out that way. For the first time I’m just letting things be, I will do my best to make people aware of the EP, but I’m just letting things happen. It’s slow, but that’s the journey. I would rather have 10 people listening to my project and really take it in, than 1000 people streaming it and not caring about it. Music is timeless and time will tell.
RDFO: What are some of your favorite hang outs in London?
OB: I love East London and Camden. Shoreditch is super quirky, Camden has a slightly darker edge to it that I love. All depends on the mood.
RDFO: To date, what has been the biggest show/most exciting stage you have been on so far?
OB: I treat every show equally, there’s beauty if every show that I played and people you connect with. I could name a bunch, but all of them that give me life. There’s some dope things happening in 2023, which unfortunately I can’t get into yet
RDFO: What are some long term goals for you outside of music?
OB: Once I sell out Madison Square Garden and pick up a Grammy, I want to dedicate myself to more charitable work and help people, that’s the goal. Definitely help with development of other artists; to be honest, music is kind of what I want to do for the rest of my life, whilst trying to make the world a better place. I will definitely dive into fashion more, launch a sick brand.
RDFO: Are there any causes, organizations, communities that you are active in that you would like to shine some light on?
OB: Honestly bro, I just support any good causes that I can put my hands on. I just got accepted to volunteer with poor and homeless this winter, I think I’ll be doing my first outreach this week, so I’m very much looking forward to it. If I was to shine light on anything right now, I would want for people to think about how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads, especially now in winter. If you see someone who needs help, or asks you to get them something to eat or a hot drink, please just help them. Don’t dismiss another human being like they’re some kind of disease, this shit fucking bothers me, because every single one of us could find ourselves in that situation. Basically, don’t be a d*ck and help people who are less fortunate than you.
RDFO: What is up next for ÒLAH BLISS?
OB: I’m taking over the world.