Kelly Oliver is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonicist, described by The Times as an artist who 'blends traditional with bold, indie-pop'. Her 2014 debut album 'This Land', funded by an Emerging Excellence Award by Help Musicians UK, won Folkwords' 'Best Album by a Female Artist', gained a 4* reviews from The Telegraph and R2 Magazine and was nominated for FATEA's Best Debut Album 2014'. Her 2016 album 'Bedlam', as well as being included in The Sunday Times Essential New Releases, was in Paul Sexton's Top 20 Albums of the Year in Prog Magazine and was nominated for Best Album from a Female Artist 2016 by Folkwords.
Her last five singles have all gained BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music airplay from presenters such as Bob Harris, Mark Radcliffe, Clare Balding, Alex Lester and Chris Hawkins and she performed her summer single 'Rio' on BBC One's Sunday Morning Live in 2016 for her first national TV appearance, as well as being interviewed by ITV Anglia. Kelly tours the UK predominantly as a solo artist and was awarded Best Female Solo Artist and Breakout Artist in the 2015/2016 NMG Awards as well as winning Best Female Artist 2016 in the FATEA Awards. In addition, she attended the 2017 Folk Alliance International in Kansas City USA, after being chosen as one of their Official Showcase Artists.
Festival highlights include Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk By The Oak, Costa del Folk, Larmer Tree Festival, Secret Garden Party, Camp Bestival and Standon Calling. Including original material and traditional folk songs in her live performance, Kelly has been described as 'a vital voice in British folk music' - Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
'Quite an amazing young songwriter' - Mike Harding
'A fantastic new talent' - Chris Hawkins, BBC 6 Music
Alongside acoustic guitar melodies and vocals, Kelly includes the stomp box and harmonica in her live show, which has led to sponsorship from leading harmonica brand HOHNER. Kelly has appeared live on BBC regional stations, including BBC London radio in an interview with Gaby Roslin and on Mark Forrest's national BBC Introducing show. Her singles 'Diamond Girl', 'Jericho', 'Rio', 'Same World' and 'Miles To Tralee' have all enjoyed numerous regional BBC and local radio plays, including on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe, Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 Sunday show, Clare Balding's BBC Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday, Alex Lester's BBC Radio 2 After Midnight show and Chris Hawkins' BBC 6 Music show.
Kelly has supported acts such as Phil Beer (Show of Hands), Barbara Dickson, Thea Gilmore, CC Smugglers, The Young’uns and Cara Dillon, the latter gaining her a 'promising...blends traditional with bold, indie-pop' review from The Times.
She has performed live with Phil Beer, Dave Swarbrick, Niall Murphy, Lukas Drinkwater and Luke Jackson among many others. Kelly was also thrilled to record for the Whispering Bob Harris Broadcasting Company very early in her career and be interviewed by Bob himself for his “Under The Apple Tree Sessons”. Kelly is a member of the folk group The Company of Players, who released their debut album 'Shakespeare Songs' in January 2018 to critical acclaim.
Kelly is also very proud to be an ambassador for the charity Humanitas. It is a creative, grassroots charity that has worked for more than a decade to protect and care for some of the world's most vulnerable people and they specialise in working in areas of extreme poverty or crisis-critical regions. The charity runs a primary school in Ghana where they teach 210 children who otherwise would not be in education and the charity's medical team has offered life-saving treatment to hundreds of refugees living in camps around the world. To find out more about their work, please visit www.humanitascharity.org
"an amazing young songwriter” Mike Harding
“ a vital voice in British Folk.... a beautiful, pure voice’ Bob Harris BBC Radio 2
“a radical leap forward...sleek spirited arrangements...sense of spontaneity” Clive Davis, Sunday Times
“thought provoking songs that straddle folk and pop worlds..” Songlines Magazine
“fabulously gifted, something special” Chris Hawkins, BBC 6 Music
“ an exceptional lyricist” Penny Black Magazine
“distinctive and breathtaking vocals’ The Telegraph
“a striking degree of artistic and musical unity” Folk and Roots
“a remarkable acoustic folk singer and songwriter” FolkAll
“ A gifted and talented songwriter” FolkWords
“This really is a superb album, likely to be in the Folk album of the year lists” ShireFolk
“crosses musical boundaries, full of thought provoking lyrics & musical arrangement’ Folk Radio UK
“a remarkable voice” FATEA
“the album is just a delight” Bob Harris BBC Radio 2
“this is the album that will make Kelly’s career” R2 Magazine
“Three minutes of pop folk sparkle” Chris Hawkins
“Sounds great doesn’t it? A wonderful new single from Kelly Oliver. It was inspired by her travels through Brazil, it’s produced by Nigel Stonier and features Thea Gilmore on backing vocals. Released on the Folkstock label, the track is called RIO” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2, 7Aug