I'm Oliver West, 25 years old, and I'm a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from the mountains outside Anchorage, Alaska. I currently live and tour in Europe as a solo artist and occasionally with my trio.
I've been a musician for most of my life. I got my start playing bass around 11 years old because I hoped it would make me, a fairly uncool kid, less uncool. At some point I picked up a couple other instruments, and got recruited by various bands in my hometown for work as a session musician. Up through college I played bass in loads of bands through the community. While I was always in the back of the bands, holding down the groove, I always had this inkling sensation that I could be a decent songwriter. But for whatever reason, I postponed acting on that feeling. The time just wasn't right yet.
And then I got to Europe. After college, through some fortuitous events and the good will and smart advice of people around me, I landed a teaching gig in Germany in 2015. And suddenly I found myself in a foreign country, alone, with a lot of time on my hands. So I filled that time with songs. I started trying my hand at being a songwriter. So far it's been working out okay.
Growing up in Alaska made me need to depend on my own wits, and as such, I have become something of a stubbornly determined DIY guy. My first record, "Barn Burning", is the product of my first year alone in Europe. I made it entirely with an iPad and one microphone and the things I had lying around the apartment. I put it out online, and it didn't really garner any widespread attention, but that's because I had zero idea about how to market it. I'm working on that.
Still, "Barn Burning" was enough to get me up and running, and put me in contact with wonderful people. Because of that record I've been able to play shows, big and small, all over Europe, perform with a dance company who choreographed my work, sing songs on the streets, and share a lot of beautiful moments with strangers and friends alike. If you'd like to hear my beginnings as a songwriter, you can download "Barn Burning" at the top of this web page, and follow my progression as a songwriter from the very start of it.
My second record "Weather Me" is due towards the end of 2018. This new record has been my experiment becoming a better songwriter and producer, as well as a business person. Whereas "Barn Burning" is largely about sense of place, self, mental health, and guilt, "Weather Me" is a record full of ruminations on lust, stress, and the sheer magnitude of the world that surrounds me. There's also a good dose of whiskey and weather on there. I'm quite proud of this record and hope you get to hear it.
I'm already writing my third record. But more on that later. Hope you stick around for it. Cheers! xo