Photography/Dylan Perlot

Olivia Castriota: A Singer-Songwriter’s Story to the Stage

Story by Ally Waltemyer for YRK Magazine

York County native and singer-songwriter Olivia Castriota released her latest single “Weekend Lover” on August 3. Combining her two favorite genres, pop and soul, Olivia created a super catchy feel-good tune about the intimate routine of a romantic relationship. Following up on “Weekend Lover,” her newest single “Pretty Girl” debuts September 28.

The Journey to the Microphone

From a young age, Olivia knew she was destined to be a musician. As a little girl with just a hairbrush and a room full of posters, Olivia had already settled into her destiny. Her passion never faded even as she began to grow up.

When she was a teenager, she found support from the schools and programs around her. In high school, she immersed herself in musical theater at Susquehannock High School and Stewartstown Summer Theater. She would also sit in during demo recording sessions at York College of Pennsylvania. Years later, while she was attending YCP as a student, she filled her schedule with musical activities like the a cappella group Rhapsody and a role as a radio DJ for WVYC-FM.

“All of these years of performing really helped me develop my stage presence and inspired me to think of performing professionally,” says Olivia. “I always wanted to be surrounded by music.”

Jeffrey Schiffman, lecturer in communication at YCP and WVYC station manager, says, “Hearing her music on the WVYC radio today serves as an example of a student following and accomplishing their dreams. I was thrilled that the quality of the recording and performance was something that could be played on her alma mater’s radio station, WVYC.”

Learning Through Leg Up Farm

As the daughter of Leg Up Farm founder Louie Castriota Jr., Olivia can remember watching her father’s dream become a reality at a young age. Seeing every step of the process firsthand really affected her. She was there observing every step of the way, from blueprints to actual buildings and playgrounds. It didn’t take long for her to realize that her father’s dream of being able to positively impact children with special needs and their families was going to come true. “I learned how important it is to give back to the community. It taught me to always rally for the underdog and be open to helping people however I can.”

Growing up with Leg Up Farm taught Olivia that staying determined will lead to success. “The only way to be successful is to put in the time and effort your passion requires,” says Olivia. “If you can’t figure out a solution to the problem immediately you must keep looking because giving up isn’t an option. So get out there and make it happen!”

Living the Dream

Today, Olivia loves every detail about her career and building her brand. She lives for the rehearsals, hair and makeup, pep talks, lights, cameras and crowds.

Olivia inspires those around her with her music. With her powerhouse voice and iconic topknot, Olivia constantly leaves a positive impact on the people she knows and works with. Fellow musician Madison Malone says, “I fell in love with her sounds right away. It radiates.” Creative director and stylist Dina Vibes enjoys collaborating with Olivia because “[her music] influences me creatively and emotionally. I’m working side by side with Olivia on the styling ideas, branding, music video concepts and visuals. Plus, emotionally, I know firsthand where all her songs stem from.”

Her friend of 18 years and York College alum Annie Swade adds, “Olivia’s music embodies who she is with her adventurous spirit and raw attitude … every song she writes is personal and delivers such truth. There’s so much beauty in each song.”

The emotion she receives from the audience fuels her passion for performance. It’s a unique feeling Olivia hopes to never lose. “When I open my mouth to sing and watch the mood shift, it’s incredible,” says Olivia, “receiving the energy, the love and the appreciation that crowd gives you and knowing that for 60 minutes you gave them a piece of yourself that you’ll never get back. I never want that feeling to go away.” Today, you can listen to Olivia’s newest single “Pretty Girl” and stream “Weekend Lover” on Spotify, Apple MusicAmazon Music and everywhere else music is sold. Watch the official “Weekend Lover” music video. Keep up with Olivia on Instagram, Facebook and her official website.

Olivia Castriota photo by Dylan Perlot, hair by Helene Marie, styling by Dina Vibes and makeup by Kasey Adam Spickard

28 Sep