On December 25, 2001, Oliver Tree was not just any kid at Christmas. Instead, once endowed with his very first Razor scooter, he suddenly held the keys to his future.
Fast forward two decades and the artist has amassed nearly 24 million monthly Spotify listeners and half a billion lifetime streams. In fact, he has over 11 million followers on TikTok, a platform practically tailor-made for his signature brand of quirky comedic nonsense — just check out his edgy platinum blonde haircut. Half bowl, half mullet, he called it the ‘bowlet’.
Always on the go, Tree is hard at work now Cowboy Tears, a full-fledged country album whose release will reportedly mark his retirement from music. It’s a far cry from the funky mixes of pop, hip-hop and electronica that he put his name on – and according to a recent interview with Audacy Check In’s Bru, his fans aren’t exactly on board.
Unsurprisingly, Tree didn’t care.
“This is all I listen to. I only listen to the new stuff,” he told Bru. “I’m like, this is the best album I’ve ever heard in my entire life. If you guys don’t want it, I don’t care because I listen to this thing 24/7.”
Holding onto his weapons is a practice Tree knows well. His debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful, was a fanciful ode to self-love and acceptance. Of Cowboy Tears, he now switches to research vulnerability, especially among his male counterparts.
“Cowboys are the toughest guys. It’s okay for us tough guys to cry, and the point is, it’s okay for everyone to cry,” Tree explained. “There’s a lot of anger that comes from holding onto your emotions, and that’s very popular with guys. Cowboy Tears is teaching people how to get it out and be able to get it out in a way that won’t be violent or self-destructive.”
Tree and Bru discussed everything from his dream to visit 100 countries next year to the 17 documentaries he’s filmed over the past four years. He even hopes to do a show in Antarctica one day — “It’s Harder Than You Think. You Have to Play at the Army Base” — and jokingly looks forward to the day when thousands of his unreleased songs will be posthumously released from the vault.
And, post-Cowboy Tears, he plans to work hard at a career as a feature film maker, diving into the world of visual storytelling from behind the camera. Two completed scenarios, he revealed, are already in his back pocket.
“This is what I’ve done. People just haven’t seen it,” Tree commented. “I’m making things. That’s all that matters. I get my hands dirty and I create every day.”
Until then, you can see Oliver Tree next spring on his “Cowboy Tears” farewell tour, which kicks off February 19 in Los Angeles. Tickets are on sale now.
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