Olivia Chaney (born 1982) is an English singer, pianist, guitarist, harmonium player, and songwriter.
Olivia Chaney was born in Florence, Italy, and grew up in Oxford, England, studying composition, piano, cello, and voice. Early influences include her father's record collections and his own renditions of early blues and '60s folk songwriters like Bob Dylan, Fairport Convention, and Bert Jansch.
At 14, she won joint-first piano and voice scholarship to Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, which was focused on the classical repertoire. She then went on to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London, also on scholarship, where, as an improviser and songwriter, she studied in the jazz course. While at the Academy, Chaney spent much of her time experimenting and collaborating outside the traditional jazz course.
On graduating from the Academy, Chaney taught herself guitar and Indian harmonium and began performing regularly as a soloist. She has also worked as an actress and singer/multi-instrumentalist at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Matthew Dunster's acclaimed production of Troilus and Cressida and Lucy Bailey and Django Bates's production of Timon of Athens.
Olivia Chaney has collaborated and shared stages all over the world with artists, composers, producers, and bands including Zero 7, Alasdair Roberts, Concerto Caledonia, and The Labèque Sisters.
In 2010, Olivia Chaney recorded a self-released EP.
In 2011, she contributed to two compilations for grassroots label Folk Police. She also performed on the live release Revenge of the Folksingers with Scottish artist Alasdair Roberts and period performance group Concerto Caledonia on the Delphian label.
Chaney has performed with Balearic Folk Orchestra, for whom she sang arranged and played harmonium and piano on the group's Amy Winehouse cover "He Can Only Hold Her" for a Q Magazine tribute.
In November 2013, Olivia Chaney was nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards: the Horizon Award and Best Original Song, for "Swimming in the Longest River," which is featured on her EP. At the same time, it was announced that Chaney had signed a record deal with Nonesuch Records.
Olivia Chaney's debut album, The Longest River, was released on Nonesuch Records on 28 April 2015.