August 15, 2022—-Hollywood, CA.————-American Idol Alumni’s, and sensational singer, Songwriters – Ammon and Liahona Olayan are thrilled about their performance at the legendary Blue Note Hawaii venue on August 29, 2022 at 7:00 PM. Their Hawaiian legacy has helped catapult them to superstardom, and this concert marks a home coming, being that it’s the first time they have returned to Hawaii since their American Idol journey.
Brother and sister, Ammon 19, and Liahona 18, the oldest of 9 kids; when they were younger lived in a tent on the Big Island of Hawaii, to be closer to their family and to learn about their Hawaiian heritage. They lived off the land, had a pet goat, and discovered they could write music. Ammon and Liahona, got their American Idol chance from making a zoom video audition. They got a call two weeks later from the Executive Producers giving them the opportunity to go to the show. Ammon and Liahona flew to San Diego where they auditioned for the first time, and the rest is history.
Ammon and Liahona will be performing songs from their highly anticipated album of self-penned original songs entitled, “Gotta Move On.” Ammon and Liahona, released their recent Christian/Pop cross over music video “Pray to God”, on YouTube on July 19. In less than 3-weeks it has over 3 million views. The single will be released on August 15 on all digital platforms. Their songs are truly a blessed mix of smoky ballads, “Came From Heaven”, to upbeat top 40 toe tapping ditty, “What True Love is All About”, to “Mamacita’s” original Latin grooves, and then there’s, “Gotta Move On”, which will no doubt explode as a historic love anthem. The stylized blending of both Ammon and Liahona,’s voices are as smooth as it gets, this is a once in a lifetime sound. Excitement is building, and both Ammon and Liahona, are ready to deliver.
These now Utah siblings; Ammon and Liahona, have enjoyed huge success ever since their original song “Listen To My Heart” (now called “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone”) debuted on the ever-popular television show, American Idol in 2021. The song went viral and launched their career. Receiving standing ovations from Luke Bryan, it has now garnered over 11.4 million views.
Their style of music is a mash up of Christian, Pop, R & B, Hip-Hop, and Soul, covering a wide range of music genres. The American Idol judges gushed after they heard Ammon and Liahona’s audition.
Katy Perry said about their Idol appearances. “You are talented beyond belief, incredible songwriters, like you should be signed right now! That’s going to be your future, really, really, really, really soon, you’re both on the path to greatness “
She compared Liahona to Lorde, and Alessia Cara.
Luke Bryan said, “You two could write a song for the radio, record it and it would be ready for airplay, you both compliment each other, the sky’s the limit. You two are so special and you have it”.
Lionel Richie said, “Find that tent that you were in and put it in your back yard, because I want you to write more songs”.
When asked about their upcoming performance shows, Ammon and Liahona, said,
“We are so happy to be bringing our style of music to the masses, and that our fans now have the opportunity to fully participate in our new music by being able to see us perform live. Hawaii is our homeland and it’s been a minute since we have been back, we proudly want all of our fans, friends and family to know that we are so looking forward to this upcoming show at Blue Note Hawaii, and to celebrate with us.”
Fresh faced, this multi-talented duo is guaranteed to set the world on fire. Singers, Songwriters Ammon and Liahona, are ready to make their mark in music history.
Ammon & Liahona Music Video:
August 13: Bluffdale City Park, Bluffdale, Utah
August 20: Brues Alehouse, Pueblo, Colorado
August 29: Blue Note, Honolulu, Hawaii
American Idol Alumni Tour:
October 13: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
October 14: NYC, New York
October 22: Nashville, Tennessee
November 5: Los Angeles, California
Schedule your interview with Ammon & Liahona Olayan now!
A & L – Interview Questions:
- How has your family inspired you both as a singer?
Liahona: My family is the closest people to me and they are the inspiration behind my music. One of the rules my parents had growing up is that we always had to support each other in everything. If Ammon had a football game, the whole family had to go no matter what, even if it was burning hot, and we didn’t want to! If I had a piano recital same thing. If my other siblings had an orchestra concert or soccer game, the rule always applied. We are always together as a family! That being said, my family knows everything about me and sees many sides of me that others don’t know and they can also make me emotional a lot of times. The people you love the most can also hurt you the most and I’ve written songs about that.
Ammon: My family is the main reason why I wanted to become a singer, I never thought in a million years that I would have a career as a singer. Because of the support of my parents and the inspiration they gave me, and seeing how music helps so many people, I will make this a big part of my life. Even though I started later, with the love and support of my parents I know I’ve got this.
- Where do you both see your career going in 5 years?
Liahona: I see myself signed with a label, performing at sold-out stadiums, my music going worldwide, and also going on a worldwide tour.
Ammon: In five years I will have at least 5 hit songs, one for each year. I will be performing for thousands around the world, and be going on a world tour, spreading not only a good message, but fun entertaining music.
- Talk about any producer you both have worked with?
Liahona: I think finding the right producer is one of the hardest challenges in this industry. My biggest problem is finding producers that actually listen to me and take in my opinions rather than ignoring me because I’m “young” and they’ve been “doing this for years and know what works”. These are actually my songs that I wrote and I know exactly what I want. I finally found a producer named Paul Scholton that actually listens to me and values my opinion. It has been a breath of fresh air to work with him and he has caught my vision for each of our songs on our new album. It’s so exciting when you find one like Paul to work with but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
Ammon: Yes, Paul has really helped us understand the process in writing music, but also, he’s just a funny guy and always has good energy which is really important is creating good music.
- Where do you both get your ideas for subject matter for your song development?
Liahona: We get a lot of our ideas for writing music from our life experiences. We want our music to be real, raw, personal, and relatable, especially to our peers. We want to be relevant as well and we want our music to be universal in meaning. Writing music takes time. Sometimes my creativity doesn’t come right away and sometimes I can finish a whole song in an hour. It’s important to look, hear and discover inspiration wherever I can. I also think of topics as well that I hold dear to my heart and those songs become some of my best.
Ammon: Most of the ideas I come up with for writing music are life experiences or feelings and my truths, so I am feeling the songs and the lyrics from my experiences, the truth makes everything so easy.
- What charities are you both aligned with and why?
Liahona: We have been involved with a suicide prevention program called Hope Squad. It is a teenage suicide prevention program in hundreds of high schools throughout the US including mine and I thought it was such an amazing club. I have seen firsthand how depression and suicide have affected my school and community and we want to help raise awareness and inspire resilience and overcoming depression in the youth.
Ammon: When success comes, I want to be able to use the money and influence I have to help children and single mothers. I have thought about this a lot and I know that there are certain programs to help them and have them get back on their feet. I also feel that mental health is very important, so if there were a way to help with that I would gladly do that as well.
- What singing projects will you both be involved with in the future?
Liahona: We are already writing our second album and we are also preparing a Christmas album. We are excited about that!
Ammon: Whether it’s producing music for myself or other artists, making music for TV shows or movies, or even doing reality TV. I am open to trying everything and giving everything a chance.
- Who are both your biggest influences?
Liahona: My biggest influences are definitely my parents and my family. They are the greatest examples of true faith, determination, and not giving up. They showed me how to believe in myself and to keep picking myself up and moving forward.
Ammon: For me, my biggest influences are definitely my parents. They helped me and guided me through everything. However, the person that inspired me to start writing my own music was my uncle, who is an amazing musician. I also love Bruno Mars and Pink Sweat$.
- What advice would you both give to a songwriter starting out?
Liahona: Keep going and don’t limit yourself. It’s not easy but if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. No matter what obstacles get in your way, you have to keep moving forward. Because if you don’t, you’ll never see what your potential can really bring you.
Ammon: When writing music never limit yourself. Creating something should be free and should make you feel unstoppable. It should be something where you can be vulnerable and believe in yourself. The process may be hard sometimes, but keep pushing and keep trying.
- Talk about both your singing training, who you both trained with, and why.
Liahona: We have vocal coaching and are taught by Debra Bonner. She was taught under Seth Riggs. We wanted to learn from her because she was a shining beacon of change. I needed to actually see the potential of my voice, what was wrong, how I could perfect it, and also how I could keep it this way. She is a great teacher for that. I will also start training with David Stroud.
Ammon: Recently we just started training with this amazing Voice Teacher Deborah Bonner. In these five months, she’s helped me to become so much more confident in my singing ability. We also started training with David Stroud.
- How do you both take care of yourself, and your health regime?
Liahona: We exercise daily, take our vitamins, have a balanced diet, and play a lot. I am also a huge lover of nature. The best place to find peace and happiness is when you are in the present outside enjoying the beauty of nature. Nothing feels better than that.
Ammon: I always try to eat healthy, which is sometimes easier because I don’t like sodas or desserts as much. And I like to work out and it helps me to relax and mentally prepare for my sister sometimes. Lol!
- If you both could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Liahona: Bruno Mars. Love that guy. His style, his production. It’s just a feel-good vibe and it makes, you feel happy all the time.
Ammon: If I could collaborate with another artist, it would definitely be Bruno Mars. He just has a unique ability to write music. I’d also like to collab with Pink Sweat$, Justin Bieber, or Ariana Grande!
- What kinds of advice would you both give a recording artist starting out?
Liahona: Put your happiness first and stay true to who you are. It’s easy in this industry to let the crowd affect your life. But if you do that, you’ll never be happy. You can’t make everyone like you, so who cares? Just do you.
Ammon: Recording a song and singing live are two very different things. So, when you do record a song or in the studio, don’t be afraid to share your opinions but also be respectful and learn to work hard.
- Who are your favorite singers right now and why?
Liahona: Meghan Trainor and Alicia Keys. Meghan’s production is just so unique. It’s always so different and she’s not afraid to experiment with different sounds. And I love Alicia Keys because she plays the piano and intertwines classical music into her songs. I love to see classical music being appreciated in this modern era because there’s a serene beauty to it that music these days doesn’t have anymore.
Ammon: Right now, I’ve been listening to Pink Sweat$. I just like the vibe and the smoothness of his voice and the message in some of his songs.
- When did you know you wanted to be a recording artist?
Liahona: When I wrote my first song at the age of 12. It wasn’t my best song, in fact, it was my worst. But the confirmation I got that day from just writing it, that’s when I knew I was destined to do great things with this new gift
Ammon: I didn’t really know I wanted to become a recording artist until I would say last year. For me, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do and I still like trying to learn new things. But this is what I want to do and it’s okay to mess up sometimes, keep going failure is part of the process.
- What singer did you both admire as a child?
Liahona: Michael Jackson. His songs were so cool to listen to when my mom would play them. I loved dancing to them.
Ammon: As a child, I remember listening to a lot of Hawaiian reggae music. I would say Common Kings, Kolohe Kai, and Braddah IZ were the singers I most remember.
- What types of songs would you both like to sing in the future?
Liahona: I honestly love all genres so I’m open to any kind of songs. Latin, K-pop, Reggaetón, etc.
Ammon: I really like R&B and funk. But I also feel like I have that old-school soul so I like Frank Sinatra and those kinds of old love songs.
- What’s your fashion style?
Liahona: Streetwear, tech wear, modest, chill, and workout. Those are my main ones.
Ammon: The old money look, Streetwear, or minimalist style.
- What do you both do to relax?
Liahona: I love to read or write in my journal.
Ammon: When I want to relax I usually either eat good food, I like to go outside a lot too and just hang out with my dog or read a book.
- What other businesses do you both plan on starting to promote your brand?
Liahona: I’d love to make a fashion line or a hair product line. I have long hair and I’d love to go more into depth with that in products and accessories.
Ammon: I believe you can do a lot of things when you have a social media influence and marketing is such a big thing, but I really also want to do real estate, start our own brand of merchandise and maybe even start our own singing/dance company to help other kids learn how to be true to themselves in the music industry.
- What’s the one thing you both think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?
Liahona: Start speaking positively about themselves. I think this world has many harmful things done to others because they tend to be too hard on themselves. It starts with you first.
Ammon: One thing I think everyone can do to make the world a more positive place is to learn to be respectful. I believe that the world has lost its sense of respect for itself and others and because of that, we cause each other a lot of harm. So, learning to respect others and also to respect yourself.
- What would you both be doing if you were not recording artists?
Liahona: I’d probably want to be playing professionally in a sport or become a chef or baker. I’d also probably want to become a professional in martial arts too.
Ammon: If I was not a recording artist I would probably be going to college to study marketing, learn real estate, and build homes.
- What was your first memory of hearing great singing?
Liahona: I was three. I heard my mom and her 8 other siblings singing a song together. I may have been young but I still remember the song and how pretty the melody was. It’s when I fell in love with music.
Ammon: My first memory of hearing great singing was with my mom. I remember she would read me this book and sing some of the lines to me and it was always so peaceful and calming and she has an amazing voice.
- Who is both of your favorite recording artists, and why?
Liahona: Bruno Mars. I like his vibe.
Ammon: I don’t think I have a favorite recording artist, but I watched a documentary on Michael Jackson, and just seeing how he could hear all the different parts when writing a song is just amazing! But I do love Bruno Mars, he’s awesome.
- What are your first steps in writing a new song?
Liahona: Coming up with a topic is my first step. Creating a chorus is my second. That’s the easiest way for me. That way I can write around it.
Ammon: For me when I write music, I don’t really have a set system. I just go with the flow or with what I’m feeling. And since I don’t really know many musical terms or formats, I usually just brainstorm a lot until I find what I like and what feels right.
- What do you want to both leave as your legacy?
Liahona: Someone who made the world a place of hope again through my music. Someone who showed what music can really bring to people’s lives. That’s what I hope to leave.
Ammon: When I am gone, I want this world to say when they think of me how this was a person who changed the world for good. That he used his god given talents to not only make good music but also to help people feel good and remember how good God is.
- Talk about how you both go about writing a song?
Liahona: Ammon likes to freestyle a lot when he writes things. I get my piano and play a tune, then as we go along I pick bits and pieces, add more notes in here and there and keep doing that until we have an entire melody. Then together, we think of a topic and write each line.
Ammon: When I’m writing a song it either starts out with a tune or an idea. Then from that tune or idea, I brainstorm the chorus first. After I write the first verse and the bridge. That’s the layout of how I start writing a song.
- How do you overcome challenges in both of your careers?
Liahona: I stay consistent. You can’t always be motivated. But you can be consistent. Consistency leads to motivation.
Ammon: How I overcome challenges in this career is to remember you’re the one that chooses whether something will affect you or not. This industry is tough, but you can do tough things. Take that knowledge and go succeed.
- Is there anything in both of your careers that you wish you could do again?
Liahona: No. Even with the mistakes I’ve made, I have learned from them and they have been a necessary part of my journey. I wouldn’t change anything.
Ammon: I don’t know if I have anything I want to do again in my career at this moment, but I definitely feel like I’ve been improving a lot and if I could go back in time I want to experience the feeling I got when I first wrote my first song.
- What are both your hobbies?
Liahona: I love to cook, bake, teach myself dances, swim, play sports, drink boba, read, write, learn classical music, list music, etc.
Ammon: Besides singing, I like to cook, read books, play sports, learn to draw, play with my little siblings and build forts, and go swimming.
- Fondest memory as a child with your family.
Liahona: Going to the beach and staying there until the sunset is on the water. It’s the first memory I remember fondly of all of the family I had at the time. It’s also when I fell in love with nature.
Ammon: I have a lot of awesome memories with my family, but I think the ones I really remember and that have always stuck with me are every time my mom brought home a new sibling and how we all gathered around and got to hold the baby.
- Who do you both see doing collaborations with in the future?
Liahona: Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Camilla Cabello, Justin Beiber, etc. I’d love to collaborate with any artist really.
Ammon: I see us collaborating with almost anyone, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande and so many more.
- Which recording artist do you both feel made good choices for their brand?
Liahona: Taylor Swift. Her fan base is absolutely ginormous. Her merch is so cool.
BTS. They are some great performers and have the most loyal fans I’ve seen. Their merch is awesome as well. And doing commercials with Mcdonald’s and all, that was so smart.
Ammon: I feel the recording artists that embraced their flaws and turned them into their uniqueness are the ones that have succeeded. Justin Bieber is a good example of this, he has perfected the range of his voice.
- Is there a producer you both would like to work with in the future?
Liahona: The Hooligans and Social House. Their production is just perfection and what I look to have in my music in the future.
Ammon: Yes, both producers for Arianna Grande and Bruno Mars.
- Who is on both of your playlists right now?
Liahona: Jamie Foxx. Love his song Fly Love from Rio and I have it on repeat.
Ammon: I have Hurvy and Pink Sweats.
- What is the funniest thing that has happened to both of you while you were performing?
Liahona: I pulled a muscle in my butt during the first song of our concert because Ammon dropped me at the moment he was supposed to hold his arm out for me and I slammed down into the splits hard. It hurt so bad at that moment. I couldn’t just cancel our concert so I performed and danced until the end. It was painful but looking back at it now it was hilarious.
Ammon: When Lia and I perform we kind of communicate with our eyes to help each other out. So when we are dancing and one of us runs out of breath we kind of tell each other that we need help.
- What is the best thing about both of you being crossover Christian artists?
Liahona: Being able to talk about my love for God is amazing. In a normal concert, you typically wouldn’t. But as a Christian pop artist, it’s so awesome to be able to share your testimony of someone who means everything to you.
Ammon: Not only do I get to create good music, but I also have the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my father in heaven. I am able to share that and strive to become a better disciple of Christ.
- Talk about the producers on your current project?
Liahona: I’m excited to be working with our current producers. These next songs are going to be so much fun and they are great to work with. They give great input when needed as well and I appreciate that.
Ammon: On our current project right now we have an amazing producer named Paul and his team who are helping us to learn what it takes to write songs efficiently, but also to have fun with it at the same time.
- What do you both like about making a music video?
Liahona: The sets. They’re so cool and creative. It’s fun to see what happens when imagination is brought to real life. It’s crazy. A new world, and it’s fun.
Ammon: I am an introvert and I do not really like attention as much as Lia does, but what I like about making a video is that it transports you to a new place, and it’s fun.
- Are you both a triple threat?
Liahona: I would say yes. But there are still things we could improve and work on. There always is.
Ammon: Yes sir!!!
- Do you both have a mentor?
Liahona: Yes. Our parents. The best thing to ever ask for.
Ammon: My Mom is my mentor.
- What artist would you both love to work with?
Liahona: Bruno Mars and Meghan Trainor.
Ammon: I’d actually really like to work with pink sweats or Charlie Puth at the moment and then have BTS teach me how to dance.
- What artist would you both like to meet?
Liahona: Bruno Mars.
Ammon: I’d like to meet Bruno Mars and learn how he got so good at having stage presence.
- What are both your strengths as a singer?
Liahona: Uniqueness. I’ve always been told I have a unique voice, one that would thrive in pop. I can also dance and I can play the piano.
Ammon: As a singer, my range isn’t as crazy as Lia’s, but I feel like I’m learning to master the unique tone of my voice and its capabilities.
- What do you want your fans to know about you both?
Liahona: That I love them. Every single one. They were there from the beginning and it means the world to see people who believe in me. Such a blessing to have them in my life.
Ammon: I am just a guy trying to make it and have a great time performing with my sister. I do not know anything musical and it is only because of you guys that I have this opportunity, so thank you so much! I hope I keep doing performances and making music for my fans.
- What do you both do to prepare when you’re going into the studio?
Liahona: I’m really mindful of my thoughts. All songs I write are personal. So I have to allow myself to be vulnerable and be in the moment. I can’t think about it too much. I just have to feel it.
Ammon: Honestly, when preparing for the studio I take a nap, do my vocal exercises and sketch ideas and words to help me have a creative mindset.
- What do you both do to prepare before going on stage?
Liahona: Stretch, eat a snack, get dressed, do makeup and hair, warm up our voices, and have a meeting with our crew and with each other. We also do a prayer and then a group cheer.
Ammon: Before going on stage, I hype myself up like I did before a game. And I just repeat a phrase to myself that helps me to remember that I got this and I am the best.
- What was the last live show you both went to?
Liahona: We just went to a play for The Sound of Music at an outdoor theatre. That’s my mom’s favorite movie! To be honest, half of our siblings left during intermission but my parents and 2 sisters stayed. Lol!
Ammon: The last live show I went to was in Branson, Missouri watching the Hughes music show. It was amazing!
- What are your biggest assets?
Liahona: I like to progress. I just feel like there are so many things I want to be good at so I spend my time on perfecting or teaching myself new things. I can also be very stubborn and I think most of the time it’s a good thing. I will not be swayed easily by anything and I know what I want.
Ammon: My biggest assets are I can sing, I can write my own music, I can dance and I’m always ready to work hard. I know I still have a lot to learn.
- Talk about the instruments you both play?
Liahona: I’ve played the piano mostly my whole life and was classically trained since I was about 7. It’s a big therapy of mine now and the main thing I did to write my songs.
Ammon: I taught myself how to play instruments. I play the guitar, the ukulele, and a little bit of piano.
- Are there things that you do for good luck before you go onstage?
Liahona: I pray. Always have and always will.
Ammon: I don’t really do things for good luck before I go on stage, but I always remember to say a prayer for strength and for gratitude that I have this opportunity.