Robyn Ottolini has taken cues in recent years from the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, infusing her lyrics with honesty and fearlessness.
Ottolini has already released two independent projects, including The I’m Not Always Hilarious EP, and earned a Rising Star Award nomination at the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards before connecting with a global audience through TikTok. The raw relatability of her hit “F-150” resonated with fans, who drove it to No. 4 on Spotify’s all-genre US Viral 50 chart and No. 3 on Rolling Stone’s all-genre Trending 25.
Growing up in Uxbridge with a dream of building a career as a country artist, how have your small-town roots kept you humble and grounded throughout the process of achieving all that you have thus far?
My town is a very musical town. There are open mics, karaoke, festivals etc, almost any night of the week (pre-pandemic) and we always joke there must be something in the water because everyone is so dang talented here. I’d say going through this whole signing and process, I’ve been generally at home, with people who have known me and watched me work for years. I always joke that my life has changed but I haven’t moved anywhere geographically and I think that’s been really helping me when it comes to adjusting and celebrating. I’m with the people who love me the most and keep me grounded and it’s been a blast.
Having landed a record deal with Warner Music Nashville following a viral Tik-Tok video, has this experience reminded you to allow yourself to create the music you want and not what others expect of you? Oftentimes I find artists are scared to follow their heart, but I feel it is important to take the “risk.” If we don’t, we would never know what could come from of it.
Being myself has always been a huge part of my brand and me as an artist but also as a human. I figure, as long as I like my music and I’m proud of it, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, I wanted to be able to turn on my music and enjoy listening to it even if I was the only one. I think being yourself and risking your truth is harder said than done but that’s also where the connection will come through with listeners. I love hearing my fans’ stories about what my songs mean to them because they’re a lot like my stories. That’s why it’s so important to be honest because your fans will appreciate it more than ever.
The title of your latest EP “The I’m Not Always Hilarious EP,” gives me the impression that you know who you are and are comfortable with who you are as an individual. How do the themes/messages found throughout the record, correlate with the idea you have of yourself and who you are as an artist/ the artist you’re wanting to become?
The title came from the fact that most of the time I write funny, quirky songs but I’m also human, and not everything in life is hilarious ie. heartbreak. The themes in the songs correlate with who I am because I’m a strong believer you have to feel all the feelings, but you also have to love yourself a ton.
“F-150” is all about being so hurt and sad but also knowing that one day, it won’t hurt like it used to. “Trust Issues” is all about knowing yourself really well to know that dating isn’t a great thing to do until you figure out your own issues. “Girl Next Door” is very true because I’ve crushed on the boy next door forever, and it’s a joke we have now but, when I wrote it, it was very real. “In Case You Were Wonderin'” shows who I am as a growing human and yet, how I still care about someone who broke my heart. I’m all about growing through the emotions and this EP shows it.
Pulse Music Magazine is a creative space allowing musicians to showcase their craft and build their audience. Is there any piece of advice you could offer other up-and-coming artists who wish to follow their dreams?
Just be yourself. It’s hard to be honest and yourself all the time, but I think in the long run, it’s harder to be somebody you’re not. So just do what you love and people will notice, and the right people will love it.
Pulse Music Magazine would like to thank Robyn for her thoughts and sharing her music with our community.
Stream the record below: