The Word is She: An Interview with Olivia Keegan

Olivia Keegan has gone through many phases.

First, it was the swim team. After that, it was musical theater. Then one day, 10-year-old Keegan decided she wanted to act on camera.

Her parents assumed it would just be another phase and laughed it off – but she got persistent. She decided to find an agent on her own.

“I don’t know, I just kind of did it,” she said. “I got a pen and paper and I wrote her a letter and I mailed it in with a couple of headshots that weren’t really headshots. Somehow I managed to make my whole family move to LA.”

Within a month of living in Los Angeles, she booked her first feature film. She has since landed roles both in television and film, including NBC’s Days of Our Lives where she is nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Her on-camera phase is far from over but is no longer her only phase.

Her role as a singer started in musical theater but stuck around long after she left the stage. She began taking it seriously around 15 years old and really immersed herself in co-writing and collaborating with other artists. Now, at 18 years old, she’s ready to release original music.

Her first single of 2018, “Queen is a King”, stems from a conversation with one of her usual collaborators, Dylan Kelly. Their writing sessions usually begin with catching up on one another’s lives and current events, and one particular writing session brought up the topic of misogyny. As they spoke about it, the more they realized that they witness it in their everyday lives and were genuinely perplexed that it is still such a problem’s in today’s day and age.

The song came to them almost immediately.

It combines simple, to-the-point lyrics with a generally pop sound to create what she hopes is another piece of the female movement that’s taking over the world. As she continues to release more music, she hopes to share more pieces of herself and what she believes in.

“I am growing up. A lot of stuff happens between the time you’re 15 to 18 and I still have a lot more life to experience so I think I’m still growing into myself and growing into finding myself. As I keep writing I keep finding the threads that make me the artist that I am.”

Through it all, she remembers her family’s support for her and their ability to help her achieve her dreams – no matter what phase she’s in.

“It’s good for me to tell this story because I realize how supportive they are; it puts it all in perspective,” she said. “It’s easy to forget but good to remember.”