Olivver the Kid is the moniker/solo project of Bryan Sammis, an LA-based artist and songwriter who parted ways with the much-buzzed-about indie group The Neighbourhood in early 2014. Since doing so, he has released his debut EP, Freak, and toured alongside artists such as Halsey and Young Rising Sons.
Olivver graced us with his R&B/hip hop laced pop sounds during the launch of our TuneCore Live event series at the Bardot in LA in January. Needless to say, we loved it! That’s why we’re excited to have Olivver the Kid playing our TuneCore Live: Austin party during SXSW next Friday at the Vulcan Gas Co presented with the help of Swisher Sweets, CraveOnline, Mirrored Media, DropKloud, and LANDR. We got the chance to interview the drummer-turned-singer/songwriter about his past SXSW experiences and what he’s looking forward to this time around. Make sure to pre-order his new single, “I Want It” on iTunes (release date March 17th)!
You’ve got some SXSW experience under your belt. In what ways will you be using this experience to shape your trip this year?
Booking less shows, haha. In my old band we played like 2-3 a day our first trip there and it definitely took a toll on us physically and mentally.
What’s something you wish you knew before your first visit to SXSW?
I wish I was better prepared for our off time: who was playing and where. Also, parking is a bitch.
What differences to you expect between going to SXSW as the drummer of a band burgeoning indie rock band and performing as the lead man?
It’s a definite difference. This new project is a little less of a “band” so things run differently in terms of stage set-up and travel. On the other hand I have to take care of my voice. So, these 2 shows a day and 3 shows a day routines are not gonna cut it for me, especially since SXSW is in the middle of our tour.
SXSW has certainly changed over the years. Would you say there are as many opportunities as challenges for indie artists trying to navigate & network?
Yeah, I think it’s a place where you can get out of it what you put in. Networking alone can be worth the trip. Also, playing the right showcases for the right people & making new fans. But that’s not to say there aren’t a fair amount of obstacles to overcome (some mentioned previously).
Do you think touring around SXSW, be it before, after or both, is crucial in capitalizing on the experience?
It just makes the trip make a lot more sense. Otherwise I’m driving to & from Austin from So-Cal.
Between promoting yourself & keeping your fans engaged, how will you be using your social channels to make the most of your time at SXSW?
I’ll be letting people know when/where I’m playing for sure.
How has the launch of your music differed in relation to going through the label system?
The freedom is much greater. The opportunities are fewer. So, I have to really capitalize on the opportunities that I come into on my own.
What kind of role has TuneCore played as your musical journey has progressed this past year?
TuneCore was a way for me to get my music out to fans through all the popular platforms (iTunes, Spotify, etc…).
Any fun showcases, artists or events that you’re looking forward to checking out while in Austin?
I have to do a little research, but we have some downtime so I’m definitely going to make the best of it.