Olivia Nott knows all about the importance of family.
And why wouldn’t she? Olivia not only comes from a huge family, she has seen, firsthand, how her siblings have together conquered the New Zealand music scene.
Georgia and Caleb Nott, Olivia’s older sister and brother, are the band Broods, and the genuine affection with which she talks about them speaks volumes about how important her family is to her.
‘I was proud of them even when they were writing songs in their room,’ Olivia says. ‘I have on my laptop all of Georgia’s old demos and I just listen to them sometimes when I miss her.’
Olivia was in her teens when Broods launched their first album. She got wind of their rapid success the same way we all did.
‘I didn’t really think much of it. And then they just put up that first song and it sort of just blew up for them. It was this weird thing.
‘I’ve always just looked up to them and watched them, watched their progress. I used to watch them when they did gigs on the weekend or whatever. The whole family would go out for cold drinkies and hot chips at the bar.’
Now Olivia is following in their footsteps, particularly Georgia’s. She’s moved to Auckland from Nelson and is working at Crave, where Georgia also worked while Broods were taking off. For someone who loves home and loves family as much as Olivia, it’s a big sacrifice. But she says it’s worth it.
Olivia’s own music career is poised to take off. With a couple of singles out already under her recording name NIKA, she realised she needed to be where the opportunities would present themselves.
‘I started in 2016, collabing with people,’ Olivia says. A collab is a musical collaboration in the millennial age. ‘That kicked off and I realised I needed to move in order to make it a quicker process, rather than drag it on for years. If someone was like, Come into the studio this week, I wouldn’t have to pay $700 for flights.
‘I was also at a point in life where I said, Okay, I’m an adult now and I need to go and do something for myself. I was working and earning money and not really putting it into anything.’
Olivia’s talent is rooted in a rich family heritage of musicianship and artistic expression. Her dad plays guitar, her mum sings and plays the flute and piano, and uncles and aunts and cousins are great musicians. How could she go wrong?
‘I’m not like this amazing musician but I can back myself,’ Olivia says. ‘If I was to do an acoustic thing I could do it, but it’s more like collabing with producers. They help you in that area and then you help them in other areas, and you work together to build something.’
As for actually missing family, she’s found a good substitute—her workmates at Crave.
‘I love it, I think it’s the best thing ever. I think of them as a family, it’s so nice. I love the community parties. It’s a lot to take in when you’re not one for massive crowds, but I definitely appreciate how genuine everyone is. Everyone accepts you and lifts you up.’