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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Suffolk alum Olivia Lowe finds her spotlight

Olivia Lowe
Suffolk alum Olivia Lowe released her first single “tucked away” in July 2021 as she explores herself as a musician.

Olivia Lowe, a Boston-based musician and Suffolk University alumnus, said she has recently thought of quitting her job as a music instructor.

“I found myself starting to tear up and cry at the thought of leaving my students,” Lowe said. “I can’t just abandon them… I’m keeping them interested in music.”

When discussing the students she works with at Jammin’ With You, a music school based in Wellesley where she has worked since 2019, Lowe’s excitement, brought on by her own earnestness, is evident.

This role has become personal for Lowe, bringing her back to the days when she herself sat in music lessons, learning the flute from ages eight to 16. To her, these children are not only students, but reflections of her younger self growing up in a world where music equals comfort.

Lowe said she found herself to be something of an introvert growing up, which led her to look toward music as an escape from reality. 

“In high school, I would constantly have headphones on me in case I needed to leave the classroom and listen to something real quick,” she said.

In contrast to her high school self, Lowe’s diffidence became absent as she began attending concerts. She said that live music is more of a distraction from everyday anxieties, noting that outside of concerts, she feels a sense of claustrophobia, yet within the walls of music venues, that claustrophobia disappears.

Her love for live music became more tangible when she enrolled in Suffolk, where Lowe joined the theater program as well as The Ramifications, one of the university’s a cappella groups. 

“I think that theater helped me be okay with being in front of people because I wasn’t being myself,” Lowe said, giving credit to theater, a world she remains grateful for.

After graduating from Suffolk in 2018, Lowe no longer had a program set in place for her to play music nor to further her education in the field. Instead, she found her own ways to keep music close to her.

In July 2021, Lowe took an important step for a career in music, releasing her single “tucked away” on streaming platforms.

“Tucked away,” a charming folk tune, sits alone in Lowe’s discography, being the only track released yet in her catalog. Nevertheless, Lowe keeps busy in other ways.

During the last year, Lowe has begun playing with The Far Out, a seven-piece band that mixes funk and rock music with elements of jazz and dance, giving Lowe a chance to show off her eclectic set of skills on the flute, banjo, guitar and vocals.

“I’m not putting aside my solo stuff,” Lowe insisted,  “It’s more that my excitement for the band was so much that I decided to take a little side step from it.”

Lowe excitedly spoke of a show The Far Out played for a college graduation party, calling it one of her favorite gigs she’s played yet.

“We ended up playing for four full hours for a bunch of drunk college graduates. It was phenomenal, Lowe said. “We ended up at one point being a live karaoke track because they wanted to play ‘Mr. Brightside’ and ‘Party in the USA,’ which were not things we had practiced but luckily I work with a bunch of talented musicians so we are able to just bust that out.”

While watching clips of The Far Out playing live, it’s hard to believe Lowe was ever anything but extroverted. 

For instance, in a clip of the band playing a rendition of St. Paul & the Broken Bones’ “Call Me,” Lowe’s magnitude of stage presence is electric, her smile is contagious, and her confidence is exuberant, skills that even an extrovert can fail to accomplish when stepping on stage.

Her excitement translated into our conversation, with Lowe’s cadence quickly growing giddier and giddier every time she touched on what it feels like to work with a group of multi-instrumentalists. 

The Far Out’s performances are akin to the musical performances she was a part of throughout her school years, with each band member visibly giving their all to not only one song, but the performance as a whole. At times, it feels less like a band and more like a theater company. But most of the time, it feels like one big family.

Lowe said she is working on some upcoming releases in her solo career. 

“I have a couple of singles planned and a ten or 11-song album planned,” she said, it is apparent that there’s no rush for her.

“I have fun with it,” Lowe said about her solo work. “It’s just an outlet for me to be creative. It doesn’t really go much deeper than that.”

Lowe holds considerable gratitude for her time in The Far Out, claiming she never expected to be a part of a group like this, nor did she expect to be able to control a room the way she does now.

When asked how she thinks her younger, more introverted self would feel about the person she is today, Lowe said, “She would absolutely think I’m an absolute rock star.”

Lowe isn’t far from the truth. By all means, Olivia Lowe has become the rock star she never thought she’d be.

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About the Contributor
Colin Doherty
Colin Doherty, Staff Writer | he/him
Colin is a junior English major, concentrating in Public and Professional Writing. His writing stems from his grueling love for all things pop culture, with music as his main focus. Colin loves to spend his time at house shows and arguing over where the best burrito in Boston is.

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Suffolk alum Olivia Lowe finds her spotlight