Hard work is something that isn’t new to the multi-talented Olga Wilhemine. An accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor, as well as a partial owner of recording label 219, loyalty to her dreams is a priority.
Unlike most artists, Wilhemine didn’t discover her voice in a church choir or strolling down the street humming a familiar song.
A broken heart did all the work for her.
After she discovered a neighbor’s dog had attacked and killed her pet rabbit, the only thing the toddler could do was cry and hum a tune that lead to writing a song.
Little did she know, that was the spark that ignited her ambition.
“I didn’t know what I was feeling as I child, but I can remember feeling great sorrow and pain,” Wilhemine said.
Raised by her mother, an Austrian-Native, the two would sing daily and listen to Austrian Folk music. Trained by her mother to sing and harmonize, the toddler caught on and perfected the craft of music.
With a new album available on iTunes, “Whatever You Want” and a new single, “Take Your Time,” under just her first name, “Olga,” Wilhemine’s sound is calm and hopeful. Unlike most pop singers, Wilhemine’s style comes across as somewhat of a friend, with soulful and fierce, yet comforting lyrics. Her voice tells a story all it’s own- one that sounds as if it has been through just enough, to tell you how to deal with life and ways to get by.
“Many of the songs that I wrote are universal,” Wilhemine said. “A lot of the songs I wrote were from years ago. When people listen to my music, I want them to think from their heart and connect with themselves on a spiritually level, which encourages them to follow their heart and discover their own resolution during a hard time or problem they may be having in life.”
After three prior albums, “Blues Babes,” “Kiss your Baby Away” and “Now is the Time,” Wilhemine has claimed “Whatever You Want” as her favorite one yet. With 14 soulful songs on the album, each one tells its own story and touches all eras of life. They all play off of different musical conventions as well, which makes it hard to place her in one category, but bluegrass, blues, pop and soul flavors are all there.
“I would have to say I would put my music in the category of pop,” says Olga. “But my music is rooted in with blues and country blues. Blues has a lot of soul.”
Wilhemine doesn’t share her current CD with any other artists but has a few musicians she’d love to share the stage with.
“Lady Hawk, Snoop Dog, Los Lobos, John Hyatt, The Roots, Mary J Blidge and Jill Scott,” she said.
Her music is very distinctive; Wilhemine isn’t your classic storyteller songwriter. She doesn’t want her music to be useless words. She rather her listeners have positive words that would have an effect on their lives. She is a deeper and more spiritual than most artists. The energy of her music puts you in a vibe to think and contemplate on taking your time with life. Her love songs are asexual and represent everyone.
“My music is distinctive because of the subject matter I write about. I tend to write more from a spiritual and emotional place. I definitely write from a more guttural and instinctual perspective, that’s why my songs are more blues based,” she said.
Wilhemine’s is far from a simple country girl. She’s no amateur to the entertainment business, with four albums under her belt and countless features in films such as HBO’s “Treme,” “The Mechanic,” “Knucklehead,” she a is more than just a singer.
Aside from working in acting and music, Wilhemine is simple as apple pie. She just wants to “remain positive and happy.“ She wants the world to listen to her music with an open-mind.
“I just want people to main a positive attitude and try to find the beauty in everything,” Wilhemine says. “Even if it’s a broken sewer line or a first class ticket to Rome, just enjoy the moment and remember it.”