Danielle Oliver
Gig Seeker Pro

Danielle Oliver

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Alternative




"Student forges music career out of past full of heartache"

Student forges music career out of a past full of heartache
A&E Assistant

Among the shallow wading pool of mediocre Britney Spears wannabes and J-Lo-esque booty-shakers is a genre of music makers who truly understand what it is to have talent. The singer-songwriter: a breed of music and musician that many attempt but few actually achieve. In a world where processed, over-produced and often times untalented singers make it to the top of the charts, it seems there is little room for those who possess enough ambition to attempt to make it on their own accord.

Junior Danielle Oliver is just that girl to make it on her own. While she first started writing songs at the age of 11, Oliver said she never thought about becoming famous. Though she describes her early efforts as “silly,” she simply wrote for herself, to get her emotions off of her chest. Beginning the piano at the age of 6 and later picking up the guitar in high school, Oliver has cultivated many outlets for release.

“Being alternative, my music is very reality based,” Oliver said of her sound. “It’s very honest, and more intellectual than other artists today. I try to portray to my audience a very raw, heart-felt


A girl from Whitefish, Mont., Oliver grew up in an area saturated in country music but said the “girls of the 90s” inspired her to be what she is now. A mix of folksy, bluesy and powerfully-packed acoustic rock, the likes of Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Jewel and Sarah McLachlan, all have a special influence over her sound. Yet, it has been her real-life experiences that have had the most resounding effect over her music.

In high school it was a bad break-up that brought her to write more self-described “dear diary” music, but in the beginning of college it was her Dad’s cancer, which eventually led to his death, and some health issues of her own that eventually brought out some of her best


“I go on writing binges,” she said. “It all depends on what is happening in my life that dictates whether I’m writing a lot or not.”

With all this tragedy defining her young life, it is a wonder her music is not more angry.

“I like dark too,” Oliver said, “but my music is softer, even if I have been depressed in my life. I don’t want to be a complete downer so I have a pretty good mix in my sets to make my show different. I believe we are in a new decade now.”

Whereas the 90s girls were angry, Oliver said she believes that singer-songwriters today should build on this sound instead of mimicking it.

“I always wanted to do music of course, but at 18, I wasn’t sure of anything,” Oliver said of her decision to come to Pepperdine instead of simply pursuing a career in music.

Now a creative writing major, Oliver first came with a music minor but dropped it after realizing that her style of music did not converge with that of the predominantly opera vocal program.

According to her piano teacher Carter Larsen, himself a concert pianist in Malibu, Oliver is something very special.

“How many music elite today can actually sing and play at the same time?” Larsen said. “She is a real concert pianist performing at top level in both areas. In this way, I believe her to be among the top talent in her age group.”

Oliver’s roommate, junior Jessica Merturi, also has an opinion, saying that Oliver’s MySpace Music page does not do her justice.

“I always tell her to remember me at the Grammy’s,” Merturi said. “She is just such a great performer. She has this spark that everyone can relate to. One of her songs even makes me cry.”

After recently performing a classical piano set in the Fantasia Concert Series in Raitt Recital Hall late September, Oliver is now content just writing music, attending her UCLA music business class (on top of her other Pepperdine classes) and doing as many shows as possible to get her name out there.

Her next two showings will be Nov. 11 at Genghis Cohen and Nov. 17 at the Rainbow, both in Hollywood. She is planning on releasing an EP in early 2007, but says that she is not planning on signing with a label anytime soon.

“I’m no hit making machine,” Oliver said, “but I am intending on staying within the alternative/independent line of this business as long as possible.”

Hear Oliver’s music at her MySpace page, myspace.com/danielleoliver.

Submitted 11-02-2006



Click here

- Graphic

"Homecoming for a Whitefish Songwriter"

Homecoming for a Whitefish Songwriter

By Molly Priddy , 09-02-11

Danielle Oliver’s homecoming has been years in the making. A self-described musical nomad, she’s been writing and compiling songs for years, a sort of diary chronicling her experiences.

Oliver, born and raised in Whitefish in the shadow of Big Mountain, is returning home for a proper CD release celebration for her EP, “Snow for Sun.” She will play an acoustic set at The Raven on Sept. 9 and a full-band set at the Craggy Range Bar and Grill on Sept. 24.

During a phone interview from Los Angeles last week, Oliver was excited to kick off her northwest promotional tour in Montana. She’s never played a full-band gig up here and is eager to let her hometown in on what she’s been up to.

Her music – catchy songs with little to distract from the vocals and instruments – is familiar to supporters in Whitefish, but Oliver said she has yet to showcase her whole catalog.

That catalog is now the “Sun for Snow” EP, which Oliver recorded and polished over the course of a year at the SnowGhost Music recording studios in Whitefish. The EP was released in February.

“I’m just really excited to get to show the final project,” Oliver said. “Of course I love to play at home.”

Oliver’s parents were both ski instructors on Big Mountain, so growing up she was engrained with an appreciation for outdoor beauty. Her mother, who is Austrian, also instilled a passion for music at an early age, Oliver said.

“She loved to sing and was involved in music,” Oliver said. “So as early as I could talk, I remember singing German songs and yodels.”

Piano lessons came at age 6 – with great enthusiasm, as Oliver remembers it – and her first song at age 11. By the time Oliver was a teenager, she realized the cathartic power songwriting could have on her increasingly hectic high school life.

After high school, Oliver attended Pepperdine University in California, where she earned a degree in creative writing. Though her academic focus turned to writing poetry, screenplays and journalism, the music never left.

“I found myself a lot in the piano rooms at Pepperdine just writing and compiling things,” Oliver said.

When it came time to record “Sun for Snow,” Oliver said it was nice to be back in Whitefish and in familiar surroundings. The actual recording process took about a year.

Oliver said she had to rework some of her material since she was using eight years of music to create one, cohesive EP. She credited her producer, Brett Allen, for helping create a feeling of consistency on the recording.

Life experiences change a person’s perspective, something that Oliver incorporated in her music. One song, “Adrienne,” was written after Oliver’s father passed away in 2003.

She rewrote the song to ensure its message is clear for the EP.

“In that way, it’s kind of things that maybe I was trying to express all along in the last eight years,” Oliver said.

As an independent artist, Oliver represents herself and her work. Her two stops in Northwest Montana are part of a bigger tour that will take her to Missoula, Bozeman, Portland, Seattle and other venues.

Oliver will play with Pterodactyl Plains at the Craggy Range homecoming gig on Sept. 24. Her Sept. 9 show at The Raven will be a solo, acoustic event.

She’s looking forward to playing at home again, heading out on tour and, especially, continuing to write music.

“When I’m kind of on a roll, I feel drawn to it and I love to do it,” Oliver said. “It does help in my everyday life. It’s just a part of me at this point.”

For more information on Danielle Oliver and her music, visit www.danielleoliver.com.
- Flathead Beacon

"Local Songwriter Debuts First Album"

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:31 am
By HEIDI DESCH Whitefish Pilot | 0 comments

Singer Danielle Oliver’s introduction to music and the outdoors came at an early age.
The daughter of two ski instructors, she learned to ski as soon as she could walk. Just as early she was listening to a variety of music. Her mother, who is Austrian and the daughter of a professional musician, kept their home filled with music.
“There was singing and dancing,” Oliver said. “There was German, operetta and classical music and yodeling in the house.”
Oliver is the daughter of Gerlinde and the late Doug Oliver.
At age 6, she began piano lessons and by age 11 she wrote her first song. She continued through high school and began to realize how cathartic music could be.
“At age 15, I began to play for two hours every night to relax,” she said. “It was a stress reliever and an outlet.”
Oliver attended Pepperdine University in California studying creative writing, which she said helped develop her song-writing ability. All the while she continued her vocal work.
She has been in Los Angeles for some time now, but returns home this week for a CD release show for her EP, “Snow for Sun.” She will play with Pterodactyl Plains at the Craggy Range Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 9:30 p.m.
With the album’s release she is touring this fall playing shows throughout the northwest.
“I’m just really excited for my debut album and my first real tour,” she said.
The album was recorded at SnowGhost Music in Whitefish. It was a nine-month process of recording and reworking songs, some of which had been written years prior. She credited Brett Allen for helping with the album.
“A lot of my songs come from life events,” Oliver said. “I’m just starting to write story-driven lyrics so mostly it’s based off of personal experiences.
One song “Adriene,” was written after Oliver’s father passed away in 2003. After his death she found herself sitting at a piano for hours playing and looking for healing.
The gap between writing songs and recording forced Oliver to rework songs and recall their original feeling.
“It’s quite a time period,” she said. “Conceptually it had to work together. I wanted it to show the emotion and what I was feeling at the time it was written — it really succeeded.”
She found recording to be a great way to force herself to let go and make the songs better.
“It was really structured,” she said. “I had to push myself enough. I took the first version of ‘Grey’ and reworked it overnight. You get attached to a song, but the best writing is reworked a lot. Emotionally what’s in a song is great, but you have to make sure the audience understands that emotion.”
For more information on Oliver and her music, visit www.danielleoliver.com.

- Whitefish Pilot

"Song of the Day: Advice"

Song of the Day: "Advice"

Danielle Oliver's debut came to my attention through the magic of the inter-webz (it's not a dump truck!), and Danielle Oliver herself follows not too long after when she appears at the Kenton Club next week. She's there Thursday, September 29th at 9:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

No, for reals, it says 4:00 p.m.

[UPDATE: And that was a typo. Just heard from her peeps that the show is Thursday night at 9 p.m., like a proper rock show--vampires and hipsters welcome!]

Now a matinee rock show has a lot of appeal to me, but not on a work day. Maybe some of you unemployed types can tear yourself away from Anderson Cooper and your box of wine for an hour. There's a Sunday matinee in Seattle at the Comet, if you also see the appeal of a matinee and live there.

Danielle Oliver: Advice by rebelagenda

Song: "Advice"
Artist: Danielle Oliver

"Songwriter Stages Homecoming Show"

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 6:30 pm
KRISTI ALBERTSON/Daily Inter Lake | 0 comments

Danielle Oliver never stood a chance: Music is in her blood.
Her grandfather on her mother’s side was a professional musician in Austria. Her grandmother on her father’s side was “also musically inclined.” Her mother sang and filled the house with operettas and classical music as Oliver was growing up.

“A lot of my ... first memories were singing and dancing and stuff in German,” Oliver said. “I remember singing ever since I was teeny tiny with my mom.”
Oliver was born and raised in Whitefish but has spent much of her time over the last several years in Los Angeles pursuing a career in music. She will play a homecoming album release show Saturday at the Craggy Range in downtown Whitefish.
Her music is “definitely pop” but features a wide variety of instruments, including the organ and glockenspiel, Oliver said. Saturday’s concert will feature songs from her debut EP, “Sun for Snow,” which she recorded last year in Whitefish with producer Brett Allen of SnowGhost Music. The album was released in February.
“It will be my first time sharing this record with friends and family in the local area,” Oliver said during a recent phone interview. “This is particularly exciting for me. It’ll be the first time they’ve seen me live.”
Oliver, who has played in front of several hundred people at Los Angeles venues, confessed to being a little nervous about playing for friends and family.
“You know they love you, but it can be really nerve-wracking,” she said with a laugh. “They’re actually listening. They’re really quiet. You know they’re listening to all the lyrics and wondering what they’re about.”
Oliver grew up in the shadow of Big Mountain, where both her parents worked as ski instructors. When she wasn’t singing, Oliver was on the slopes.
“I’ve basically skied since I could stand up,” she said.
She started taking piano lessons at age 6 and wrote her first song when she was 11. The piano became her solace and an outlet by the time Oliver reached her early teens, and music was her primary passion during her time at Flathead Valley Christian School (now Stillwater Christian).
Oliver transferred to Flathead High School for her senior year, where she participated in choir and the school’s elite singing group, the Choral-Aires. The experience, she said, helped solidify her desire to pursue a music career. When she started school at Pepperdine University, Oliver declared herself a music major.
While she enjoyed performing, Oliver soon realized majoring in vocal performance didn’t leave much time for her other passion: songwriting. So Oliver changed her major to creative writing.
“I continued to study music and train vocally, but that gave me opportunity to write contemporary music,” she said.
Oliver’s love for writing is at least as old as her passion for music.
“I had notebooks I would just write in, write stories, as early as I remember reading,” she said. “I really like to just create new ideas and build off what I know and what I read.”
Life-changing events, including her father’s death in 2003, inspired more writing. Oliver wrote music throughout college; some of the songs on her album dates from that time.
“Some of the ideas and the themes are from kind of growing-up type of situations,” she said. “It was interesting getting an EP that is still cohesive but spanning a longer amount of time, especially during a time when you’re growing up. Things look differently [than they did when you were younger]. Your outlook changes.”
Flathead residents can hear those growing-up songs and other selections Saturday when Oliver plays at the Craggy Range with Trego-based Pterodactyl Plains and other guest musicians. The show will launch Oliver’s first-ever tour, which will take her across Montana and the Pacific Northwest over the next several weeks.
“It’s been hectic getting everything together [for the tour],” she said. “Since I’m completely independent, I’m doing a lot of the work myself, but I’m really excited.”
Saturday’s show begins at 9:30 p.m. There is no cover charge.
For additional information or to preview songs from Oliver’s album, visit danielleoliver.com.
Reporter Kristi Albertson may be reached at 758-4438 or at kalbertson@dailyinterlake.com. - The Daily Interlake

"Danielle Oliver Interview"

Whats your myspace link or any other link you want to give us?
www.myspace.com/danielleoliver my EPK is at www.sonicbids.com/danielleoliver

Who are you and where are you all from?
Currently, I am playing solo acoustic shows and writing more originals! I am from Whitefish, Montana, and beautiful ski town near Glacier National Park.

How was your band formed?
so far "I" was formed through a lot of piano lessons, family musicians, and drive to speak my mind and passions:) I may be forming a live gigging band soon.

What band has influenced you the most?
That's a hard one...I'd have to say Jewel...no Tori Amos.

What do you try to have people get out of your music?
I love people and think that humans need to start caring about themselves and their souls and bodies...sometimes I simply want to share an emotion to the audience through a song that they can identify with like in "Marks". Other times, I'm trying to get people to think! for themselves! In "Adrienne" I speak about a girl's loss of innocence which is "rite of passage" type theme that I've found in a couple of my originals.

What inspries your lyrics? What are they all about?
love, loss ("beautiful listening" is about my dad's death a few years ago), realizing the inner person in all of us and learning how to listen to him or her, being un-influenced by the world, girls standing up for themselves and their bodies, being real in a world that sometimes feels so fake and heartless one feels lost. My experiences inspire my songs most. (dad's death, breakups, new cities, living experiences, heartache, and right now new love:)

What makes you different from other musicians out there?
I've really stayed true to my style and genre. I haven't "succumbed" to writing simple-minded pop. I would have to say my music is more intelligent alternative. I was a creative writing major in college and I can't help but sneek in metaphors and alliteration sometimes. haha. I love making people think and discover new things each time they hear one of my songs over again. Also, most bands right now promote promiscuity in some fashion. I don't. I also had classical voice training, so I like to think that's one of my best qualities.

Have a CD out? How can we get it?
I have so much material, but right now I am working on a debut album. soon:) best to visit myspace or see me live!

If you could play with an popular band out there, who?
Tor Amos

If you could give advice to a starting band or musician, what would you say?
Oh boy. Um, promote, a lot. grow a tough skin. LA is so superficial and there is so much art to choose from. find a niche and an audience that you appeal to.

Got any crazy or wild stories youd like to share?
In february, I was driving back to my house in Montana from Banff in a blizzard, drove off the road, and rolled my car:( I was ok, but without any cell service and any drive-byers, I had to crawl out the back window and climb up to the road until someone came by. totaled my car. I do believe in angels

Do you have any upcoming shows?
Oct. 9th at 10pm at Jimmy's Acoustic Courtyard! info at my myspace.

What do you think about UFOs?
I'm kinda scared of em. blue, green, yellow. All of them. heard they can be orange too.

Whats your view on the war going on today?
I'm from montana,and I'm in no way as liberal as many artists, but I don't feel that the war on iraq is greatly beneficial... I think we're in a tough spot right now and I have mixed feelings. I don't think it was the answer to start with. I also am a strong believer and supporter of our troops.

What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
my mother is Ausrian and filled our home with opera and strauss. My dad wasn't as big into music except for john denver, johnny cash, cat stevens...I grew up on classical music. Later I investigated music myself. I liked alanis and third eye blind and sheryl crow

What do you think of Big Smile Magazine?
You all seem awsome! I am really happy to be doing this interview

Anything else you want to say to fans or anyone reading this interview? support local music and expand your musical horizons beyond the mainstream.

Thanks! =] - Big Smile Magazine


Sun For Snow EP

Released Feb. 2011

Recorded and mixed at SnowGhost Music
Produced and Arranged by Brett Allen
All songs written by Danielle Oliver

Track 1. Intro
Track 2. Advice
Track 3. Casualty of Me
Track 4. Adrienne
Track 5. Grey
Track 6. Will I Like You?



With an Austrian mother and American father, Danielle Oliver grew up speaking German in the quaint ski town, Whitefish, Montana, and refers to Vienna as her second home. At age 6, Danielle recalls jumping up and down when her mother asked if she wanted to begin piano lessons. Fortunately, this vigor and excitement for music has only increased with the years. She wrote her first song on Valentine's Day at age 11, and with the support of a musical family, studied classical music into college.

She finally diverted paths from studying as a music major to creating music all her own. Using her creative writing degree, Danielle's lyrics are often complex and intelligent, yet profoundly honest. She mixes raw stories about the reality of life's circumstances, the realizations that come with growing up, and her father's passing with light and free melodies built on a foundation of eclectic sounds and ornate instrumentation including banjo, mellotron, organ, and glockenspiel.

After several years in LA, Danielle finally returned in 2010 to her home state of Montana where she teamed up with Producer Brett Allen (Death Cab For Cutie, Dan Deacon) of SnowGhost music to record her debut album "Sun For Snow EP". Released Feb 23, 2011 with a release show at the House of Blues, West Hollywood, CA, the EP has 6 unique tracks,all which bring a new, fresh twist to the world of pop singer/songwriters.