All Points East: Meet east London artist Olivia Dean

East London artist Olivia Dean.

East London artist Olivia Dean is set to play All Points East Festival in Victoria Park this summer. - Credit: Olivia LiFungula

East London artist Olivia Dean, who will be performing at All Points East in Victoria Park this summer, says that live music is what “makes it all worthwhile.”

Olivia Dean, who grew up in Walthamstow in East London, will be performing at the four day festival alongside artists like Jorja Smith, London Grammar, Jamie XX, Tom Misch, Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals. 

“I’m excited but I’m a little bit apprehensive. It’s been so long so I’m quite nervous,” Dean said. 

She added that, after more than a year of lockdown, playing music at a venue rather than on zoom “feels like a distant memory.”

“Last year was supposed to be my first year playing festivals and I really see myself as a live act. That’s the reason that I do it. It makes me feel connected”, she said. It was this feeling that sparked the idea for Dean’s “From Me to You” tour last summer.

Breaking away from Instagram live-streams and zoom gigs, Dean chose to spend the summer touring the UK in a bright yellow van, giving socially distanced, face-to-face concerts in outdoor public spaces across the UK. 

She said: “Everyone’s been making music on Zoom now and it’s amazing that humans have managed to figure that out, but I hope that we remember that we love making music in person.

Most Read

"I just hope that things go back to normal a little bit, with a sprinkle of newness.” 

After a difficult year for the entertainment industry, its live music that is keeping Dean optimistic.

“It can feel quite hopeless sometimes. Especially without live music. But I just hope that when live does come back it comes back with full force.”

And as well as gearing up for the festival season – and touring around the UK in her very own sunshine-coloured tour bus – Dean has also spent some time this year working on herself and, in the process, working on her next album. 

Her new EP, Growth, is about “finding yourself after being in a relationship” and was born out of Dean’s experiences in lockdown.

“I really had to spend a lot of time with myself and learn to love my own company. I’ve figured out how to comfort myself. I can go out for a walk by myself and go out for lunch by myself and not feel weird about it.”