Liahona Olayan Talks Life Post-American Idol, and What We Can Look Forward to Next
On April 5, Liahona Olayan's time on American Idol ended when she was eliminated from the competition, surprising dedicated fans across the globe. While it was a disappointing time for many, Liahona wants to make it clear that she's only just getting started.
The teen singer auditioned for the series with her older brother Ammon, and together the duo stunned the judges with their soulful, dynamic voices and talents beyond their years. They both made it in, and though Ammon was sent home in an earlier round, Liahona's journey took her further, and won her an adoring audience.
Post-American Idol, we got the chance to chat with Liahona and talk about her experiences, and all of the things she has going on next. Here's what she revealed:
Sweety High: When did you first become interested in being a singer and songwriter? Is all of your family musical?
Liahona Olayan: I've always loved to sing but I didn't realize how much I wanted to become a singer until five years ago when my family and I moved to the Big Island. That journey really opened up my perspective in many ways and I never knew how much I loved music and how I couldn't live without it. My brother first inspired me to write music when he wrote his first song. After I heard it, I knew right then that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My mom's side of the family is very musical and my grandpa on my dad's side is as well. Thanks to them and my Hawaiian culture, music has always been and always will be a part of my life.
SH: What was it like to be competing with your brother for a while in this season of American Idol? In what ways did you support each other during that process?
LO: Competing against my brother was actually really fun. Though we may be close, we come from a competitive family. My dad's side of the family is very athletic so my brother and I have grown up playing sports all our lives. Competing against each other is an everyday thing. It was just fun to see it on TV. But even though we may have competitive spirits, we always encourage each other in anything we do. That's what family is for. Ammon taught me a lot of things and I have taught him many things as well. We both know that we have a lot to learn and are always willing to support each other all the way. When I was backstage for my genre round, I was pretty nervous but having my brother by my side and hearing his encouraging words pushed me to get to the top 24. If it wasn't for him and my family's support for me, I don't think I'd be able to even step onto that stage.
SH: Was it tough for you when he got voted off?
LO: It's always tough when you see someone you love having to take a separate path. Even though we're still kids, it sort of felt like I was letting him go when we had to part ways.
SH: In what ways do you think you grew during your time on American Idol?
LO: I grew in a lot of ways, from knowing what the difference is with camera angles to how to perform during a live show. I also learned more about myself and the type of music I can sing and want to write. It's all helped me for the future and has prepared me in many ways. It makes me excited for the opportunities ahead of me!
SH: What was your favorite or most important feedback you got from the judges while competing? How do you feel you'll use that moving forward?
LO: When Katy Perry told me, "It doesn't matter if you have the biggest voice. You're here for a reason and once you can see what potential it brings, the sky is the limit for you." That has definitely changed my perspective in many ways and pushes me to work even harder. It also helped to reassure me that I'm here and this dream of mine is worth fighting for.
SH: What's next for you?
LO: I am so blessed to have many opportunities coming my way. My brother and I are currently in the process of creating our separate albums and one together. And I'm excited to show the world what I love to write about and my story.
SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
LO: I just want to thank all of my fans and everyone else out there who follow and support me. Your love and support have taken me a long way and will still continue to push me further. They are the reason I keep doing what I'm doing and I love them for that!
Obsessed with American Idol? Click HERE to read our interview with fellow alum Francisco Martin.