19-year-old Andrew Oliver to release ‘Forthright’ album in spring
Charming, polite and well spoken. Andrew “Flip” Oliver, a 19-year-old Greenville native, knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Music and faith have both played huge roles in his life and he has learned how to combine them to create is own kind of music that he is sharing to be enjoyed by others.
His most recent single, “Coffee and a Cigarette (Live),” was just released and now he is getting ready to release his first full studio album called “Forthright” this spring.
Oliver, who is pursuing a business degree in South Carolina, has been singing since he can remember and producing his own music since he was 15. He was home-schooled by his mother until junior year of high school, then started taking classes at Grattan Academy in Greenville and was known to sell a few of his CDs there
Finding his musical touch
Throughout high school, he also worked almost full-time at a hardware store. His first attempt at playing an instrument was on a guitar when he was nine, but the first instrument he actually stuck with was the trumpet when he was 11.
“My parents really stressed that each child play an instrument growing up,” Oliver explained. “They never had much opportunity for music as children so I believe they wanted us to have something that they never could.
“I studied privately under Mr. Ayers (Greenville Middle School band teacher) for three to four years,” he added. “His instruction was so beneficial. It wouldn’t be until later that I realized how advantageous that musical training was for me.”
VIDEO: Live performance of “Coffee and a Cigarette”
Oliver said he’s grateful for the opportunities his parents provided him.
“You learn to appreciate these things in hindsight,” he said.
Oliver and his younger brother, 17-year-old Stephen, have done their own rendition of songs from Andrew’s favorite band, Death Cab for Cutie. You can hear the “chill” influence Death Cab, an alternative rock band, has had on Oliver’s music when you compare the two. Both styles of music have a good beat, but not too heavy metal or too sleepy classical.
While for most people, the temptation may be to listen to a song and focus on the melody, Oliver’s lyrics are worth paying attention to. They prove that he has wisdom beyond his years. His favorite chorus is from his song, “Empty Hands: I’d rather have two empty hands, feeling free and blessed, than be a wealthy man beat down and oppressed.
Building a road to success
In addition to producing music, Oliver enjoys spending his free time skateboarding, and he adores cats and finds philosophy intriguing. He doesn’t hesitate to tell you, either, that he is greatly inspired by his Baptist faith and Christ and tries to capture real life emotion is his music. When speaking about his father he said, “I’ve been told I have a large vocabulary for my age, I’d imagine he’d be to blame for that.”
What sets Oliver apart from other young musicians is that, in his own words, he is the “whole package” — he writes his own lyrics, puts together his own instrumentals and records and edits everything himself.
Down the road, maybe 10 years or so, Oliver said he sees himself as a “self-supported music producer” with a “decent following.” He’s confident, too, that he always will produce his own music.
The ultimate goal, however, is to get compensated for his work and to be a producer for a handful of clients. No matter where he ends up, Oliver said Michigan always will be home.
On occasion, Oliver has worked with another producer, 32-year-old Nate Parisian, a Lansing product but currently living in Greenville. He has previously produced his own albums.
“In addition to his engineering skills,” Oliver said of Parisian, “he is an incredibly talented rapper and we are in the very beginning stages of putting together a collaboration album that I’ll be producing.”
Parisian said he likes working with Oliver because of his dedication and talent. “I appreciate Andrew’s blue collar work ethic, and when coupled with his intellectual vocabulary, it’s easy to enjoy the end product of his artistry. He is a very determined young man, with a big heart and a chip on the shoulder.”
Oliver has created the perfect combination of great lyrics and inspiring music. Because his lyrics and instrumentals tend to come to him at different times, he said he always carries a small notebook with him in case he has a sudden inspiration.
“Whenever the inspiration comes, I obey. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t let anyone discourage you from doing what you love,” Oliver said. “Your path to success in life won’t be the same as anyone else’s.”