Interview with Oliver Pigott
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I inherited my late father’s harmonica collection, along with his blues records. He was my initial source of inspiration, leading to my decision to pursue a musical career. I attended an international school while growing up in Portugal and was privileged to learn advanced mathematics at an early age. I thought at that time I would grow up to be a mathematician, realizing later that music and math are intrinsically related. Had I not become a career musician I probably would have become a chartered accountant.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love walks in the woods. Natural surroundings and no access to technology amount to an abundance of inspiration.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been performing musically since age 11, when I got my start singing karaoke at the beachside bars in Portugal. My favorite karaoke songs to sing were Lean On Me and Wild Thing.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I recently moved to Nashville, having brought my family to the US in August 2020. The vast array of styles to be found here, from Bluegrass and Folk to Country to R&B and Soul, profoundly influence my writing. I’ve incorporated all these genres into my current, mostly as-yet unreleased catalogue. My latest studio release, Eyes My Daddy Gave Me, came out October 20th and is my first American single. It's the first in a series of songs I've written since moving to the US and I believe they make up my best work yet. I drew inspiration from troubadours like Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor for these new tunes.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I was the lead vocalist in a Toronto-based rock band called The Celebration Army. I would change costumes frequently during our shows and we would throw out pink balloons throughout the performances, emblazoned with our band name. By the end of every show, there would be tons of balloons everywhere. We opened for Canadian legend David Wilcox at Kee to Bala and his management got mad at us because of the sea of Celebration Army balloons still being batted around during his headlining set. We opened for him a second time, but only under the condition that we not include the balloons.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I played live at Abbey Road’s Studio 2, singing lead vocals in a blues rock band called The Black Hand. That’s been a highlight for me, as I’m a huge Beatles fan. I also played a memorable show with Gordon Lightfoot at The Glenn Gould studio, CBC. It was for a gala called Walk You To The Water, named after one of my songs. I consider that opportunity to have been a great honor.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Sierra Ferrell, Chris Stapleton and Billy Strings.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would give my younger self and newcomers the same advice: Only through repetition can one find the beauty and character of a work. Keep rehearsing and reworking your material and discover the constant, magical surprises that unfold as one undergoes this process. Take your audience’s critiques seriously.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
All my songs hold special significance for me. Currently, Eyes My Daddy Gave Me is foremost on my mind, because it was just released and therefore brought up old memories and sadness surrounding the memory of my father.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Don’t Pass Me By (a live version was just released on Spotify), Eyes My Daddy Gave Me and Only Heaven Knows all get requested frequently and all happen to be my favorite songs to play.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I generally start with a melody over a chord progression, then I record myself concocting a melody sung spontaneously and with mostly gibberish words. I then listen and re-listen to the scratch recording, gleaning real words from the random vowels and consonants. What follows is usually several days of edits and rewrites until I’m satisfied that every word deserves to be there.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I want my listeners to feel a kinship with humanity from what I hope are universally imparted themes brought forth in my songs.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I plan to release the ten-plus songs I have in the can early in the new year, with pre production meetings to begin this month. Eyes My Daddy Gave Me was produced by Clarence Jey and features my bandmate Devon McPherson and I plan on collaborating with both of them on an ongoing basis.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Oliverpigott.com is a hub for all my work and social media, or you can visit me on my various platforms: