Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Olivver the Kid

Olivver the Kid
Photo by CJ Harvey

Olivver the Kid brought poetic performances and Pure Trash to the American Youth Tour this Spring. His Freak EP dropped last October after many months of anticipation from fans. They can all reassure you that it was worth the wait. Leaving the intense heat of LA for the chillier city breezes of Manhattan, Olivver spent a few moments answering some of our questions. Enjoy!

AMBY: Thank you for sitting down and having a chat.

Olivver: Of course! Thanks for having me.

AMBY: I heard you’re from New York City, how did it feel to play Brooklyn last night, and do you have any expectations for tonight?

Olivver: It feels really good to be back in the city, I was actually going to move back here last January, but I didn’t. I’m from Long Island, but I moved out here when I was in middle school or earlier, so I’m not really like a New York native, but it feels really good. Brooklyn was great, got to see a bunch of friends. Tonight, in Manhattan should be even better because I have family coming out and tonight is actually all ages and yesterday wasn’t, so I’m pumped! I love being back here!

AMBY: How have fans reacted to your new stuff, such as your new single I Want It?

Olivver: It’s been good! I actually come out on stage to a brand new one, which has been getting a lot of attention because nobody knows it yet. Which is pretty cool. “I Want It” has done pretty well for sure. It came out mid-tour, so for the very first shows people didn’t know it yet and once it was out, people started to know it a little bit more. It’s been good!

AMBY: Are you still working on a release date for Loser Baby?

Olivver: Yeah, that’s track one! That’s the track I play first. That’ll be… summer probably. I’ll shoot to have that out by summer. I think it will be part of this next project I’m working on.

AMBY: Your music videos have become a hot issue on social media. What are you trying to accomplish with your music videos compared to your music? Are they for storytelling, or are you trying to add another layer of meaning to your songs?

Olivver: It depends on which one. Sometimes there’s another layer, sometimes I’m telling the same story or same message of the song but in a visual format. They’re just cool! I don’t like when music videos are lame. I don’t like when music videos are all the same and stuff. I kinda like it when it’s a concept kind of thing.

AMBY: Multiple personalities and juxtaposed situations are a focus in your music videos. Is there a certain reason for this?

Olivver: Yeah, definitely. I think everybody has sides to them and nuances to their personality, you know? I think that that’s important. I mean, for “Purge”, part of that was getting rid of those negative things. A lot of it was what I thought of myself, or what people had said about me and so that was literally a purge. I left it all there. I shaved my head, I shaved my beard, I left everything that was negative in that video. Which is why it’s hard for me to watch it.

AMBY: Your writing style is really unique, do you put more emphasis on lyrics, musical composition, or how they work together?

Olivver: I think — lyrics to me are huge. Lyrics to me are very very very important. But, that isn’t to say that I would skimp out on, like, a production or a melody. I think that sometimes those things hit people just as hard as lyrics can. So I want to have an equal emphasis on both those things for sure.

AMBY: You integrated voicemails into the Freak EP. Why did you do this, and are you planning on doing something similar again?

Olivver: Well, the next project is a different concept. That (the voicemails) was like the glue that tied the EP together. The next project will have a similar glue, but it won’t be voicemails. But, I did that because the songs are about real life, personal things. Freak is a voicemail that a girl from London left me, who I used to see. DTRT (Do The Right Thing) is a voicemail that my uncle left me. Not Coming Home is a voicemail that my grandfather left me. (It was) Kind of like an over-arching theme of where I was in that time and place, you know?

AMBY: You’re fairly active on social media, and you recently held a phone call event with fans. What kind of connection do you think you have with your fans, and would you like to strengthen it?

Olivver: Yea, for sure! I gave a little speech on stage last night that I’m not better than anybody. I think that that’s an **ass-backwards way of thinking. I think that a lot of people go into music for the wrong reasons; because they want to be famous. That’s bad. Don’t do that. Don’t go into music if you want to be famous. Why does anybody think that they’re entitled to be better than anybody else? The way that I look at it, I’m not a religious person, so the way that I look at it is that we’re all breathing organisms on this giant rock floating through space and we don’t even really know what that is. Why not just leave the best impact and have the best time and make people feel the best they can. I’m on the same playing field as every single person who’s in the crowd. Just because I’m on the stage doesn’t make me any better of a person, or make me more valued.

AMBY: Where do you find your inspiration, and do you take anything that happens on tour and put them into songs, or do you try to leave that separate from your music?

Olivver: It always depends. If I meet a girl on tour and I’m in love with her, then I’ll write a song about it. But if not, I won’t. It’s all totally situational.

AMBY: Is there anywhere you want to take yourself in the industry, other than a performer? Whether it be a writer, or a music video director, or producer?

Olivver: Definitely! I like to think of myself as just creative in general. I’m not just a musician. The first line of “Not Coming Home” is “I’m not one thing” and you’re not one thing either. I actually co-wrote and co-produced this song that’s coming out for this girl named Devon Baldwin. It’s called “Lungs”, and I just love doing that type of stuff. I’d love to, maybe not direct music videos, but help with the concept or the treatment of it. I’d like to think that I have good ideas, and I just like being involved with creative things. I mean, **hell, I’d act! If someone was like “Hey we like you acting in ‘Purge’, come act in this TV show.”, I’d say “Yea, cool! I’m down!” That’s always fun. That seems like a cool thing I might be good at, maybe not. Yeah, I think just any way that I can be creative, I’m down to do.

AMBY: Do you have any last things that you would want to say to fans and readers of AMBY?

Olivver: Thank you for checking me out, I really appreciate everybody’s support. You can check out my stuff on ITunes and Spotify and Pandora and stuff. And always do the right thing.

AMBY: Thank you so much for your time!

***

Thank you Olivver the Kid, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Emilie Weinerman | @awarrenwriting

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