Editor's Note: Grit Critic Presents shines the spotlight on those making waves in Charleston and beyond. This edition features local singer Olivia Witherspoon known to her fans by the stage name OliviaSade. Here, she talks to us about her background and the inspiration for 9Ether, the first single and video from her debut album INvolving out now.
What inspired you to write this song?
I was reading the Holy Tablets by Dr. Malachi Z York, which inspired me to write this song. Producer Sean Dolby introduced me to this beat and when I heard it the instruments just spoke to my soul. The first words of the song came to me, "my crown, kinky, my skin, melanin" and I just went from there.
How long did the process take from start to finish?
It took me about 3 weeks. Establishing a bond with the instrumental, I allowed the words to find me as the verses flowed through my body.
Who are the young dancers who appear in your video?
1. Olaina Lisa (E)
2. Kaydence Criswell (L)
3. Trinity Ulmer (A)
4. Kennedy Brown (N)
5. Payton Heyward (A)
6. Brianna Commodore (T)
7. Deja Phillips (E)
8. Milaya Phillips (D)
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into music?
Three words describe me. They are: free spirit, self-awareness, and big hearted! I was born in Orange County, California and raised in Charleston, SC. Music has been within me since the age of 5. I used to write poetry and short stories but it wasn’t until the age of 28 that I decided to live my purpose. My first song and video entitled “Da Mind,” is the story within lyrics of how I got into music. I had something to say so I let my pen tell my story.
Did you always want to perform?
Yes, however, it took me years to realize that the dreams and potential I saw in others was within me, too. My shyness and negative thinking towards myself clouded me until it was time to let it go. That’s when I saw who exactly I am!
What do you hope to accomplish through your music?
Through my music I hope to accomplish an environment of healing, self-awareness, love, and peace.
Are there any collaborators or those who’ve helped along the way you’d like to thank?
I want to thank everyone who collaborated and helped along the way. There are two people deserving of special thanks. The first inspired my very first song entitled “Da Mind;” he gave me the push I needed to get me to my purpose. The second person I want to thank is RaJohn Capers who was the first to hear “Da Mind.” He gave me the courage to release it and for that I am forever grateful.
What’s next for OliviaSade?
You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, so, with that being said, I have more videos to release and other great projects in store for the future. But, for now, my album INvolving was released in July which features 9Ether, Manifesting — the number one most requested hit on SC Hip Hop 100 — and countless others are available on all streaming sites as well as for purchase on my website oliviasade.com.
Join us for the next edition of Grit Critic Presents on Charleston Grit.