Kylie Olsson has interviewed some of the greatest guitar players through her work as a presenter, music journalist and author. She noticed one trait they all share, and it is a trait she shares with them when it comes to her chosen profession.
“They all have a passion. This is all they ever wanted to do,” Olsson says. “They will do anything to do it. That’s their life.”
Olsson can relate to having that kind of passion as she has approached her work the same way. Her long list of credits now includes “Life in Six Strings with Kylie Olsson” scheduled to launch at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2 on AXS TV.
In the eight-episode offering she joins up with some of the greatest six-string virtuosos in music such as Steve Vai, Mick Mars andNuno Bettencourt. The guitar masters invite her into their homes to delve into the instrument’s impact on their lives.
The series is giving Olsson the opportunity to expand on her passion. There will continue to be the journalistic elements as she gets each performer to talk about their past and present with guitars. At the same time, she gets to cross over to the other side as she learns tips and tricks to guide her on her own journey to learn how to play the guitar.
Olsson describes the series as “a great learning curve” on many levels.
She went into each interview looking for assistance in her quest to learn how to play the guitar better. But Olsson didn’t need any help when it came to the interview portions, having interviewed some of the biggest names in music for Sky Arts, VH1 America, MTV, Palladia, Planet Rock and the BBC. Olsson also toured with Def Leppard and worked with The Rolling Stones.
All her past work helped Olsson get invites into the homes of her interview subjects.
“A lot of them I knew from before,” Olsson says. “Steve Vai and I didn’t know each other that well but he is really open and so you feel like you know him instantly.
“One thing I found since I started this guitar journey is that it is a club. As soon as you play, you are in the club no matter how good you are or how rubbish. Whatever end of the spectrum, you are in this club.”
Olsson’s journey to get to be part of that club started during the pandemic. She had always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but had never had the time. Because the world had shut down, she found her opening.
Her lessons ranged from instructions via Zoom and weekly in person with a guitar teacher. That’s when she hit on the idea of getting some free lessons from her friends that turned into the series for AXS.
The first thing Olsson realized when she started her guitar lessons was that it was much more of a struggle for her than her work as a writer, TV host and journalist. She admits that even while she was filming the series, she kept questioning what she was doing with the guitar and was convinced she was embarrassing herself.
One thing that kept Olsson going with the lessons was remembering what she had to overcome to finally feel comfortable being in front of a camera or a large audience. When she was young, Olsson was painfully shy.
“There was a point where my parents were really worried about me because I was so painfully shy,” Olsson says. “I got to the end of high school, and I don’t know why but I put myself forward to be in the play.
“That was a real turning point for me. Then I realized that actually you should do something that scares you. You can push yourself as a person and experience new things.”
That realization continues to play out for her as she will face embarrassing moments as a novice guitar player playing in front of those who have mastered the six strings. She now knows that is not a bad thing but is a way of expanding her world.
She also admits to being a little nerdy and that has given her a great curiosity about how things work and where they come from. Those are the kinds of questions she gets to ask of the musicians featured in the series.
Through all her work, Olsson has been able to talk with some of the greatest guitar players on the planet. Olsson doesn’t hesitate when asked which artist who is no longer with us, she would have wanted to meet.
“Hendrix,” Olsson says. AXS TV is a multi-platform music and entertainment digital platform and television company that has a broad library of concerts and music-inspired programming, professional wrestling and MMA.