What's in your bag? is a recurring feature in which we ask people to tell us a little more about their everyday devices by opening their bags and hearts. This week, we presented vocalist, producer, filmmaker and professional cyclist Oliver Tree .
When Oliver Tree enters the office The Verge everyone takes off his head It's impossible not to notice his ostentatious presence: very wide JNCO pants, a violet and fuchsia ski jacket of the 90s, Gucci suitcase and … a haircut in a bowl. Oh, and he has a shaving motorcycle with him too. It is not unfair to say that Oliver Tree is a meme that walks and talks. The visual tree, along with the person accompanying the humorous person, was deliberately created by Oliver Tree to attract a friendly generation with the memes. And through that lens serves a sticky pop, infused into hip-hop with an electronic kick. Come for the memes, stay for the music.
This combination has been essential to the success of Oliver Tree. His single "When I'm Down" went viral in 2017, accumulating tens of millions of games online. He replicated the formula for "Alien Boy" and again with "Hurt", nailing a very specific vision that is designed to meet the eyes of people and . "Hurt" in particular was a flag plant for the ability of Oliver Tree to create infectious melodies: the song spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot Rock song list, reaching 12th place. Now, he released another single called "Fuck" ", and is Preparing for its full length debut, which will be released this year. Meanwhile, Oliver Tree invites us to take a look inside his world, which includes many scooter stories, a broken iPhone and the mountains of Cheetos.
First of all, I really need to know about your pants because I had JNCO pants and you do not see them very often.
These are JNCO that are no longer for sale. JNCO closed last year, but I was able to pick up these pants through a friend who lives north of the Rockies, this Little Ricky guy. It is a JNCO distributor and has a warehouse with 300 pairs of JNCO. Basically, it has all kinds of khaki JNCOs, short JNCO, leopard JNCO, it has it all.
To be honest, I was surprised they lasted so long.
It's like the end of an era. 19659012] Tell me about your style.
This outfit is made of everything I really thought was great when I was a kid. So these were the pants that I always wanted. These are the sunglasses that I used to wear. This is the haircut I've had all my life. I was too scared to do another type of haircut. My mom chose it for me. The jacket I stole from my mother, but she did not really wear it, so I do not think I miss her too much. And then the socks and sandals are my favorite combination of footwear.
Who do you think has the best style now?
My biggest inspiration for fashion is Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber . Solid. Him and my parents. My parents taught me how to really mislead my arrogance.
Let's go to your bag.
This basically has my essential elements. I carry this everywhere I go. It's a fake Gucci bag that I have in China in the underground market. Well, I guess I should show you.
Yes! Let's go into it. Your suitcase is full of Cheetos?
I'm traveling a lot, so one of the main things I need is a source of energy. There are not many food options on the road. So I just bring my main meal everywhere and my main source of energy.
Do you have a favorite flavor?
Traditional hot. You can have one too. I invite. I have a lot. I bring them to share.
How many cheetos is a meal?
Well, it depends on whether it's the big bag or a small bag. If it's a small bag, I can do about 13, and if it's a big bag I only need two. I also have a liter of Mountain Dew here.
What if someone offers you a salad?
Sometimes I feel healthy and I take a salad and I get rid of a couple of Cheetos there. However, I usually do not say anything.
I can not think of a more perfect substitute for any type of food. It is perfect on any occasion for a meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am a person of intense energy and these things really keep me to the limit. They keep me and keep my chi very high. It's basically the final sandwich.
And then I have a portrait that I painted of myself. I keep it with me in case I ever lose contact with who I really am.
If you forget your passport, show it.
I use it as a legal form of identification.
It's not a problem. Many people know it, but I am great in watercolors and pastels. I think this took me about a month to do. And I do not have a house, so I take it everywhere.
The eyes are very intense.
That was based on the music video where I died, and this is the white-eyed version. That is my understanding. When I painted it, although I was a little drunk, I do not remember it. It's an emotional piece and every time I look at it, I see a lot of myself.
It's from a newer music video, right?
The album is called "Hurt". It's a song I did on a scooter. The accident I had when I was 18 years old. It was a semifinal race in a professional competition. I am in this 20-foot roll in and out of nowhere where this little stone appears. I hit this thing and I just fly away: I break my left wrist, I break my right wrist and I break the joint that connects the thumb with the hand. At that time, I had to start considering other career options because the scooter was not safe. I needed something that had a little more longevity for a career choice. So I started making an exit from the professional scooter world and focused on this Oliver Tree project.
We went to Ukraine to shoot the music video for "Hurt" and I did it with a small loan of one million dollars. Atlantic Records supported us. I want to shout to Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald: it was really the people who helped finance this and give it life. It took us two years to solve the financial aspect, and I do not think we can really be happier with the result.
What phone do you use?
This is an iPhone X. Let me turn you around. because it's broken and that's even more fun. I was in Madrid, leaving clubs and blogging and fell off the pole. And I have a Juul. Strictly marijuana. There's no tobacco in that.
How did you get the design of the Solo cup to be put on your clothes and on the monster truck for "All that"?
From a legal point of view, it was hell. And we have been asked to stop using the logo. We could not use it in other videos. The whole coffin scene in "Hurt" was supposed to be the Solo cup, but they were not very enthusiastic about the idea. After the last video, they said: "Please, never use our things again". But we do not care because I already used it in the first video.
The original designer is a woman who was basically cheated by the company. He worked for the distributor and presented it for a company contest, but did not obtain any of the royalties from it. It ended up becoming a phenomenon, but at that time they were owners of its design. Her name is Gina Ekiss.
Are there other wheeled activities that you are involved in?
I am really great on electric scooters and scooters. I have like, 13 pocket rockets. I drive monster trucks. In fact, I spent five months training for my first music video, learning how to jump monster trucks. This guy just let someone else drive his monster truck, which was Jay Leno, so I'm very honored that he trusted me. It is in the first music video of "Alien Boy".
I was surprised that the guy let me borrow this truck because these trucks are like half a million dollars. It is a huge responsibility. You have to be properly trained by a professional.
Do you record on the road?
We are making movies on the road. We are working on a documentary. We are making half-hour and 45-minute films about the trials and tribulations of how a project starts in all reality. The drama, the violence, the frustration, the suffering. We cover everything. We've already put in a couple of videos. We did a behind the scenes for "Hurt." It's how to make a million-dollar music video.
What is your composition process?
I do not make any composition on the road because I'm going to live life for three months, and then I'll write music for two months in a row and write every story I have to tell. Once I burn myself and start doing the same songs, I get back on the road and experience life. If you do not have enough experiences, you have a limited spectrum of things you can write about, so fuel the fire.
There are many hats that artists have to wear today. If you wear the same hat every day it becomes very old. So it's refreshing to be able to divide it in different parts of the year: this month we shoot, this month we do a tour, this month we make music.
I produce and write music with other producers, but with voices I Basically I'm improvising all that, plus a song or two here and there. I freestyle and see what comes out. If it does not make total sense, but I like the idea that I'm going to cut and cut all these little pieces together and then rewrite the letters. I would say that around 85 percent of the lyrics are improvised.
So I go back to the stock market …
I could not afford it. I had a friend who told me about this market and he said: "You must go here, this is the best underground market in Shanghai". So I went to check it. It is illegal to sell Gucci there because there are real Gucci stores. It is really silent. They can sell all these other items as Supreme, because there are no Supreme distributors there. But there are a lot of Gucci stores.
Because it's a problem for them, you should ask about Gucci and they'll take you to these back rooms, or they'll take you to a completely different store a block away and to a small room covered by fake bags Then they ask you to pay ridiculous prices for it, thinking you think it's real, but all you have to do is negotiate. They really want to make a sale, so they are prepared to negotiate a lot. I was able to negotiate a couple of bags and this was the real pride and joy and what I decided to take to the road with me.
The real reason I'm buying fake stuff is because I love the idea that people think it's cool and it's a $ 2 item. That's why I bought tons of fake pairs of Yeezys. I would tell people that they are fake and my fans thought it was very funny. People like Yeezy Buster would try to call me and he said: "This guy has fake shoes!" I loved.
Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
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