Contrary to his melancholic and realistic approach, Ryan Oliver is an optimistic artist; a free spirited, endearing natured deep thinker contrasted by an element of Aussie cheek. The light and shade you experience in his world is indicative of the planet around, representing the harsh reality of the state of society and the complexities of everyday relationships, all taken with a grain of salt. Sonically, Ryan intertwines honest melody with spacious atmospheres, whilst maintaining a rootsy and earthy foundation.
Ryan took to music naturally. At eight years old his mother encouraged him to take up the piano, perhaps as an emotional outlet to deal with the loss of his father at a young age, or after enduring hours of sibling harmonies on family road trips on the east coast of Australia. His initial desire was to play the guitar, but was assured that if he learned the basics on the piano, he could progress onto the guitar and resume a rock and roll persona. However, something about the ivories kept his attention for longer than originally anticipated. His guitar career only blossomed later in life as a travel-hungry adolescent, with a cheap acoustic in hock for a stint of solo North American living after deciding that an upright piano would be far too heavy and impractical for the journey.
As Ryan became obsessed with the social observation that is songwriting and took a liking to the rush and thrill of live performance, it soon progressed from a hobby to a vocation. He formed five-piece Indie-rock outfit ‘Oliver’s Army’ in Adelaide in 2010 and started regularly filling venues with their energetic and emotive performances. During this time he and his twin brother recorded two EP’s ‘Oliver’s Army’ and ‘II’ which featured a blend of atmospheric Rock and Americana, and supported an array of touring artists including Big Scary, Deep Sea Arcade and Eagle and the Worm amongst others. He relocated to the ever-thriving artistic metropolis Melbourne in 2013 and continued to grow his sound and gain fans. Since relocating to Melbourne Oliver and his band embarked on regular tours around Australia, North America and Europe, promoting their debut album ‘Nothing Ever Really Stays The Same’.
Photographer: Amanda Santamaria