California's Olivia O'Brien is a vocalist with a bent toward dance-oriented electronic pop and emotive balladry. She made her breakthrough in the late 2010s on her collaboration with gnash, "i hate u, i love u," which peaked in the Top Ten of the Hot 100.
Born in Thousand Oaks, California in 1999, O'Brien grew up singing from a young age and taught herself to play guitar and piano. By her teens, she was writing her own songs, as well as posting cover songs online. Eventually, she caught the ear of Los Angeles-based singer/rapper/producer gnash, whose song "Disposable" she had covered. He requested to hear her original material, and they began collaborating. In 2015, they posted their version of her song "i hate u, i love you" online. The following year, gnash included the song on his debut EP, us, and released it commercially as a single. It immediately caught on, hitting number one in Australia and landing in the Top Ten in the U.S.
In August of 2016, O'Brien released her debut solo single, "Trust Issues." Several more singles followed, including "Root Beer Float" featuring Blackbear, "Find What You're Looking For," "Empty," and "RIP." The latter two tracks appeared on her 2017 EP, It's Not That Deep (Island). The following year, she hopped onto "Beg" with Jack & Jack, later recruiting G-Eazy and Drew Love for a remix of "RIP." Late 2018 saw the arrival of the singles "UDK," "I Don't Exist," and "I Care More" ahead of the release of her first full-length effort, Was It Even Real?, which arrived in spring 2019. ~ Matt Collar