By Friday, the release day of Olivver the Kid’s second EP, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, I’d had enough time to start processing what Olivver had told me days before in our interview in Central Park. I’d left that interview a bit worried for him, to be honest. He’d expressed the toll music had taken on him; that he knew what success was like, he’d tasted it with The Neighbourhood, only to fall back into the shadows again when he split to do his own project as Olivver the Kid. Sure, as he put it, “It tastes better” to have the minimal success he has because it’s all his. He’s been able to put himself out there and a dedicated group of people love him for it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt; and maybe it stings even more exactly because he knows what it would’ve been like…
[Full Interview Below]
Nonetheless, I was worried because Olivver is a talented musician with a world of potential, but his biggest downfall, perhaps, is that he feels too much.
“Oh I have A LOT of fucks to give, I give MANY fucks. I care. I care about everything. That level of intensity about giving a shit, that’s what I feel like separates me from other people.”
Sounds cliché, I know. But think about it. When you’re hyperaware of the people around you – the negativity, the pressure – it seeps into your being and poisons you until you reach a point where you must purge it all in order to reintegrate yourself. To reject all of the negative shit people projected on you that even you had begun to internalize. And that’s what Olivver did after he went on his own, the lone wolf that he is. He quite literally filmed a music video (if I can even limit it by calling it that) called “Purge” of him cathartically expelling those negative personalities who had taking residence in his unconscious.
The Olivver I met in Central Park West strolled up in a pair of overalls and pink hair. He was open from the very beginning about everything – even when I gave him an out or admitted I’d gone too far. I thought maybe I’d stretched him too thin when I’d asked if we could listen to some of the new music he’d been telling me about. Halfway through the interview, we took a smoke break. Standing on the corner of 72nd and Park Avenue, cars honking, (“Tell me how you really feel”, Bryan said sarcastically to the erratic New York cabbies), an acrid brume of smoke billowing around us and the warm autumn sun rising over the park behind us, I got to listen to “BBBlue” with the musician who wrote it. I sneaked a peek to see him head-bopping along to his own song.
The Olivver who turned up the next night at his headlining show at The Marlin Room was dressed in black jeans and that classic “badass rocker” leather jacket with red silk lining. I kinda missed the overalls, but I digress. Point is, he can handle himself, which he proved onstage that night. He’s still growing, and I wish him all the best because I know he puts all of himself into his craft. When I finally got to listen to “BBBlue” on my own the day after the interview, I finally heard the lyrics in full. “I don’t want to be the one who corrupted you. / Not you, my baby blue…/ You don’t have to be afraid of me, scared of me”. (Full official lyrics here.) His honesty was so beautiful that it ached.
“Why do you think you’re here?” Olivver asks himself in our interview, repeating a question a friend had once asked him. His answer: “To help.” His life as a basketball coach, camp counselor, and even a brief stint as a guest teacher at Loyola in New Orleans all circle around his need to reach out to others.
Listening to the EP at 1AM on its release day, I finally begun to understand what he’d been trying to convey throughout the interview. The bits of lyrics that had tripped off his tongue, the song samples, his unfiltered thoughts: they finally fit like floating but fated, puzzling pieces into his beautiful story.
Listen to our interview with Olivver – in full – below.
His second EP, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, is available now