Despite only being sixteen years old, singer and songwriter Joe Oliver is showing wisdom and success well beyond his years. With his debut single Masquerade managing to garner more than 2000 streams online already, his follow-up release Why is looking set to surpass that very soon.
With its fresh and dynamic production that conjures up comparisons to the likes of Vampire Weekend and Bombay Bicycle Club, his newest offering is the upbeat and bubbly delight we all deserve in these uncertain times. So with his return firmly on the cards, we sat down with the young frontman to find out more about his influences and what first brought him to the world of music.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
I began playing the guitar at 6, and as I got older I became more and more obsessed with it, I would watch fingerstyle guitarists such as Tommy Emmanuel playing their arrangements and copying their hand positions and fingering techniques.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
I think, since I started songwriting it would be difficult to pinpoint one prominent inspiration, but I enjoy addressing different issues through songwriting, as shown by my latest single Why, which confronts the problem of mental health and difficulties in communicating with someone who suffers from it.
What kind of music do you love as a teenager?
As a teenager, my favourite artist is currently Rex Orange County, as I think his originality in his songwriting is incredible and combined with his ability to perform live he is a massive inspiration for me.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
I can remember hearing Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Drunk’ and knowing that I would want to replicate that and perform that. And from there I became more and more fascinated with harmony and song writing, and the ability to share my songs on stage with people.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Usually something calm and gentle, for example Daniel Caesar’s work, E.g: Japanese Denim and ‘get you’.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
I have written quite a few songs about people in my life. I have a brother with Autism who I find very inspiring to write about, and my most recent single is about my sister who struggled with severe depression when she was younger.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I think it would be the first time I performed an original piece on stage, I loved seeing how people connected and interpreted the song.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
I really enjoy learning different languages, such as French and German, and would love to one day do some performances in those countries, as I love both their respective languages and cultures.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I have always found astronomy fascinating, so I would have loved to have done something related to that, I used to read books about it and would use a telescope to try and see something.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
As someone who is themselves trying to start a career in music, I would say try to perform live as much as possible and just get your name out there, even if its through Instagram or facebook etc..
Joe Oliver’s new single Why is available to stream and download now.