Olivia Mosley talks about her band Bobby Petite, the Bellingham music scene, and life outside of music.
Story and Photos by Eva Bryner
It’s a sunny, May afternoon, and in a gravel alley of Bellingham’s York District, three college students are hauling music gear into a beat up truck.
This is the scene as local band Bobby Petite gets ready for their first show at the Underground Coffeehouse, a small venue on Western Washington University campus.
Carrying drums from the basement to the car, Olivia Mosley, the band’s lead singer and bassist, wipes off some sweat.
“I need a shower, I’m feeling so grimey,” Moseley says.
Mosely, known simply as Oli to friends, alongside bandmates Ryan Barney and Bella Cole-Preciado, make up the Bellingham trio, Bobby Petite.
Barney leaps across the passenger’s seat into the driver’s seat, as Preciado and Moseley climb in the car, packed tight with instruments, seats, pedals, and drums.
“My front door won't open cause I ran over a cord in Oli’s driveway,” Barney says, “I think my uncle will help me replace it.”
Windows down, the group heads to campus, all playfully blaming each other for the strong smell of body odor along the way.
Bobby Petite started as Moseley and Preciado, two old friends who had always loved music. When Barney stepped in, the group formed and quickly started playing small house shows around Bellingham, later bars such as the Firefly, and now the Bellingham Arts and Music Festival (BAMF!).
Mosley and the band have dreams of Bobby Petite gaining popularity, but work and school don’t just fall to the side.
Moseley works at a local garden and is working towards her concentration at Fairhaven College, a branch of WWU.
“I think my concentration will be a focus on the intersection between environment and social power dynamics based upon race and socioeconomic status, long story short,” Moseley laughs.
Setting up in the Underground Coffeehouse, a reporter from the Western Front, a campus paper, approaches Moseley and the group, telling them she’ll be photographing them for their upcoming story.
“We talked to a reporter a while ago, it’ll be cool to see it in the paper,” Moseley says while glancing over the most recent edition of the Front.
Barney and Preciado return to the car after setting up, and Moseley sits, taking in the stage in front of her.
She tells me about taking the quarter off from classes, and how she feels pressure to stay busy, and how she’ll be working on a farm in France over the summer.
“I’m excited, but it still doesn’t feel real. Like, I’ve made the plans but it hasn’t sunk in,” Moseley says.
In a way, this poetically sums up the trajectory of Bobby Petite so far.
The ambition is there, as well as the potential for something bigger, even if they don’t quite feel it.
While BAMF sits around the corner, Moseley spends her days working, and her evenings skating, making hummus; always thinking of music.