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Oliver Tree

Oliver Tree

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
birthday
29th
June, 1993
Birth Sign
cancer
Biography

Oliver Tree Nickell, better known simply as Oliver Tree, is a singer-songwriter, producer, rapper, and comedic filmmaker from Santa Cruz, California. Born on June 29, 1993, the 28-year-old artist got a deal with Atlantic Records back in 2017 and has since released his debut studio album, four EPs, and several successful singles.

Outside of his career as a musician, Oliver is also known for his work as a performance artist who pushes the boundaries with his unruly video clips. He’s directed his own music videos, using them to turn each release into a multimedia project meant to challenge people’s perspective of what defines art. He’s performed at festivals like Lollapalooza and Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.

Thanks to his ability to turn everything he does into something of a meme, he’s often described as an artist for the internet era. He is redefining what it means to be marketing pop culture in the world and developing his own blueprint. 

Take a peek into the world of Oliver Tree by reading below.

instruments played
Vocals
Also Known As

Turbo, Tree, Kryph

Associated Acts

Whethan
NVDES
Getter
Blink-182
Lorenzo
Little Big

Genres

Indie pop, electronic, alternative hip hop, alternative rock, indie rock

Labels

Atlantic, R&S

Occupations

Scooter Enthusiast, Musician, Producer, Singer, Rapper, Songwriter, Comedian

Years Active

2011 - present

Oliver Tree's Early Life

Oliver grew up in his birthplace of Santa Cruz, where he started his music education at a young age. Nickell has said in interviews that he started taking piano lessons at three years old, wrote his first song the next year, and had written his first full album at six.  Some of Oliver's first forays into performing were as a vocalist or guitarist in several different projects. He was in the lineup for a ska band called Irony, and also recorded music with the Santa Cruz-based rap group Mindfuck.  Oliver even made dubstep for a time, using the alias Kryph to DJ at live shows and festivals in California. He’s had many paths and iterations in the type of entertainment he creates over the years, even dabbling in mock reality TV drama and action sports. 

How Did Oliver Tree Get Famous?

Before performing as Oliver Tree, Nickell kicked off his music career performing as "Tree." That record, titled Splitting Branches, came out on February 17, 2013. However, Nickell didn't score a hit song until several years later.  After releasing an album as Tree, Oliver took a break from music to focus on schoolwork. He'd been performing as Tree since 2010 and even got a deal with Belgian-British label R&S Records in 2011. However, the Tree project failed to take off. Oliver's first hit was "When I'm Down," a track that he made with Whethan in 2016. That song became a sleeper hit, and it served as the launching point for Oliver's career. After the song's success, he finished school at the California Institute of the Arts, where he majored in music technology. 

Oliver Tree's First Music Video 

After signing to Atlantic, Oliver took to directing and starring in his first music video, a double feature for the songs "All That" and "Alien Boy" (a song which has also gone platinum). The California native practiced monster truck stunts for several months before doing all of his own stunts in the video.  Oliver frequently plays characters in his songs, switching from persona to persona for the sake of comedy. His method-acting skills are most often on display when he's playing the role of "Turbo," the character featured in his debut music video.

Oliver's Debut Album 

On July 17, 2020, Oliver released the album Ugly is Beautiful via Atlantic Records. The record features production work from Andrew Goldstein, Marshmello, NVDES, Ethan Snoreck, and more, and it made it to number one on the US Rock Albums chart. The album was originally set to be released on March 27, 2020, but Oliver postponed the date, making a joke about it coming out sometime "in the next five to ten years." The tracklist for Ugly is Beautiful includes the singles "Hurt," "Miracle Man," "Cash Machine," "Let Me Down," and "Bury Me Alive," all of which were written and recorded between 2018 and 2019.  His music is often described as the type of genre where pop and alternative meet, and he doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested in hitting conventional benchmarks when creating his music. He’s occasionally compared to artists like Melanie Martinez, Joji, and Muse, but it’s definitely not an exact comparison. 

What’s Oliver Tree Up to Now? 

Since his album's release, Tree has frequently joked – or so it seems – about going into retirement. His first hint of planning to step out of the spotlight came from a July 2020 interview with Anthony Fantano and Ethan Klein, hosts of The Needle Drop and H3H3 YouTube channels, respectively. Oliver told Fantano and Klein that he had consistently had troubles with the music industry and was feeling discontented and that he had plans of making filmmaking his main focus in the years to come.  Oliver has been candid in interviews about his frustration with his label, Atlantic Records, who he often portrays as breathing down his neck. He told Ethan Klein that the label had forced him to release specific songs from the Ugly is Beautiful tracklist before he wanted to, which made him feel creatively disempowered. Tree’s negative experiences with Atlantic may have played into his desire to retire from music. Nevertheless, Oliver has continued to release music since 2020, dropping three singles and an EP in September of 2021. The EP, Welcome to the Internet, is a collaborative effort with Little Big, and it features the single “Turn It Up” with Tommy Cash.  In addition, Oliver announced that he was planning on releasing a second album, which will reportedly be titled Cowboy Tears. We’ll leave you with this: Rolling Stone said that Tree “exists in a permanent state of Napoleon Dynamite-like eccentricity.” 

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