“It’s harder than you’d think. You’ve got to play at the army base,” Oliver Tree said of Antarctica in a recent interview.
On December 25th, 2001, Oliver Tree wasn’t just a kid on Christmas. Instead, once gifted with his first ever Razor scooter, he suddenly held the keys to his future.
Fast-forward two decades and the artist has racked up nearly 24 million monthly listeners on Spotify and half a billion lifetime streams. He’s even got over 11 million followers on TikTok, a platform practically tailor made for his signature brand of quirky comedic bullshit—just check out his badass platinum blonde haircut. Half bowl, half mullet, he’s dubbed it the “bowlet.”
Always on the go, Tree is now hard at work on Cowboy Tears, a full-blown country album whose release will reportedly mark his retirement from music. It’s a far cry from the funky blends of pop, hip-hop and electronica he’s staked his name on—and according to a recent interview with Audacy Check In’s Bru, his fans aren’t exactly on board.
Unsurprisingly, Tree couldn’t care less.
“This is the only thing I listen to. I only listen to the new stuff,” he told Bru. “I’m like, this is the greatest album I’ve ever heard in my entire life. If you guys don’t want it, I could care less because I’m listening to this thing 24/7.”
Sticking to his guns is a practice Tree knows well. His debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful, was a fanciful ode to self love and acceptance. With Cowboy Tears, he’s now switching gears to explore vulnerability, particularly among his male counterparts.
“Cowboys are the toughest guys. It’s okay for us tough guys to cry, and the thing is, it’s okay for everyone to cry,” Tree explained. “There’s a lot of anger that comes out of holding in your emotions, and that’s really popular for guys. Cowboy Tears is teaching people how to let it out and be able to put it out in a way that isn’t going to be violent or self-destructive.”
Tree and Bru went on to discuss everything from his dream to visit 100 countries by next year to the 17 documentaries he’s filmed over the last four years. He even hopes to play a show in Antarctica one day—”It’s harder than you think. You’ve got to play at the army base”—and jokingly looks forward to the day when thousands of his unreleased tracks are posthumously set free from the vault.
And, post-Cowboy Tears, he plans to be hard at work on a career as a feature filmmaker, diving into the world of visual storytelling from behind the camera. Two completed screenplays, he disclosed, are already in his back pocket.
“This is what I’ve been doing. People just haven’t seen it,” Tree noted. “I’m making stuff. That’s all that matters. I’m getting my hands dirty and I’m creating every day.”