Oliver was in town to play the last show of the So Good India Tour at theHRC. We sat down with the man for a chat before his show.
His last English-language album I Like It, which was a massive hit, was released back in 2003. "I had a hard time getting a recording deal for my last album. So I started my own company WOA Records, which stands for Wonder Oliver Artistic Records. I recordedI Like It from my bedroom. So I guess the first WOA office was my bedroom, and it was great! People loved the album! I was incredibly lucky."
Even though his second album So Good just came out, the man's been busy since his initial offering. Armed with an American-minted MBA, Oliver believes in taking charge of things. Once his own album was a hit, he started looking for other talented acts that needed a recording deal. "There is all this incredible talent without a recording deal. So I've been signing up bands who i like and think are promising, recording their work, taking them on tours in India."
Oliver sees great potential in India for live music. The music industry here is obviously dominated by that little industry in Mumbai, but Oliver sees potential in India for good, live music and independent artists. "We have signed up more than 200 artists! Basically, when it comes to international independent music in India, it's just WOA Records! We bring international artists and take them on tours here. And all of it, without any sponsors! It's all WOA money. We barely break even. But it's been a lotta fun!"
Oliver is a very DIY person. He even directed his latest video which released while he was on tour. His mom makes an appearance in the video as well. He's a teamplayer, who watches for his own. Besides signing up bands, he's also published a book that his mother had written, through WOA Publishing. (Yeah, we know, awww!)
Oliver moved to Goa when he was 7, grew up in Dubai and L.A. and now travels the world. So where does he call home? "For me, home is where my two dogs are, and they're in Goa. So that's where I call home."
What's next for the guy? "Well, I am off to finish the rest of my tour! India was the second leg. Dubai was the first. Now it's off to London. And I may be back in India in October for the WOA Tour!"