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Meet Oliver Howard of Oli-J in Inglewood

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

Oliver, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am originally from Nashville, TN. I started singing at the age of five years old, growing up and church, and started writing songs and stories a year later. I would constantly be thinking about new ways to dive into the creative side of me every chance I get. I would lose my focus on music and writing because I also played a lot of sports and a pretty smart kid which made me not as serious about my arts being a kid.
Fast forward to today.

I moved to Los Angeles, CA early December of 2019 to focus on my music since I wasn’t doing it in my hometown as frequently as I wanted to due to me trying to focus on my vet tech career.

I came out here after getting fired from my last clinic job due to me not really have focus and just making small mistakes that could have been avoidable. It made me realize that maybe being in Nashville wasn’t for me anymore and I left with only some money in my pocket and a dream. After a month, I found a decent job making good money to fund my new album that is in the works right now out here and some more music with other friends from Nashville. A couple of months in, COVID-19 hit and I got laid off my first job out here.

Staying strong, I found another job cooking making better money, and now I’m working harder than ever to make it out here in Inglewood and to get my voice heard. I was blessed to make friends with two amazing producers who truly support me.

I have been through a lot with juggling many jobs back home and not living my true potential as to who I am as an artist and a human being. I get so tangled in a web of confusion that I lose sight of everything and just wanted to work and find a normal life for myself back in Nashville and make it work. Everything I did for my vet tech career, failed. Hard.

Nothing work and it made me find a depression in myself I never want to go back to living out here in California now. I’m living a more positive life. I’m taking my music to a new level. I’m challenging myself to obtain the dream of being a big artist because I have the voice. I have the story. I have the will and the means to inspire people around me to show them that life can be tricky but If you one day see the true you in yourself, what can stop you?

After all my 27 years of being on this earth, it took 15 years to not be afraid and go for it. No matter how much I struggle, I am much happier going for something that means more than life to me. I don’t care about being broke or having the most fans online or whatever it is people look at the most about this life. As long as I, Oli-J, can make it through everything I been through so I can make a change with my music and the person I am in general. That is all that matters.

My name is Oli-J. I am a singer/songwriter and producer whose voice and name will be known one day out here in the state of California and everywhere else across this world.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has never been a smooth road at all.

It has been multiple times where I have wanted to give up and stop singing and writing completely due to having depression and being Bi-polar. I have a lot of skills under my belt being a pretty smart guy so, with that, it made it hard to see a straight path for my life.

I always thought by the age of 21 of me graduating from the college of Tennessee State University, I would go on and follow my career in the animal world. I got fired from over four clinics in three years.

It hit me hard every time because I couldn’t understand anything every time I was let go but I picked myself back up and tried again only to fail again.

I had this state of mind where I wanted to rush my life and have my place reaching adulthood but rushing only made things worse for me and I lost my first apartment at the same time I lost my last clinic job in August 2019.

As smart as I am, I just tend to see life at a bigger picture 100% of the time and I want it. Always.
But, life doesn’t come that easy and I tripped over all the mistakes I made.

Now, I’m changing all of that and taking things slowly and doing things right. I am going to do things so much better living out here. I know it.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
The music I make, I am inspired by Prince, Sade, Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, and even Mario.

My sound isn’t really like any artist you listen to today and the lyrics I write, I write to send a message and make it relatable to my audience.

It is vibes and moody. Upbeat and off-tempo but it makes you feel good while making you say “that’s me.”
My music sends you a journey of putting a puzzle piece together using my words and your feelings. I love it! I love singing and my voice can fill a room in a second.

My writing is something I taught myself relating to the structures of my songs and the usage of my words. I tend to write songs for other artists as well when I have the time and send them off in demo forms.

The album I am getting produced now is called “31 Days” which is being produced by these two amazing guys who I can now call my friends. Benny Bridges and Danny Goiliger. Relating to March and the emotional ups and downs of starting to like someone but ended up being hurt in the process. All in 31 days.

In this album, my audience will have the chance to hear the full range of my vocals versus my EP, “Abstracted”, where I didn’t show a wide range due to the writing style of my songs and the mood I was going for but the writing style I went for is going to take people on an emotional rollercoaster meaning my voice has to elude everything about it.

It is heavily inspired by Sade, Solange, Prince, James Blake, Jay- Z, and even Kanye West along with some other artists. I am very excited to finish this project by the end of the year and show my fans something very different from music.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love about living in Los Angeles is that diversity is so unreal and so colorful!

It puts you in a position of really wanting to work for something, no matter what it is. You are definitely pushed to your own limits and surpassing them is your goal.

What I don’t like the pricing of everything, lol, but that is California for you and understandable to a certain degree. It does suck because rent could be better and make living conditions out here somewhat better but with as much as this state has to offer and do, it is kind of hard to justify the correct dollar amount living out here and seeing the fast pace world of this state with my own eyes.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Credit for photos goes to my one my best friends for painting my body, Bethany Seeke (IG is seekelawson). Kai for the painted body pics (IG is kaisann_). My bro Robert for my “Notice Me” picture. (IG holynguyen). My other best friend who is an amazing artist himself for my Oli-J pic, Herschel Lamont. (IG hershthaprophet). My little not blood related bro, Jordan Carpentar for my black and white pic (IG jordan.perspectives), credit for my album that is being produced out here (IG benny_bridges) and (IG danny_goliger)

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