Born (1993-06-29) June 29, 1993 (age 30) Other names Occupation Years active 2010-present Musical career Genres Instruments Labels Associated acts Signature

Oliver Tree Nickell (born June 29, 1993) is an American singer, record producer, and comedian. Born in Santa Cruz, California, Tree signed to Atlantic Records in 2017 after his song “When I’m Down” went viral and released his debut studio album Ugly Is Beautiful in 2020. He achieved further success with his song “Life Goes On” in 2021, which has since gone on to amass more than 400 million streams on Spotify. He released his second studio album Cowboy Tears on February 18, 2022.

Early life

Oliver Tree Nickell was born on June 29, 1993, in Santa Cruz, California, where he was also raised. He has said he took “piano lessons at three years old, [began] songwriting the next year, and [had] an album written by age six.”

Tree studied business at San Francisco State University for two years and Music Technology at the California Institute of the Arts.

Career

2010-2016: Early career and hiatus

Oliver launched his solo recording career as “Tree” in 2010. By then, he had made presentations for performances such as Skrillex and Zeds Dead. He initially self-released his music but signed with R&S Records in 2011. He sang and played guitar in a ska band called Irony, which was his first experience performing. Under the pseudonym Kryph, Tree produced dubstep for a brief period of time and performed at festivals such as Wobbleland 2011 in San Francisco. He performed shows opening for acts such as Tyler, the Creator, Nero, and Frank Ocean, and released music under his pseudonym, Tree.

At age 18, Tree signed up with London-based R&S Records and released his debut EP, Demons. The EP gained some recognition after Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke approved of his cover of their song “Karma Police”. Tree eventually found himself on hiatus as he went back to school, studying music technology at the California Institute of the Arts.

2016-2018: Return to music and Alien Boy

In November 2016, he returned to music with his television debut, performing with Getter on Last Call with Carson Daly.

Shortly after the release of “When I’m Down”, Tree signed to Atlantic Records, and a month later, graduated from the California Institute of the Arts.

Tree often writes, acts, and directs sketches in comedy videos.

In February 2018, Tree released his major-label debut EP, Alien Boy, along with the double music video for “All That x Alien Boy”. Tree wrote and directed the debut, which took over nine months to create. He spent five months practicing freestyle monster truck jumping at the Perris Auto Speedway and performed all his stunts in the music video.

Oliver Tree has played major festivals such as Lollapalooza and Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, and performed as a special guest at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and EDC, most notably at Coachella, where he was subsequently named on LA Weekly‘s “The Best (and Weirdest) Fashion at Coachella” list in 2017.

He was the supporting act on Louis the Child’s 2017 Last to Leave Tour (2017) and Skizzy Mars’ Are You OK? Tour (2018), and was scheduled to join Lil Dicky and DJ Mustard on the Life Lessons Tour Fall 2018 before it was canceled. Tree toured North America and Europe with Hobo Johnson in 2018.

2018-2020: Ugly Is Beautiful and singles

Throughout 2018 and 2019, Tree released singles that would make an appearance on his debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful. On December 7, 2018, Tree released his second music video, “Hurt”, a single from the album. He travelled to Ukraine to film the video, which he wrote and co-directed with Brendan Vaughan, an up-and-coming music video director. In the first week, the music video for “Hurt” reached one million views while the song received significant radio play. On April 11, 2019, Tree released a standalone single, “***”, with the music video being released on the same day.

His fourth music video and single, “Miracle Man”, was released on June 7, 2019, with the video reaching 1.3 million views on the first day of release. Tree released his second EP, Do You Feel Me? on August 2, 2019, to generally positive reviews.

On December 6, 2019, Tree released “Cash Machine”, a single accompanied by a music video. Together with the single, Tree announced his debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful, and announced that the album would be released on March 27, 2020. On March 25, 2020, Tree posted a message to his Twitter page, stating that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ugly Is Beautiful would not be released on time. However, on May 19, the album’s official release date was revealed to be June 12.

On May 16, 2020, Tree set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest kick scooter, which he later uploaded a video of himself riding on July 17, 2020.

On June 8, 2020, Tree announced his decision to delay Ugly Is Beautiful yet again, this time to July 17. He stated that, because of the issues of racism and police violence against black people going on during that time after the murder of George Floyd, he “did not believe it was an appropriate time” to release the album when “much bigger things” deserved attention. On July 17, 2020, Ugly Is Beautiful was released.

2021-present: Deluxe version of Ugly Is Beautiful and Cowboy Tears

Despite claiming that he was retired, he released the single “Out of Ordinary” on February 4, 2021, announcing the deluxe edition of Ugly Is Beautiful.

On May 28, 2021, Tree released a deluxe version of his debut album named Ugly Is Beautiful: Shorter, Thicker & Uglier.

He would later collaborate with Russian rave band Little Big and release the single “Turn It Up”, featuring Tommy Cash, from their collaborative EP Welcome to the Internet, which was later released on September 30, 2021.

On January 12, 2022, Tree released the single “Cowboys Don’t Cry” from his second album Cowboy Tears. Cowboy Tears was released on February 18, 2022. On May 20, 2022, Tree released a single, “I Hate You” along with “Cowboys Don’t Cry”. He also announced a tour to accompany the album Cowboy Tears.

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions Title Details Peak chart positions US US Alt. US Rock AUS AUT CAN IRE NZ UK Ugly Is Beautiful

  • Released: July 17, 2020
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Digital download, LP, cassette

14 1 1 23 51 47 38 28 32 Cowboy Tears

  • Released: February 18, 2022
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Digital download, CD, LP, cassette

60 7 7 67 — 91 — — — “—” denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Independent albums

List of independent albums, with track listings Title Album details Splitting Branches(as Tree)

  • Released: February 17, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: Digital download, Spotify

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions US Alt. US Heat. Demons(as Tree)

  • Released: August 12, 2013
  • Label: Apollo
  • Format: Digital download, 12″ EP

— — Alien Boy EP

  • Released: February 16, 2018
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Digital download, streaming, 12″ EP

— — Do You Feel Me?

  • Released: August 2, 2019
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Digital download, streaming

21 16 Welcome to the Internet(with Little Big)

  • Released: September 30, 2021
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Digital download, streaming

— — “—” denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

Singles

As lead artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album US US Alt. US Rock AUS CAN IRE NOR SWE UK WW “When I’m Down”(with Whethan) 2016 — — — — — — — — — —

  • RIAA: Gold

non-album single “All You Ever Talk About”(with Whethan) 2017 — — — — — — — — — — “All I Got” / “Welcome to LA” — — — — — — — — — — Alien Boy “Cheapskate” — — — — — — — — — — non-album single “Enemy”(with Whethan) — — — — — — — — — — Alien Boy “Upside Down” 2018 — — — — — — — — — — “Alien Boy” — — — — — — — — — —

  • RIAA: Platinum

Alien Boy, Do You Feel Me?, & Ugly Is Beautiful “Movement” — — — — — — — — — — non-album single “Hurt” — 4 11 — — — — — — —

  • RIAA: Gold

Do You Feel Me? & Ugly Is Beautiful “***” 2019 — — — — — — — — — — non-album single “Miracle Man” — — 22 — — — — — — — Do You Feel Me? & Ugly Is Beautiful “Cash Machine” — — 13 — — — — — — — Ugly Is Beautiful “Let Me Down” 2020 — 26 9 — — — — — — — “Bury Me Alive” — — 34 — — — — — — — “Let Me Down”(featuring Blink-182) — — — — — — — — — — non-album single “Out of Ordinary” 2021 — — — — — — — — — — Ugly Is Beautiful: Shorter, Thicker & Uglier “Life Goes On” 71 27 7 34 46 33 14 63 33 26

  • BPI: Silver

“Turn It Up”(with Little Big featuring Tommy Cash) — — — — — — — — — — Welcome to the Internet “Cowboys Don’t Cry” 2022 — 28 18 — — — — — — — Cowboy Tears “Freaks & Geeks” — — — — — — — — — — “Swing & a Miss” — — 31 — — — — — — — “I Hate You” — — — — — — — — — — 0TBA “Miss You”(with Robin Schulz) 84 — — 4 28 2 29 21 4 19 0TBA “—” denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

As featured artist

Title Year Peak positions Album US Rock FRA “My Mind Is”(NVDES featuring Oliver Tree) 2016 — — Life with Lobsters “Forget It”(Getter featuring Oliver Tree) — — Radical Dude! “Running”(NVDES featuring Oliver Tree) 2018 — — Vibe City Utah “Pumpidup”(Lorenzo featuring Oliver Tree) 2019 — 62 Sex in the City “Freefall”(Whethan featuring Oliver Tree) 2020 — — Fantasy “***”(Lil Yachty featuring Oliver Tree) — — Lil Boat 3.5 “Mr Regular”(What So Not featuring Oliver Tree and Killer Mike) 2022 — — Anomaly “Sick of U”(BoyWithUke featuring Oliver Tree) 30 — non-album single

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Ref(s) 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Social Music Star Nominated

See also

In Spanish: Oliver Tree para niños

About Author

Kay Adams