Country singer/songwriter, Olivia Farabaugh, provided UCA’s students and staff with a small sense of normalcy on Tuesday as she performed her songs for them.

The 25-year-old singer/songwriter grew up in Palmyra, Pa. and gained tons of opportunities in the world of music after being a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2015.

“This opportunity opened up so many doors and relationships for me in my music,” Farabaugh said.

The Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame recently named her “Best Solo Act of 2019.”

It’s evident in her accomplishments that the Palmyra native has poured work into her music for most of her life.

“I started out singing in the choir at my church, but when I picked up the guitar in 4th grade, I fell in love,” Farabaugh said. “Once I started playing the guitar, the songwriting came along with it.”

The drive to develop her work as an artist was consistently fueled by the admiration she carried for the artists she looked up to.

“[In the beginning], I was mostly influenced by artists such as Jack Johnson, Norah Jones and John Mayer,” Farabaugh said. “As I grew in my musical taste, I really dove into country music, looking up to artists like Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town.”

COVID-19 and its impacts have shown her just how grateful she is for the opportunities her career has brought her.

“This pandemic has impacted my journey tremendously. Most of my gigs were cancelled and still many venues and colleges are hesitant to book shows,” Farabaugh said.

When COVID-19 first hit the United States, Farabaugh worked to find ways to keep providing music and entertainment to her fans.

“During the initial shut down I was doing facebook lives every week to give people an escape from the crazy reality. I miss a lot from the pre-COVID world,” Farabaugh said.

Life during a pandemic has shown the singer/songwriter the beauty of everything she was experiencing pre-pandemic.

“It has been a wake up call to not take for granted seeing and exploring new places and being able to share my music with new people multiple times a week,” Farabaugh said.

Aside from the many pros of pursuing music full-time, Farabaugh knew that pursuing music would generate questionable support from some people.That is why the country singer/songwriter finds such importance in the people in her corner.

“I feel that as you grow as a person it is so important to continue to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you,” Farabaugh said. “ In music, there are many ups and downs and it is so important to have positive and uplifting people in your corner.

The country artist even took to Instagram to praise her father in his trek to Arkansas with her.

Farabaugh said, “A huge shoutout to my amazing dad who drove 2,200 miles with me to make this possible!”

For many artists, life under COVID-19 has been more than discouraging.

“If I could give advice to somebody in music during this time, it is to stay connected to yourself and do your best to stay in a creative space,” Farabaugh said. “It is so important to have patience with yourself in this process. If your creativity isn't flowing like you wish it would every day, that is okay. Use those days to take promo pictures or learn a new cover song.”

Although Farabaugh has since traveled back to Pennsylvania, you can find her or her new EP, “Your Heart of Gold” on Instagram at @oliviafarabaughofficial

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