We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a creative path in life first, as a way to express or explain things that would otherwise remain intangible. As a child I was never too interested in anything that did not ignite some sort of creative inspiration or spark of invention. I have always gravitated towards things mysterious and fantastical but also things in life that are challenging or even disturbing to look at. Those things in the end, I believe force one to take a deeper look at life and self. I think it is a good idea to balance the allure of magic with the disappointments, the crudeness, and the follies of reality . That way the magic of life is never spoiled on being too quixotic or idealistic. Art is a good way to express many things without diluting a pure message with erroneous explanations.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s still just the beginning. Had I the time and the budget I desired it would be 100% an immersive multimedia multi sensory, extravaganza. I have so many creative friends I know this will eventually come together soon. As far as struggles go… I have never let poverty, trauma, abuse, assault or any other personal struggle affect the quality of my work. We’re all fucking traumatized and at some point we have to stop reliving it, or thinking about it. In the end people just want to be transported, if even for a moment to a place beyond the mundane, they want to be entertained, and if an artist can make their pain entertaining or beautiful- for better or worse that is what people will respond to. The songs “Lay Low and “Elixir Vitae” and “Shellshocked Nation” are about such things. Are we going to traumatize others because of our own pain or are we going to create something cathartic from it? We are in poisonous, dangerous times, people need to know there is a way to navigate these waters and that there is a way out. I express my sadness to and for this generation, to the very young people coming into this world in “Masque” (Midnight’s Children). I worry what the future will look like for them. What else can I say that is not already said in the music? I don’t want to dilute the message. If you get the chance please come out to the shows (when it is safe) or get lost in the music that is what it is there for.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A lot of the places I loved the most in Denver are gone or have been replaced by something else. But were it pre or post Co-Vid, first I would go to somewhere like ‘thee Haus ov where’ , ‘7th circle’ or ‘Rhinoceroplis’ to see something totally off the wall and underground, something only Denver could produce. Also anything that Titwrench or Glasss Records promotes or puts together is always going to be awesome, inclusive and all around expansive. I would recommend visiting the Mercury Cafe because it is just such a vibrant piece of Denver history whose culture has remained relatively untouched and they always have really fun events of all kinds. I also enjoy Milk bar for late nights, lots of friends and good electro and goth vibes, which makes for great dancing and amazing people watching. The squire or P.s Lounge is good for a low-key night. The Meadow Lark or Larimer Lounge on a weeknight can have some hidden gems if it’s not too crowded. For food I would recommend somewhere maybe a little out of the way (but totally worth it) in Aurora or all along Federal blvd for the best Mexican taquerias, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Korean, Ethiopian, or Moroccan foods.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Friends and family have been supportive or understanding of the sacrifices I have made to continue pursuing a creative path. They may not understand all of the time the choices I have made or why I have made them but have always remained encouraging. It is also very encouraging when strangers or people I don’t know tell me that they have been inspired or received healing from a song or a performance. I love when people approach me after a show and say they were blown away, or they couldn’t believe I could do that. Some people have underestimated me also, maybe because I seem quiet and I don’t reveal much about myself to most people in everyday situations. I think in some contexts I can be awkward, or understated because it would not be appropriate to be as extravagant as I would like to be. I have had to play many different roles in life in order to survive. I can use that to my advantage though, and there are many people who do see who I really am, thank you I love you.
Rick Lee Shannon Nonnahs Seth Passey