Published on January 23rd, 2020 | by Guest Editor0
Lio O’liva Debuts Freshman Album Prosthetic Soul Bringing Soul, Strength and Extreme Life Perspective
As an avid music lover, it is a rare occurrence when I hear a song and it takes me back to that feeling of hearing Musiq Soulchild mixed with the excitement of Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop That Thing? That “where were you when you first fell in love with hip hop” feeling. A gentle breeze, an ice cream cone on the NYC streets, laughter and bopping out of school with your headsets on full blast knowing you might see your crush once you turn the corner. That D’Angleo type of feel just smooth and sexy on your ears, on repeat, on a high.
Dramatic? Possibly, but it’s an indescribable feeling for when you know your ears have connects with what may be the next big thing in music. That’s exactly how I felt when Lio O’liva’s played his new album, Prosthetic Soul, for me. The album is a mix of soul, hip hop, struggle, strength, love, and straight-up perseverance. You would never know while watching the visual album that this 24 year old lost both of his legs at a young age and handsome as ever delivers smooth sultry sounds that simply could no ever come from another place but that of someone who has truly lived.
O’liva’s personal story is where his love for music began. As a multi-talented singer, songwriter, director & visionary, he was raised in the South Bronx after a tremendous battle with his health, and amputations at a young age. Originally born in a remote village on the Northern Coast of Honduras with Fibular Hemimelia, a disability responsible for the shortening of the fibula at birth, or the complete lack thereof; he was saved by a surgeon by the name of Sean Moloney and brought to The Seton Medical Center in Northern California at the age of 10 months to proceed with amputations of both legs and a chance at being able to walk. He is a true manifestation of what can happen when immigration is connected with amazing hearts and love. He views the experience as “A true chance at life”. After successful operations and years of rehab, O’liva and his mother moved to The Bronx in NYC. With the constant uncertainty of a stable home, Lio realized that the most consistent thing in his young life, the one thing that made his soul feel at home regardless of the roof over his head; It was the music.
With the first 5 songs released as a visual R&B/Hip Hop album, the 24-year-old music artist tells a tale that no other on the scene has yet to set the stage for. With the first 5 original songs titled “If”, “In The Moment”, “Bronx Blues”, “King At The Core” and “Robert Horry”, O’liva tells an in-depth and true to life tale.“Born in Honduras then moved out to Cali. Prosthetic legs but my mind embraced the challenge. Raised in the Bronx we was peasants grew up poor but I knew I was a king at the core” are just a tiny piece of the puzzle to unique lyrics that resonate not only within your ears but also within your mind, body, and soul.
The entirety of the album was written solely by O’liva and produced by Jeffrey Resto Jr. with visuals shot by multiple directors including Kamari Thomas, Japhyn Cavellos & Daniel Maloney. View the visual album via Youtube, Soundcloud, and will soon be available for download via iTunes and Google Play.
When asked what artists inspire him O’liva replied “Great question. I can’t give you one specifically but I can give you certain qualities in a couple that I try to emulate. Jay-Z for sure due to his business prowess and ability to seemingly be 10 steps ahead. Stevie Wonder for his God-given talent. His tone and musical genius are out of this world. Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar for their pen and blatant understanding of music. Anyone can make a song, few can make a masterpiece. Beyoncé for her work ethic and grace. 20+ years of being in the spotlight with no mishaps. That takes discipline, and when it comes to her work it seems like she takes no days off. I’d also say Drake for his passion. You can tell he loves this life that is music to the fullest.”
Using lessons he learned through music he mentally overcame his disability and used it as a physical manifestation of inspiration. Combining his talent and his story, he now lives to spread a message through music understanding that it could potentially help out others as it did for him. Lio O’liva is, Prosthetic Soul.
My two personal favorites off of the album are Bronx Blues and Need. Take a Listen below and Sound OffTweet