Meet Ollie Happyness: “Don’t resist, One Love. Follow on social media for videos of me eating bagels”. Source: About Ollie Happyness, Spotify.
My Kind of Music, with Ollie Happyness.
Yep, that’s it. That’s all we’re getting as far as general info is concerned. You think that’s quirky? Lemme tell you how this little story began…
I sleep odd hours during the night. As a former night shifter, this one little thing never got back to normal again. This means I get to do stuff during the night, that is, if I wish to 🤐 One of the things I definitely do, is listen to music and keeping up with my socials, since most of my contacts are awake then. Time zones can be killer, but I try to get as much benefit from it as possible.
Early morning – we’re talking 4:19AM local time – 4/21/2021, I noticed I received an email from Ollie Happyness, directed to my blog, which is always interesting to me. At the same time I got a new follow by a band called Downtown Mischief on Twitter, though the names did not seem connected, at first. Try guessing my reaction when reading this: ‘…Would you like to do an interview? I got arrested during my last video shoot and I live with 4 cats and a poodle!’
I looked up the band and was still not sure if there was any connection, so I just messaged them to hear if the actual mail was theirs. I then found out, my guest of today is a member of said band and had released a couple of solo tracks recently. So here we go, off to Canada once more!
First things first: if you want to know about the bagels, you have to look Ollie Happyness up on Instagram. Apparently there was a #1man1day11bagels challenge… Anyways, back to his music. The first song, ‘Special’, was released 12/18/2020. Giving me kind of a Beach Boy vibe at the start, it’s a track that slowly carries you towards a wonderful and totally unexpected transition, somewhere around 3:20.
One of the standard questions in my interviews is: How would you describe your music? Unfortunately, there was no real answer to that, and I find it quite a challenge to describe it myself 😅 Does it fit any genre I know? Not really… ‘Special’ feels like a fusion between the mentioned Beach Boys going to a Luau, a James Taylor’s folk rock song and finally transforming into the outro of an EDM track – which you might get the feel of while watching the video. The guitar play is woven throughout the song like a carefully spun thread. Though the song may sound like a sweet lullaby, the lyrics will make you think otherwise: ‘I know she’s thinking we’d be fine, and I can see it in her eyes and all she do is waste my time and I’m not gonna change my mind. She thought that she was special…’ I know… Words are just not doing this song justice, so why don’t you just click on the below and decide for yourself. It doesn’t happen too often I can share great video’s here!
The second song Ollie Happyness released, is ‘Pashmina Baby Goat’, released 1/9/2021. Yeah. A title like that is bound to raise some eyebrows, wondering what the heck this could be about. Another song with some amazing unexpected transitions, which definitely will surprise the listener and keep ears focused on what’s going on. Telling ‘A Tale Of Two Species’, the song is displayed in a great video. Again we’re soothed with a song sweet as sugar, about the friendship between a – yes – baby goat and a human. Well, ain’t that the cutest, don’t let it fool you though, it seems to be a love lost also…
At around 3:30, the sweet baby goat changes from Pashmina to Psychedelic, basically rapping about being bigger than life, wearing sunglasses 😎, attitude and all. Really, Ollie Happyness seems to be bursting with creativity and it only makes me wonder what to expect in the future. The track is basically a showcase for his talent and the video is surely adding to the ‘whole package’ concept. For the rest, I’ll let Ollie have his say. But you can have a look!
So, Ollie Happyness, keep an eye out for him! It’s time for the interview and boy, I can only say: just let it happen lol. BIG Thank You, Ollie Happyness! I was so freakin pleasantly surprised by your little email, great way to sell yourself for real! I wish you all the blessing and creativity on your musical path! I will add you asap to the Spotlight page, where you will stay indefinitely and I will do my best to update every new release. You have the stage.
Let’s start with the obvious: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us, who is Ollie Happyness? When and how did you start making music? Do you play any instruments yourself or sing? And where does the lovely name come from, has it any special meaning to you?
‘Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Canada, just north of Seattle. I spend most of my days splashing in the oceans and playing music in the parks.
I play Guitar and have been known to sing Melody’s.
My name came from back in the days that people were putting “No Enbridge” and “Fuck Harper” in their Facebook names. I was thinking, “I agree, fuck those things, but is a changing your Facebook profile really the way to effect change?” and then I just changed it to Ollie Happyness and was like, “Ya this is a more positive message”’.
Before I go any further, your email sure was a great way to catch my attention! Please tell us about the video shoot and why you got arrested?
‘Oh I got arrested cause we were shootin this music video with a bathtub the week before and I did a streaking bit but didn’t realize we were in a public park. I ended up having to climb a tree to avoid the dogs!
Then the next week we are driving around smoking joints and the same cop sees us. Pulls us over, arrests my roommate (who was driving), and lets me go. I had to pick him up from the Police station 6 hours later to finish the video. No charges. We clear!’
Who have been / are, your biggest influences? Where does your inspiration come from?
‘I love all music. Some days I just wanna drive my bus around and listen to pop country. If the girlfriend and I are having a night, D’angelo and Usher. Cruising through the nieghborhood, Anderson Paak always wins.
But then sometimes you gotta go to dads house, smoke a joint and listen to the Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson.
Oh ya Cat empire is top 5 fave bands too’.
You’ve got two songs for now: ‘Pashmina Baby Goat’ and ‘Special’. Especially that first one has one interesting title for sure. Can you give a little background info as to how the song came together?
‘I was in Northern India with my dad and brother 2 years ago. We had just arrived in this town called Leh, it is as north as you can get in India before you hit Nepal.
We had taken some LSD to acclimatize our bodies to the elevation and gone on a short walk. When we got back I was picking away on my super shitty guitar I had bought in Delhi the week before, like it had to be tuned with pliers cause the pegs were so rusty. The high E string peg broke fully, which is why the whole song can be played without it. We had been talking about buying a goat to bring with us on some treks and just generally for fun company. So I just started singing “I am just a lost Pashmina Baby goat” and my brother was like “Waiting for your love come play with me”.
I spent the next 4 hours making cool new chords and boom done. Then we hit the studio a few months later and the second funky half was just born out of the grooves Mike Zurmeli (drums) and Staves the Tiger (bass) were laying down. The entire funky part of the tune was written one evening in the studio’.
How does your creative process work? Do you have certain steps you follow, or do you ‘go-with-the-flow’? What do you consider the most fun part of making music and what would be the hardest?
‘No steps. Some songs are written on guitar. Some from just cutting and pasting in Logic. Some with friends, some solo. Some on Ukulele. Sometimes I just start singing a melody and record it, find it a year later and turn it into something.
My favorite part is discovering the music! I don’t think about it that I am making music art, more that I am discovering it. It just kinda comes out and I don’t know how it works. Anyone who tells you they do is either a Neuroscience Philosopher and they are grasping or they just have no idea.
Thoughts just come into being and its awesome!’
You’re also part of a band called Downtown Mischief. How different is it to make music on your own, compared to working in a band? Do you feel your music is an extension or rather something wholly different?
‘DTM is definitely fun but its just bigger to manage and there are more people on the creative journey, notably Wishbone Jenkins. So its kinda nice to just have my own thing going on where I don’t report to anyone. But its also harder in some ways because when you hit a block, its just you to overcome it. Although even in my solo stuff I still do a lot of writing with other people and musicians which is something I really enjoy’.
Can you share a highlight from your past experiences producing music? And why was this so special to you?
‘I mostly just stay up way to late and record vocal harmonies until I have some sort of demonic bridge and then the next day I’m like “well that’s fucked” and usually cut it and make something less weird’.
I know you’re working on new stuff, anything you wish to share about what’s in store for your fans? What would be the ultimate dream come true for Ollie Happyness?
‘I am working on a EP right now which I am super stoked on. I have been recording real drums this last week which just adds such a live and funky element to music. Like I love produced drums but its different’.
Anything else you wish to add / share, with your fans / the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?
‘I think you nailed it. Look out for my EP this summer. Hopefully in August. Maybe even July. Definitely some singles coming before the whole thing come out!
Thanks so much for all your time!’
Again, Big Thank You, Ollie Happyness! And to you my readers, leave a nice comment below and give Ollie a follow, which you can do right here:
Wishing y’all a great weekend and remember, baby goats are cute! ❤