Oliver Nickell, also known as Tree, creates innovative music that captures the beauty of living inspired. Ingenious lyrics compliment Tree’s infectious beats, which combine elements from various musical genres. This dynamic approach makes Tree’s debut EP ‘Demons’ absolutely transcendent.

“Let me put it this way, if I am pouring every bit of myself into a piece of artwork, if I am spending literally thousands of hours creating something from scratch, draining my blood, sweat and tears to bring it to life, then without a doubt, there will be an underlying message or theme,” Nickell said. “I always create with the intention that I want my music or art to bring joy to other people.”

Nickell, while in his 20s, has been making music for years and is part of Tree Collaborations, which is “a multi-media collective of painters, musicians, web-designers, and directors out of the Bay Area.” In the beginning of February, Tree Collaborations released their debut short film that features Tree’s song, “Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole (ft. Beat Culture & Lena Kuhn),” off of ‘Demons.’ Not only is Nickell part of an immensely talented art movement, but he is also wise beyond his years when it comes to the realm of self-expression.

“Tree has opened my mind up to the endless possibilities that we are capable of as human beings,” Nickell said. “The reality is that we tend to underestimate our abilities and what we are capable of; I’ll take this moment to mention that in other cultures, take India for example, it is believed a person must practice 30 years to become a master of their craft.”

But even an individual as gifted as Nickell, who has opened for Skrillex in the past, received a nod of approval from Radiohead, had his music played on MTV and BBC, feels this is just the beginning, but that “we must remember there is no rush, nothing happens overnight.”

Nickell’s talent shines through with his relentless passion and creative tenacity; we can only hope that Nickell never stops creating, but luckily, at least for now, we can look forward to hearing more of Tree in the future.

“Needless to say, I am at the very early stages of my creative journey, ” Nickell said. “I really hope Tree can consistently evolve over the next 10 years and never get stuck attempting to recreate my own previous sound.”

Listening to Tree captures both your interest and imagination, but you may find yourself asking on more than one occasion “what is this noise?” Considering the fact that Nickell carries a recorder with him, documenting all sorts of random sounds, you might never be able to know for sure.

“[In San Francisco] I would take my recorder on the bus every day to school and record the endless ambience of the city,” Nickell said. “You would get the most diverse blend of sounds, sometimes I’d be recording and even come across people fighting or crazy homeless people talking to themselves.”

Nickell’s creativity has led to some embarrassing moments in the past. “This one time I got caught recording these 8 year old kids who were yelling at each other on the bus,” Nickell said. “I was sitting right next to them and one of the kids noticed something in my hand and asked if I had been recording them – at first I said no way,
but the second after those words came out of my mouth, I accidentally hit my recording device’s playback button and the audio I had just recorded of them yelling, started playing out loud in the bus.”

However, the effortlessly cool Nickell shared that he does not feel remorse regarding his creative pursuits, and that his inquisitiveness has helped create some “incredible, worthwhile results.” But what about the next big thing, or that one sound that rejuvenates a genre, maybe even creates a new one?

“The sound of the future is lurking and waiting in the unknown,” Nickell said.

If anyone is going to discover it, my bet is I’ll hear it first from the musical pioneer Tree.

To learn more about Tree visit http://treecollaborations.com/

Words: Dig This Not That

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