We talked about her booming music career, the controversy behind her firing at Just Kidding Films, and making money while pursuing her dream of being a professional musician.
Originally published in the Dope Music issue.
Late 2014, I met Olivia Thai for the first time when she happened to use our Amped Asia studio for a music video.
At the time, I admit I didn’t know much about her except for the fact she was a singer on YouTube. I didn’t even know that she was formerly a part of Just Kidding Films, one of the more popular YouTube channels.
I also didn’t realize that Olivia Thai was an actual child prodigy. Something that she vehemently denies. Nor did I realize how extremely talented she is. Of course, her humility prevents her from admitting any of it.
“I think all my music sucks…” She tells me. We’re sitting at Ten Ren’s Tea Time in Monterey Park, and I’m interviewing her for this article. Psh. Yeah right. I was thinking to myself. You’re like that one overachiever in High School who got all As but was still not happy with her grades.
The shitty part about this interview was that I was about an hour late, which she laughs off. “Don’t worry, Kevin. I just wrote a song while I was waiting.” Just to let you know, Olivia, I felt really really bad about being so late that day.
But it wasn’t all fun and games, she tells me. “I learned the hard way that you should never mix business with pleasure. After all I did for them, it was a heartbreaking experience how I was eventually ‘let go’.”
After Just Kidding Films abruptly fired her, Thai decided to release a statement publicly online regarding the reason she was let go. That created a firestorm of controversy from several sources.
Basically, she claimed that Just Kidding Films used her as an “unpaid intern” which is illegal to do in California. Then they tossed her aside when she brought up that she should get paid. She eventually did get paid. $1200 total. For thousands of hours of work spanning over 2 years. But when they tossed her aside, she got angry and decided to vent to the public. Whether that was the right move or not, she says she doesn’t know, but she felt that it was her duty to reveal the unfair business practices that JK Films was employing.
“But it doesn’t really matter. I’m over the whole situation now. I’ve forgiven and forgotten. I’ve moved on. I’m at a good place.”
She’s now moving on to bigger and better things. Like songwriting and singing.
“Actually, 3 weeks ago was my first open mic. They liked it and invited me to showcase again. Which was a really big deal for me.”
As we all know, the life of an entertainer is very hard. EXTREMELY hard. Like how do you pay the bills? But luckily for Olivia Thai, she already knew that and made a backup plan. About 3 years ago she started a music academy.
“I started a company called MUSIQUE. Today I have over a dozen instructors and it pretty much runs by itself. That’s how I pay my bills so I can devote my time to my passion, which is singing and songwriting.”
Olivia Thai took her passion of music and turned it into a very profitable business so that she could then pursue her own dreams. It’s working out really well.
“Today I’m shopping my songs to some big name artists,” she tells me.
“Well I can’t really tell you.”
“Off the record. C’mon.” My puppy dog eyes come out to play.
“Okay fine, it’s _____ & _____ . But you can’t TELL ANYONE,” Thai says.
Her career trajectory looks to be on an amazing path, but it’s still not a walk in the park. Currently she’s part of a new band which is signed to a major label, and she’s also trying to figure out whether she should sell her songs or try to debut them as an artist.
“That’s the tough part. I just want my songs to be out there. But I don’t know if my voice is the best way. That’s why I’m leaning towards selling my music to some major artists instead.”
Either way, Olivia Thai’s future is extremely bright, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for her career. She’s only in her mid-20s, and she’s done more than most women twice her age.
Get more Olivia Thai:
You might also like
More from Blog
The Nintendo Switch has been revolutionary when it comes to portable gaming. It's been such huge demand since its debut …