On hearing that someone is a “life coach”, “working on a script” or a “DJ”, one is always tempted to raise an eyebrow, and yet when we saw young Olivia Dawn spin at a designer-brand party, with her elfin frame, painted lips and obligatory oversize headphones, her concentration and stamina were impressive. What’s more, when she brought out a violin to accompany the tune she was playing, she brought the house down.
A Julliard School graduate and Berklee College of Music double-master’s grad in classical violin and contemporary performance and music technology, Dawn plays live-wire sets that have perked up TedxBerkleeValencia, the World Business Forum Madrid, the Palo Market Fest in Barcelona, and Clockenflap here in Hong Kong. But what was life like in hallowed Julliard?
“I thought I was going to get something out of it: become a classical instrumentalist or work in an orchestra,” Dawn says. “But I came out wanting to write songs, and that led me to Berklee, where I ended up doing a year of jazz violin and went on to DJ-ing.”
Dawn is now working on a remix with a Hong Kong celebrity. Gigs at W and Volar follow, then she’ll head to a festival in Australia before meetings in London and France with collaborators. “I don’t do just one thing,” she says. “I’m passionate about music, about thinking outside of the box, always chasing dreams. I play violin and I sing, I write, I produce, and I don’t think you should give up on anything, so I don’t.”