A Conversation with Oliver Tree
By Amal Qazi
I sat down with singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, scooter stuntman, online presence, and overall renaissance man Oliver Tree to discuss what he’s been up to and what’s to come – from DJing to performing in Antarctica to making movies and more.
Watch the whole interview here: https://youtu.be/HbnSYwNqA7I?si=sh_ssv9tZaSU91Rc
Oliver Nickell released the latest installment of his project as Oliver Tree, the full length album Alone in a Crowd, back in September. Potentially his last release as Oliver Tree, this is a pivotal moment in his career so let’s take a brief look back at how he ended up where he is now.
Oliver started making music at the age of 3, learning how to play different instruments and ending up in a rock band called Irony when he was in middle school and a rap group called Mindf**k in high school. Shortly after, he became a dubstep DJ, the success of which led him to be able to join an agency and even open for Skrillex. After deciding he didn’t want to keep contributing to the drug-addled environments of dubstep raves, he switched from DJing to making music, experimenting with different genres and creating a bedroom produced sound that further aided in his music career gaining traction.
He’s said in multiple interviews that no one had been listening to the music he was making, and he had an opportunity to make a music video that could have been on MTV, so he decided that instead of trying to be cool and “sell sex” like most others in the industry, he would be as goofy as possible to stand out. This is where the Oliver Tree character was born, which was also featured as Turbo in Vines that got millions of views (click here for the original Vine: https://youtu.be/_hhAd8C4SvY?si=G4UMISblleGaahN6) and propelled him into internet fame. He’s remained a prominent internet presence since his first appearance as Turbo, with several songs going viral, such as Alien Boy and Miss You.
The sources of his Oliver Tree getup are simple. The bowl cut was the same hairstyle he had all his life, the glasses the same ones he would wear as a child to feel cool, the ski jacket from his parents in the ’80s, the classic dweeby socks and sandals combo, and the JNCO jeans that every kid growing up in the ’90s wanted. This was his way of being different but at the same time as true to himself as he could be.
Because of his love for filmmaking, his music videos and performances are a large part of his creative drive. He has directed his own music videos (in which he does all his own stunts) and has worked on several feature length documentaries that he told me may or may not be released any time soon. His upcoming tour is a massive production, a mashup of the most eclectic forms of entertainment imaginable, with WWE fighting, movie clips, belly dancing, scooter stunts, and so much else that it took a 30 page screenplay for Oliver to get all his thoughts out for what he wants his show to be.
Though there’s so much more I could say about his career and so much that I left out*, I’ll just tell you to watch our interview and go see him in all his glory for yourself at his upcoming Alone in a Crowd tour.
*Check out his 2.5 hour long interview with Steve-O for an in depth look at his life and career.
Follow us on Instagram @wgmuradio and keep an eye out for a chance to win a ticket to his January 24th show at The Anthem in Washington D.C.!
Listen to his new album Alone in a Crowd anywhere you stream music and get tickets for his crazy show at a city near you on olivertreemusic.com/tour/ now.