Tim Olstad Returns to Perform for his Hometown
Tim Olstad returns to his hometown of Winona, Minnesota Friday, January 23rd to perform in the Page Theatre at Saint Mary’s University. This will be his first full set and headlining performance in town after his notable success in the third season of Fox’s “The X Factor.” He finished 9th place on the television show after competing against thousands of other contestants from all over the country.
Tim was born and raised in Winona and in a household full of music. His father Gene was a Lewiston Altura band teacher and his mother Julie was a Winona Area Catholic Schools music teacher. He embraced his musical roots early on teaching himself to play chords and scales on the piano at the tender age of four. Tim’s love for music persisted throughout high school with his involvement in things like show choir, jazz band, and the school musicals. His natural aptitude for it was apparent to all those around him and his parents encouraged him to follow his passions and dreams. This support resulted in Tim auditioning for “The X Factor” in 2013 and well—you know the rest of the story.
The Interview Part:
Winona was so supportive of me on the show, and I will forever be grateful for that.
They say celebrity status is a double edged sword and you certainly earned some finishing in the top 10 on Fox’s The X Factor season 3. What’s the greatest perk of that and what’s the worst part?
I really liked what Sarah Hyland told me one time. I don’t believe in the “C” or “F” word. “Celebrity” or “Famous”. I just remember thinking how humble she was to have said that. I wouldn’t call myself any of that. However, it was great meeting and befriending the people I did and attracting a larger support group for my music. I’d say a negative part is and was sometimes getting scrutinized, but that comes with the territory—and I’ve learned to have thick skin.
Were you ultimately satisfied with your experience on the show? Anything you would have done differently in hindsight or any regrets?
I am happy with how I did. I think taking 9th place out of thousands is pretty damn good. It was quite the experience. I wish I would’ve stood my ground a little more when it came to song choices. I didn’t really have much creative control.
Is Paulina Rubio a better mentor or lover?
I only got to see the mentor side of her. So…mentor!
Do you get treated differently when you’re back in Winona now?
Initially, it was honestly crazy. I couldn’t go anywhere without being noticed or having pictures taken. I think it’s calmed down a bit, though. Winona was so supportive of me on the show, and I will forever be grateful for that. My hope is that everyone will continue to be as supportive as I pursue a music career!
You’re recording your debut EP with New York singer-songwriter Ron Pope. He’s internationally known and you recently opened for him at First Avenue in Minneapolis. How did your relationship with him begin and what will his role be in the creation of your upcoming record?
It all started when I covered Ron’s song, “A Drop in the Ocean”. I tweeted the link to him not thinking that he’d see it. I remember sitting at Rocco’s Pizza with my family when I saw he wrote back. I honestly couldn’t believe it. The next time he did a show in Minneapolis, he brought me up on stage for his last song. Fast forward a couple years, and I ended up opening for him at First Ave! He has really become a great friend and mentor to me, and he’ll be producing the EP.
Do you have songs and a title for the album yet or will some of these things be coming together in the studio?
Yes, I do have songs for the EP. I’m actually going to be performing them at my upcoming show at SMU. It’ll only be my second time performing them. No title yet.
Any plans to tour?
Yes, I plan to tour after the release of the EP.
Can we segue back into the X Factor for a moment? Do you find Demi Lovato’s music or hairstyles more progressive?
Haha, I think her music and hair go hand in hand with each other.
What are you listening to right now?
Marc Broussard – “Gavin’s Song”
Once your album blows up and you totally sell out and move to LA and then to New York…what will you remember about the Midwest and miss?
I really hope that the album does well and that people enjoy it (then tell all of their friends to go get it…ha). The Midwest is such a great place, I would definitely remember the incredibly friendly people…aaannnd the Mississippi River…can’t forget that.
How does it feel to be playing this headlining gig in a theater in your own hometown?
It feels great. I’m hoping to walk out and see a bunch of people. I’m glad and thankful that SMU is having me. The show will consist of originals, covers, and a Q&A.
Can I please post that cell phone video now I have of you performing R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” at the Winona VFW karaoke before you were on the X Factor to prove that I’m an old school fan?
Is it any good?
Well, I’m no Simon Cowell or anything, but I thought so. I mean—the performance. My drunken cell phone videography—not so much. I didn’t even record it in the right direction. But what can you do?
Upcoming Local Gigs:
Who: Tim Olstad
When: Friday, January 23rd at 7:30PM
Where: Page Theatre at Saint Mary’s University
Tickets: Get tickets here starting at $15