Aged just 19, singer-songwriter Olivia Sebastianelli has already experienced life signed to a major label and the pressure to conform.
That did not suit the independently-minded Croydon teenager, so she quit, took control of her own music and released her first EP Perfect Getaway on Sunday, October 6.
Olivia told Vibe: "I got bored of basically being told to be the next blah-blah or to be more like this person. I just wanted to do my thing."
She added: "I’m really excited about the release, I can’t wait. It is quite scary having my music out into the world for people to listen to and buy."
The reaction to her music has been glowing, with national newspapers like The Guardian, The Sun and The Times raving about her ‘rich, huskily emotive voice’.
Penning her own songs, which she has been doing since she was 13, is of utmost importance for the youngster.
She said: "It is the most important thing to me. Aside from playing live, writing music is the most important thing if you can do it.
"It is a labour of love if you write something on your own."
Croydon was the backdrop to Olivia’s childhood - she spent a lot of time at St George’s Walk and Queen’s Park - and she is fond of the town’s music scene and heritage.
She said: "Kirsty McColl was from Croydon, Thomas Dolby wrote about Croydon girls. Places like Rock Bottom and Scream Lounge have always given me shows and been supportive.
"Dubstep started in Croydon. We have always had quite a good music scene going on down here. One that I would say is quite a secretive music scene."
Olivia has scored herself a support slot on Nina Nesbitt’s UK tour, which takes in Koko in Camden on Thursday, October 10, after which she hopes to play more shows in the capital.
She said: "I’ll be playing quite a lot of shows in London. I might do a couple down south, down here.
"I love playing London, it’s one of the best places in the world."
Olivia Sebastianelli’s debut EP Perfect Getaway is out October 6. Go to oliviasebastianelli.com
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