Meet Olivver the Kid

It was only about a year ago, Bryan Sammis or more commonly known as Olivver the Kid stormed the music scene with his debut EP “Freak”. Now he’s back with his latest EP “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

After getting in contact with Bryan, he was generous enough to give up some of his free time to talk to Outlet. I began to ask him about his earliest memories of music, the singer songwriter mentioned he started playing drums when he was 9 then progressed to playing shows and being in band around the age of 15. A lot of people might recognize Bryan from his days as a drummer for The Neighbourhood but left last year to kickstart his solo career as Olivver the Kid. Nevertheless, I asked Bryan about the transition from being a drummer to now being a singer-songwriter “It’s been fine. The public saw me as a drummer but over the years I’ve sang in bands, played guitar, bass, drums, percussion, etc… In a million different bands. My heart is in songwriting.”

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is packed with heart-felt lyrics and is an emotional journey from start to finish. Discussing the process of bringing the EP to life, Bryan mentions “I had been working on it for a year but couldn’t quite hone in on what I wanted it to sound like & what I wanted to say until getting off The American Youth Tour with Halsey & Young Rising Sons.”

In terms of the overall writing and creative process involved in bringing The Boy Who Cried Wolf together, “I wrote a short story & turned the words into sounds.” The story element is very much present. We spoke a bit more about the goal for the EP and how each song felt like a story that takes listeners on a journey and as one song comes to an end, a new chapter begins. “Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you feel that way. Mission accomplished.”

My favorite and stand out track would have to be “Hell”; It’s hard to describe why I love it so much. Maybe it’s the simplistic nature of the song but also the emotions projected through Bryan’s voice. The song was co-written with Nick from Dark Waves.

It is the end to the story. Realizing that people will make their own decisions & that history doesn’t always have to repeat itself.” – About the inspiration behind ‘Hell’

One thing’s for sure and it’s that this EP doesn’t lack depth. His songs feel very real and personal. He also has the ability to write a great upbeat pop track like “BBBlue” in contrast to the more melancholy tune “4AM”. When asked whether The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a representation of his definitive sound or whether it’s something that will be always developing and changing with more releases, Bryan tell us “I think it is all under the umbrella of “Pop” or “Alternative”. It just seems like there are bigger changes because it is an EP and not a full length. Many peoples full lengths have a range of sounds but it’s easier to swallow when spread out over a full length than an EP.”

He has definitely been receiving a lot of support from fans since the release. “Happy with the support but never complacent. Always looking towards the future.” Browsing through the singer’s Twitter you’ll see fans showing an immense amount of love and praise for his aptitude to beautifully translate a story into music. What’s also noticeable is the amount of respect he has for his fans… it’s truly a genuine bond. With the great success of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, I wanted to know what was next for Bryan and whether a debut album would be a possibility, “Yeah, I just want to do it right. I need to take that next step as an artist. Level 1 is complete. It’s time to put on the big boy pants and take on level two.”

I couldn’t end the interview without asking his thoughts on the music streaming business. It’s a question that I’ve been asking a lot of different artist who are both well established and some still trying to breakthrough. “I’m all for it. I think albums should be ingested as a whole, but streaming is the now & is the future. Better to adapt than to fight off what’s happening. It’s easy for Taylor Swift to pull her music & say all that because she can live without it. She’s making enough money. Whereas I need that source of exposure & revenue.” Couldn’t have put it into better words myself.

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is truly a unique piece of art. There’s no doubt that you’ll be hearing more of Olivver the Kid in the future.

Download ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ on iTunes + You Can Stream ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ on Spotify

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Read the full interview below:

Outlet: For those just discovering Olivver the Kid can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you got started as a musician? Did you always want to pursue a solo career and write your own music?

Olivver the Kid: I started playing drums when I was 9. I started playing shows & being in bands around 15. I was in The Neighbourhood for the whole first album cycle. I left last year to start my solo career under the name Olivver the Kid.

O: Tell us about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? How long have you been working on it?

OTK: I had been working on it for a year but couldn’t quite hone in on what I wanted it to sound like & what I wanted to say until getting off The American Youth Tour with Halsey & Young Rising Sons.

O: How would you describe the overall writing and creative process of bringing this EP together?

OTK: I wrote a short story & turned the words into sounds.

O: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” feels like a story, each song is a new chapter that takes fans on a journey. Would you say that was the overall goal for this EP?

OTK: Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you feel that way. Mission accomplished.

O: One of my absolute favorite tracks off the EP is “Hell”. You can really feel the emotion in your voice. Can you tell us what inspired the song (Hell)? And how the track came together both musically and lyrically?

OTK: It is the end to the story. Realizing that people will make their own decisions & that history doesn’t always have to repeat itself. I wrote that song with Nick from Dark Waves.

529Photo Credit: Jesse Deflorio

O: This EP shows your range, as an artist and that you shouldn’t be categorized into only one particular genre. Each track is unique; from the upbeat pop track “BBBlue” in contrast to the melancholy “4AM”. Does the EP represent your definitive sound, or is this something that’s always going to be developing and changing as you release more music?

OTK: I think it is all under the umbrella of “Pop” or “Alternative”. It just seems like there are bigger changes because it is an EP and not a full length. Many peoples full lengths have a range of sounds but it’s easier to swallow when spread out over a full length than an EP.

O: What made you decide to name the EP “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? And can you tell us a bit about the concept behind the cover art?

OTK: Aesop’s Fables. The cover art was a three part collaboration between Jackie Kulla (painting), Travis Keaster (Photograph) & Garret .Net (design).

O: Are there any plans on releasing a physical copy of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”?

OTK: Maybe on tour.

O: It can sometimes be daunting releasing new music because you never know how people are going to respond to it. Are you overwhelmed with the amount of support and love you’ve been getting from fans?

OTK: Happy with the support but never complacent. Always looking towards the future.

O: You went from being a drummer to now taking center stage. Can you tell us what that journey has been like?

OTK: It’s been fine. The public saw me as a drummer but over the years I’ve sang in bands, played guitar, bass, drums, percussion, etc… in a million different bands. My heart is in songwriting.

O: You’ve been on tour with Halsey and Young Rising Sons. What would you say has been the best show you’ve played so far?

OTK: Chicago.

530Photo Credit: Jesse Deflorio

O: What’s next for you? Is a debut album a possibility?

OTK: Yeah, I just want to do it right. I need to take that next step as an artist. Level 1 is complete. It’s time to put on the big boy pants and take on level two.

O: Are there any tour dates in the works and maybe even Australian ones? (Remember when The Neighbourhood played Laneway Festival in 2013… Good times)

OTK: Not yet, but hopefully soon. Reach out to Laneways Fest. Tell them you want me there.

O: As an upcoming artist, what are your views on music streaming? You have artists who are pulling their entire catalog from Spotify because it “devalues music”. Is it really about the music or is it more about well-established artists looking to make more money?

OTK: I’m all for it. I think albums should be ingested as a whole, but streaming is the now & is the future. Better to adapt than to fight off what’s happening. It’s easy for Taylor Swift to pull her music & say all that because she can live without it. She’s making enough money. Whereas I need that source of exposure & revenue.

O: Lastly, tell us something about yourself that not many people know?

OTK: I was my high school mascot for a little while. Go eagles haha.

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Photo Courtesy of the artist