Lifting People Up with Robyn Ottolini
Robyn Ottolini describes herself as a “regular human being” who is also the “unashamed, girl next door”, and she likes to party.
Robyn emerged as a new artist in 2020 when travel restrictions were in place due to the pandemic. This made it extremely difficult to make a name for herself in Nashville, where she currently resides.
“…I had a lot of people in The States who wanted to talk to me. I’m from Canada, so crossing the border was very complicated in the pandemic. So I feel like that was hard and it kind of stalled my connections in a way, but it still worked out! I still got to Nashville! So I think that was the hardest part, not being able to be in the same rooms as these new teams that I was working with. I was not able to hit the ground running, but hey, we all got hit by the pandemic….”
She first realized that her career was about to reach new heights while she was on a trip to Vancouver. Around the time that her song, “F-150” was released, she said that at least 500 people were listening to it at the same time. This was out of the ordinary for Ottolini:
“I usually had 30 people listening at a time, so I was like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ Then the next day, I checked my streams and it was just skyrocketing and I think then I was like, ‘Oh! Something might be happening right now!’ It’s still going! It’s insane!”
Today, Robyn hoped that people would love her current single, “Match for My Memory” just as much.
“I want people to listen to this song and feel powerful and unforgettable and special. I think a lot of breakup songs can focus on the sadness and being like, ‘What if you forget me?’ and ‘Are you going to miss me?’”
“And I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s just say they’re going to miss us and let’s just say we’re unforgettable.’ …That’s the song! You cannot forget me! Sorry!”
Robyn has had many unforgettable experiences over the last three years, from winning her first CCMA Award to co-hosting The CMA Ontario Awards with Jason McCoy, and now opening for Shania Twain multiple times. Not only has this journey been exciting for Robyn, but also her family.
“.…My mom is such a huge Jason fan, so she was like, ‘Jason was talking to me!’” She laughed.
“I think my mom is one of my biggest role models because she’s just so irreverent! Things that I might think are big, she thinks are small and vice versa. So I learned to definitely get a new perspective because of her—and then Shania Twain! I mean, Shania Twain and Hannah Montana are my whole world!”
“When I found out that I was going to be opening for Shania at Boots and Hearts, I was shocked. I don’t do surprises well so I just sit there really still and don’t say anything. It’s like I’m having 10 conversations in my head and I cannot have a conversation or a reaction…. I just kind of sat there and stared at a wall because I was just in shock!” Robyn will also be joining Shania for a portion of The Queen of Me Tour.
She added, “I am so looking forward to the Shania Twain tour which is going to start in June! I’m excited for all of the new music I’m going to be releasing this year and I am excited to be connecting with fans again!”
As a fan of Hannah Montana, Ottolini often included “The Best of Both Worlds” and a number of other songs from her childhood on her set list, but the medley has since changed.
“….I feel like you can learn a lot about someone by the songs that they were raised on. So I’m building a new show now for this year and I’ve done kind of the same structure, but all different songs. So I’m very excited for people to hear the new ones! ...Fingers crossed it will be as cool!”
Robyn has also put a lot of thought into her merchandise. As part of The Zero to Sixty Tour with Tim Hicks, Robyn began printing her images onto hundreds of clothing items that came from thrift stores.
“I thrift all of my clothes, so I just wanted to make sure that my brand followed my morale and what I believe in. So I wanted to thrift them all. Now that I’m getting bigger, I have sourced some shirts that are 100% recycled cotton and used plastic from the ocean. So we’re going to have the thrifted merch and also more sustainable black t-shirts— the more normal merch that you would see. It’s very exciting! I think it’s important. The world is having a hard time.”
In an attempt to make the world a better place, Robyn Ottolini chooses to be kind—especially when it comes to supporting other artists. Sometimes, it can be as easy as clicking a button:
“I think being kind and lifting people up and commenting, liking and sharing people’s posts and songs can go such a long way and it’s free to do. I always have people’s names on my tongue when I’m rooms. I think that’s very important. So is just listening! It’s so easy to listen to amazing music!”
Finally, for anyone else wishing to make music, Robyn offered the following advice: “I would say, just be yourself. You’ll find your people and you’ll find your sound, and don’t be scared! No fear! Just go for it!”
For more information, please visit www.robynottolini.com.
Photo by Connor Scheffler.
If you liked this story, please consider making a donation here.