Olivia Landolfo: Finding Herself Through Music

Landolfo playing guitar. Photo credit: Rafat
Landolfo playing guitar. Photo credit: Rafat

When she stood on the stage at the 2019 Spring Coffeehouse, everyone in the audience watched in awe as she sang her heart out. Her voice filled the Lynch Theater. This powerful voice came from Olivia Landolfo (21).

People who have never been to Coffeehouse would never know what a powerful performer the easy going, beachy-haired Landolfo is.

3 years ago, Landolfo learned how to play guitar. She learned songs like Paramore’s “The Only Exception”, and eventually, she began to write her own songs.

 “I just wrote about how I feel, but in music form,” she said.

Landolfo wrote her first song, “Away,” when she was eleven or twelve years old. “It’s about the music within me,” she said. She has never performed it live, but she still knows the whole song.

A few years later, Landolfo became the vocalist of a band called Indigo Burn. While they were still together, they performed in warehouses, wrote songs,

and covered songs like “Island in the Sun” by Weezer.

The band recently ended, but Landolfo thought of it as “a really good experience because I got to practice with other musicians, and I’ve never done that before. That helped me learn way more than I would’ve ever expected to learn.”

Landolfo usually writes by herself at night. “It’s weird, like, I get into a zone. I think I just think a lot at night,” she said.

Another song she wrote is called “Align,” which was about being pulled in by someone who lied to her. She performed it live on the river campus back in April.

Although Landolfo writes most of her songs by herself, she loves collaborating. “If I feel like I’m by myself, there’s no one to share my feelings with,” she said.

There is one person she would love to work with: Elton John.
“He’s had so much happen to him, and he also had so many people think that he wasn’t gonna make it. I think just getting over that bump is unbelievable.”
People like Elton John inspire Landolfo to push herself. As a member of the chorus, Landolfo admits that she does not always try out for solos, but she wants to try out more in the future. “I have to be comfortable. But that’s what I don’t like. I don’t always want to be comfortable.”

Another inspiration behind her writing is her sister, Gabriela (18), a former Bugle staff member. “She’s a really great individual, ,” Landolfo said. “She’s very passionate about what she writes and what she believes in.”

Landolfo’s mom is another reason why she continues to make music. “Even when I don’t want her showing any videos of me singing or playing guitar, she’ll literally show every single person on the earth because she’s so proud of me.”

Having a shared interest in music makes her feel equal to everyone, no matter who they are.

Landolfo is currently working on more songs, which are mostly about finding who you are as a person. She explained, “I always have a really positive outlook on the world, and sometimes it disappoints me, but you just have to get through that. Life can suck, but it gets better. Some of my songs are about who I am as a person. I don’t know who I am, but I’m still figuring that out.”