Olivia Dean’s “Slowly” Turns Vulnerability Into a Superpower

Photo: Olivia LiFungula

Olivia Dean has the innate gift to turn relatable, vulnerable moments into approachable and universally understood pockets of reflection. She is undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind artist whose deep soul shines through her relatable, kind-hearted, and intentionally quick-witted music.

Dean was born in Walthamstow, London. She attended the BRIT School in Croydon, England, known as "the leading Performing and Creative Arts school in the UK." She uses a balance of polished yet multifarious genres in her jazz-incorporated sound that sets her apart from the standard pop scene that envelops much of the music industry.  

Dean has been releasing music since 2018 and has made significant strides in engaging her presence in the past year. With the release of "The Hardest Part" and "Echo" in 2020, and "Be My Own Boyfriend" in 2021, Dean is growing into her own as an artist. Her most popular single to date, "The Hardest Part," has accrued over six million streams on Spotify alone and is a testament to her evolving music that confronts coming-of-age trends with grace, brutal honesty, and optimistic resilience. The lessons of life and love shared in her music create lasting pieces of art, open for all to dive into and find themselves in.

Dean's latest release is "Slowly," a sultry piano ballad where she outlines a hopeful desire for her own scripted reality in a new relationship. Released via AMI Records and Universal Music Group, this track has an orchestral feel with an emphasis on Dean's exposed and personal songwriting. In her promotional posts, Dean says, "There's no rush in love & sometimes you just need a little patience… For when it's hard to be soft."

In contrast to Dean's typically witty and confident songwriting style, "Slowly" lets audiences see a different side of the artist. With soulful and intimate lyrics, including, "I found it hard, hard to be soft / Stop saying I'm perfect, When clearly I'm not / Just need to catch, catch my breath," Dean introduces the thought of grasping onto her hardships and being open to encountering them, not resisting. She continues, "Go slowly, slowly / I know you're not supposed to know me / I only see it, when you show me slowly / I love to teach you how to hold me / So go on, hold me." Within her changing perspective of what a relationship should be, she invites the unknown and encourages her listeners to do the same in her comforting and serene lyrics.

"Slowly" is set to appear on Dean's upcoming EP, Growth, set to release July 30. She describes the collection as "a time capsule of the last year, me processing a new perspective on love and loving myself."

Listen to "Slowly" below: