by Dave Smith
To her growing legions of followers, singer-songwriter Olivia Millerschin of Rochester Hills is gaining star status.
Her song “I Can Say” was chosen for MTV’s “Finding Carter” that aired in mid-December and the same song was used in the motion picture “A Girl Like Her” last spring. Adding to her impressive list of credits, Olivia’s song “Carry Me” will be used in the upcoming film “Sominio.”
It began in 2012 when her musical grandmother urged her to strap on her guitar and seek a gig at a local coffee house, singing songs she had written. Soon it became a weekly session with a rising fan base. She was only 17.
Now a lithe 20 and with scores of her own songs in her portfolio and a ukulele and keyboard added to her capabilities, Olivia has come a long way. Unlike many rock-focused newcomers her songs and soft singing style may be described as a cross between traditional ballads and folk music.
While initially she was mainly a single act, she now performs as well in duos, trios and with a full band. And from that inauspicious start Olivia has climbed to national prominence while maintaining a major presence in the Detroit area, where she also performs to support charitable causes.
Appearing frequently with Mitch Albom on Detroit radio WJR and on local TV, Olivia also has performed in all major metro Detroit venues including the Fox and Fisher theaters, the Ark, Majic Bag, and Detroit Opera House. And perhaps the biggest stage of all, Radio City Music Hall in New York, where in 2014 she was a quarter-finalist in NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Most recently she was among 13 singers in the CD produced by Republic Records for Albom’s new book, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” and sang live at the book’s introduction gala in November at the Fox.
Last summer she also sang the haunting spiritual “I’ll Fly Away” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in a documentary produced by Albom about Federal Judge Damon Keith.
Her upcoming local appearances include the Bling Pig in Ann Arbor Jan.31 and the Howell Opera House Feb.27.
As news of her unique talent has spread, Olivia also has performed solo or as an opener in London, Los Angeles, Chicago and at 30 U.S. colleges and universities. And, incidentally, at a wedding in Oregon where she was commissioned to sing one of her popular original songs, “I Want to Grow Old With You.”
Songs she has written and recorded have been used in a variety of ways including “Screw Valentine’s Day” as background music at Kohls.
Her songwriting talent has produced numerous accolades. She was a winner the a John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2014, a finalist in both the Detroit Music Awards and the Los Angeles Music Critics Awards in 2013 and 2014, and placed second this year in the “Land the Big Gig” contest at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival.
Having produced one album and an EP, Olivia’s second album will arrive next spring.
You might say that the career of a young lady, who sang publicly for the first time in a coffee house just three years ago, is humming.
(To book Olivia, contact Erin Millerschin at email@example.com or phone 248-701-5828).
Photo Credit Top Picture: Deanna Carpenter