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Meet Oliver Bohler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oliver Bohler.

Oliver, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started about three years ago as a street drummer on the Santa Monica Pier. I faced a challenge that many immigrants have to deal with, how am I gonna start a life in the states when the visa process prohibits me from working for my first nine months of being here. I’ve been drumming since a kid so I bought a drum set with some money I had saved up, build a cart and pushed my drums to the Pier almost every day. What started as something to just get me by developed into something bigger, I was able to make a living as a street drummer. My shows were between 3 and 5 hours long and I almost always could get people to stop and watch me do my stick tricks and drum solos.

I always wanted to be a drummer professionally and somehow it seemed that this dream could be possible. After my first year, I saved enough money to give my talent the chance of formal education. I got accepted at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood where I studied professional drum performance as a major. I solely supported my college costs by playing on the pier and am forever thankful to all the people from around the world that put a dollar in my tip jar. After graduating from MI this summer (2019) I got a job at a recording studio called The Record Plant. For now, street music is put on a hold, I am working on my career in the music industry, but I will never forget the time and memories I made on the Santa Monica Pier.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Well, as you can guess, solely relying on tips and peoples generosity brings uncertainty. The biggest problem I was facing was what’s next. What’s next after college, will I just keep playing on the Pier? I had to take some action. I landed an unpaid internship and spend most of my time after school there, learning about the recording and music industry. I was still going to school and needed to make money on the pier as well. So there was definitely some pressure but I’ve never been afraid of a challenge. I’ve already accomplished more than I ever could think of when I pushed my drums to the Pier the first day.

Please tell us more about your work.
I’ve started my first real job at The Record Plant about three months ago. It is one of the biggest and well-known studios in Los Angeles, for a fact, no other studio has produced more Grammy winners than The Record Plant. I feel extremely lucky to have the chance to work in this industry. For now, I am working on the entry-level position as a runner. I am confident that I can make my mark in this industry one day.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times the past year. And my answer is, NO! All my choices, all my decisions have lead me to this point in my life. See, I am from a small town in the south of Germany. There are no recording studios and people would have probably called me cray if id just set my drum set up in the town center. You grow with your choices and challenges. I would have never ever thought I’d be living in LA and be working in music, my choice got me here and I am happy about it, no regrets.

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Image Credit:

Katy Bohler

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