While I sat waiting in downtown Rochester’s Bean and Leaf café for Olivia Millerschin, I couldn’t help but feel some pre-interview jitters.
Millerschin, a Rochester-born recording artist, has recently been getting much buzz after her participation on the national TV show, America’s Got Talent.
Though Millerschin is a busy person, she agreed to take out time from her day to meet for a feature story in Shield.
My pre-interview nervousness, however, was unneeded. Millerschin arrived, a pleasant breath of fresh air. After a bit of conversation, she was happy to share with me how she got to where she is now.
As far as her journey to reality television, Millerschin was actually involved in several other music competition shows before her America’s Got Talent debut.
She has been scouted on numerous occasions for others such as American Idol and The Voice. Millerschin and two of her companions joined the ranks of fellow contestants on “America’s Got Talent” after she was contacted by the show in December 2013. Millerschin, along with long-time friend Matt Heim and past collaborator Sammy Affer, auditioned in New Jersey for the 2014 season of the reality talent show as Livy, Matt and Sammy: an acoustic indie band.
Following rave reviews from the judges at the live auditions, the trio went on to perform in several rounds, meeting fellow contestants and growing as people and artists. The group made it to the quarterfinals, where it was ultimately eliminated following its assigned cover performance of “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.
The part of the story that many missed through only watching the show, however, is Millerschin’s solo career preceding and following her time in the trio. She wishes show viewers could have seen her passions more clearly.
“I am a 19-year-old woman,” she said. “Not that I want to be a sex symbol in any way, but I am not just the girl with the ukulele.”
Fans of the show who followed her on social media throughout the duration of the season got to know and appreciate her one-of-a-kind personality and solo art.
Millerschin began her independent career as a singer-songwriter when she transcribed and recorded her first tracks at the age of 15. Although this beginning work is generally “kept on the down-low,” she said what she has learned since that time has been invaluable to her personally and as a musician.
When I asked who inspired her musical pursuits, she shared that her grandmother was a classically trained opera singer. As a young child, Millerschin wanted nothing more than to grow up to be just like her grandmother.
Millerschin went through classical training as a young singer and said her instruction made her much more well rounded than she would have been without the experience.
This training helped her to understand the difference between singing in a healthy manner that supports a lifetime’s worth of performances or crooning in a way that is damaging to one’s body and capability.
Millerschin is appreciative of her operatic background because she said she is comfortable with singing notes just as high or varied as many other well-known belting artists, but she can do so in a way that will not harm her voice in the long run.
Millerschin said her first experiences performing came during her time at Rochester Adams High School, when she played small gigs inside local coffee shops and other venues. She was able to meet many amazing people and accrue a small group of admirers during this time, and Millerschin credits this experience as key to where she is now.
Before continuing classical training in college, Millerschin went on tour during her senior year at Adams, promoting her then freshly released debut album, “Yes, No Maybe So.” During this time, she joined fellow artists Teddy Geiger and Ryan Cabrera on their cross-country conquest.
Touring was so successful that she was able to connect again with Teddy for a second tour the following season.
In 2014, shortly after touring, Millerschin began her freshman year of college. She studied fine arts and majored in music at a school in Cleveland, Ohio.
Quickly, she realized that college was not the path she wanted to pursue, and she moved back home to focus on her music career full time.
After releasing her sophomore album, “Over The Weather,” in May 2014, Millerschin became reacquainted with the tour lifestyle, and she has promoted her most recent work all across the U.S. throughout the final months of this year.
What’s to Come
“In the future, I’d really love to work with everybody!” Millerschin said, addressing those with whom she aspires to collaborate. “I think it would be amazing to work with John Mayer or maybe Coldplay some day. I feel as if the vocals would be a great pairing with either.”
In the coming year, look out for Millerschin’s next album and spring tour dates, as well as two of her tracks that will be featured in major films.
The soundtrack for the narrative documentary, The Bully Chronicles, includes her song ”I Can Say.” Additionally, one other movie that cannot be named at this time will feature a specially written record by Millerschin.
If you would like updates on Millerschin’s personal life, recording endeavors and much more, join in on her fun through her SoundCloud and social media links included below.
Photo credits to NBC and JLB Photography.