Ollie takes his show on the road


Hip hop artists will often speak about being on the grind. Simcoe’s Denton Oliver has been grinding since entering the music business in 2015.Since that time, the 23-year-old has written and performed numerous tracks that have garnered hundreds of thousands of streams online.That work ethic is paying off for Oliver – known by his stage name ‘Ollie Raps’ – as he recently signed a recording deal with Warner Music.He debuted a three-song EP Friday and is celebrating its release during a European tour. “I just kept putting out new music as much as I could,” said Oliver, an SCS grad. “Over time the fan base just continued to grow and we were able to get more looks. We were getting some big Spotify playlists. I just kept working and it all came together.”The Ollie Raps tour includes stops in Germany, Czech Republic and London, England, where demand was so high a second show was required.“This is my first real tour,” he said. “I’ve played some shows here and there but I’ve never been on an actual tour so it should be cool. We’ve put a lot of work into it, we built an actual show for the first time which was a cool process. It’s just nice to look back and see the progress and how far you’ve come and be proud of what you’re doing.”Before signing with Warner, Oliver was consistently writing, releasing and promoting his music to a rapidly growing fan base. His videos/songs routinely rack up over 10,000 plays on YouTube – the overall total stands at just shy of 1.5 million. A year ago, he hired a manager and has continued down a similar path.The EP is entitled ‘Lost’, which is also the first track.“I tried to cover a variety of genres and styles that I’ve done in the past and also just explore some new stuff and be creative because I feel that’s how you really benefit as an artist is continuing to push yourself to be better,” he said.“It’s some of my favourite work to this day. There’s a bunch of different topics and styles and moods.”‘Lost’ chronicles a time when Oliver was feeling down on his luck while ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ looks back at a past relationship. ‘Proud’ is about the musical journey he’s been on in recent years,“I’ve been stacking up songs for the last three months – I have about 30 unreleased songs,” Oliver said. “I’m just trying to really, really perfect them and try new stuff. For this project, we brought in real musicians … which was really cool to experience the collaborative part of making music where you bring in people as opposed to just programming it on production software.”Though he’s been busy planning and preparing for the European excursion, Oliver hasn’t forgotten about his fans back home. He and his team are in the process of booking a number of dates in both the US and Canada for the coming months. They’re also kicking around the idea of returning to Europe.“I feel like that’s the best way to grow a fan base,” he said. “You can’t grow a fan base if you never play there so going back to these markets and being pretty consistent about being there is what I’m trying to do in this next year.”Those wishing to listen to Oliver’s music can log onto youtube.com/user/[email protected]

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