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Folk Art

David & Olivia’s new soulful sound is catching the ears of music fans far and wide.

David Rosales and Olivia May

He grew up riding the waves off of Huntington Beach. She spent her childhood in the rodeo town of Clovis. And when they teamed up as the musical duo of David & Olivia, a new kind of soulful, folksy sound was born—one that’s landed David Rosales and Olivia May gigs in nightclubs from O.C. to L.A., and in tasting rooms throughout California’s wine country. But the best sign of their growing popularity could be the three nominations they garnered for this year’s OC Music Awards, set for March 8 at the Grove of Anaheim. Since its launch in 2001, the program has become a valuable platform for local artists who play in showcase concerts across the region in the weeks leading up to the awards. (Past honorees include No Doubt, Social Distortion and Young the Giant.) This year, artists are competing in 26 categories. Rosales and May join 12 other groups vying for the titles of Best New Artist, Best Country-Americana and Best Folk—and that last category could pose the stiffest competition, with Matt Costa, Micah Brown, The Ultimate Bearhug and Vinnie & The Hooligans. “It’s all very humbling and exciting,” says May. “We’re so happy that what we’re creating is connecting with so many people.” That’s not surprising, really—there’s something distinctly Californian in their sound. “There’s a balance in the push and pull of it all,” says Rosales, “something like where the calmness of the vineyard meets the unrest of the Pacific Ocean.” We like the sound of that.