Women in Music 2016
Watch Billboard and American Express' 'Women in Music: Inspiring a Generation' Video
Bozoma Saint John Accepts Executive of the Year Honor at Women In Music 2016: 'We're Knocking Dudes Out of the Way to Make Room for You'
Madonna Delivers Her Blunt Truth During Fiery, Teary Billboard Women In Music Speech
Kesha Accepts Trailblazer Award at Billboard Women in Music 2016: 'Don't Let Anyone Take Your Happiness'
Exclusive Premiere: Olivia Somerlyn's 'Parachute' Video
The Nick Jonas collaborator even did her own stunts in this video.
When most of her peers were hanging out in the mall and coming up with creative ways to avoid doing their homework, Olivia Somerlyn was honing her skills as a songwriter.
Somerlyn tells Billboard she's been "writing songs since about 13." While attending high school in San Francisco, she spent weekends in Los Angeles "to try to meet people in the [music] industry," hoping to "start co-writing and get some of my songs produced."
It all paid off -- Somerlyn's single, "Parachute," is getting play on Sirius XM Hits 1, and a remix is currently sitting at No. 2 on the Dance Club Songs chart. Today, Billboard premieres the new video for her hit.
"Parachute" came together with a little help from Nick Jonas -- who is enjoying his own success right now with "Jealous" (No. 28 on the Hot 100). Somerlyn's relationship with the Jonas family reaches back several years. During a chance meeting at an L.A. restaurant, they "hit it off" -- "fate, I guess," says Somerlyn. They became friends over time, and Somerlyn eventually opened for the Jonas Brothers on tour. She's also opened for Jessie J, Big Time Rush, and Victoria Justice.
Somerlyn always admired "Nick's songwriting and production talents," and says it was "a big dream... to work on a song with him." She came up with the idea for the song. Meanwhile, Nick happened to be "working on this track and this melody and it just really fit." The result, "Parachute," is smooth and dance-friendly, with the kind of kick-drum and piano that fits well next to uptempo hits from Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.
Some artists let a director take the reins during the making of a music video, but Somerlyn was heavily involved in all aspects, paying attention to the small details -- she designed her own outfit -- and the big picture, "the overall aesthetic." (She credits her interest in design to her mother.)
Somerlyn even did her own stunts, which left her with plenty of bruises after the shoot. It was especially hot filming in the desert outside Los Angeles. "We were all delirious," she jokes.
"I'm excited to see what happens with 'Parachute'... and happy to finally have something like this video that really conveys who I am and what I want to be as an artist," Somerlyn says.
There is more music in the works, either an EP or an album, but Somerlyn hasn't decided yet. She's been working for long enough to know there's no need to rush.