Queer musician Josephine Olivia looks so ‘Happy In Hell’ that we couldn’t refrain from getting to know her better. Her looks and attitude are quite provocative, edgy and, well yea, hellish. We’re into it!
Who are you?
I am a queer musician living in Maryland. I’ve lived all over, but Baltimore MD has always felt the most like home! I’ve been writing songs since i was 12, after the loss of my step father. I’ve always felt akin to death and grief. Most of my songs have been focused on those themes. My newest project, Aertex, is based much around death. COVID has really wiped out a lot of joy for me, but I’ve found respite in writing and being creative.
My boyfriend Chris Moore and i started Aertex, and we have a full album coming soon. It’s been amazing to have a partner to write and record songs with… honestly it’s kept me moderately sane in all this. I also have solo music under my name Josephine Olivia, and another project called Vosh ( w Owen Ross) which has released a few songs too!
Tell us about your music and ‘Happy In Hell’
The video I’m sharing with you all is called “happy in Hell” and it’s about one of my first gay relationships. I wrote it about a girl i was in love with in high school (we are friends to this day). It’s about having someone and losing them- being totally consumed with someone that you lose yourself in the process. It’s a common theme in a lot of my work! My band Aertex is also releasing an album very soon! Stay tuned for that
You seem to be dabbling with modeling as well. How did you get started in the fashion industry?
Honestly i don’t have a huge connection to the fashion world. I worked retail forever and it SUCKED haha! But i do love fashion. I love making a statement with what i wear. Aesthetics are hugely important to me. I like to curate an entire mood with what i wear/ what i create musically. Fashion and music go hand in hand in many ways i think. It’s all about expression- making a statement before you even open your mouth.
Why do you model? Is there something that inspires you particularly?
I enjoy modeling because i enjoy art- i like to use my body to tell a story. I model mostly for friends, a favorite being Busted Brand. A queer run label out of LA. It’s latex, fetishware for everyday. It’s incredibly sexy and empowering to wear it. I like to put it all out there so others feel comfortable doing the same.
What is your favorite part about being an artist and creative?
Pre covid, i loved touring. I loved being in a new place everyday and meeting new people. Playing with bands and people i look up to and enjoy. Also performing in and of itself is a form of therapy for me. So I’d say that’s what i miss the most. Connecting with people in a very intense / no bullshit kind of way.
What is your least favorite part about the entertainment industry today?
There’s a lot HA! I mean at the root of it all, i despise capitalism and what it does to us as humans. I think it disconnects us all from each other. I think (esp in fashion industry) that we NEED something to make us whole, because we are lacking something. That’s bullshit. Also pushing the illusion that we need to be a certain size shape or color.
In terms of the music biz, i think musicians ans artists should be paid more. The constant obsession with quantity over quality- i gues the same goes for fashion. The demand for constant production from artists for VERY little return monetarily is horrible. Companies like Spotify pay musicians nothing while they line their pockets with our hard work. So yeah i think there needs to be a huge change when it comes to royalties/ how artists are being paid. Especially in America, the arts need more funding PERIOD!
What would you change in the fashion scene today?
Fast fashions gotta go. It’s fucked for so many reasons. Slave labor, the environment- we have to change these things. Our obsession with stuff over human lives. That’s my big issue with it. I think we need to come together and put our money into small ethical brands that don’t exploit people.
What is your advice for young creatives and artists?
Don’t give up. If it’s what you love, don’t give up. Trust your own vision. Shortcuts won’t pay off. Do it the right way, even if it’s more difficult. If you stay persistent and stick with it, you’ll find success. Just keep at it!! Also- work with people. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Work with your community and find your people. If you have the right team with you, you’ll be unstoppable.
What are your main inspirations style-wise?
Honestly there is so much I’m inspired by, and it’s constantly changing. Crimson Peak is my fav movie and the romantic spookiness has played a role in my everyday choices haha.
What are your plans for the near future?
Aertex is finishing up our debut album and working on some videos! That has been taking up much of my time. I’m very excited about it. We have a tour (hopefully) in November, so I’ll be preparing to make those shows extra special!! We were asked to join Rocky Road touring, which handles bands like Bauhaus and Killing Joke- so it’s been exciting to prepare for bigger and better things!
Director of photography/ editor / lighting/
(Myself) and Taylor Keating
Unit photographer/ production assistant
Song written and performed by me
Produced and recorded by