From the Snowy Mountains to Over 100 Interstate Shows: Meet Oscar Litchfield
Written by Freya Stockman
Oscar Litchfield may be a country boy from the Snowy Mountains, but he has big ambitions and isn’t wasting any time in his pursuit of them. His impressive track-record of live performances across Australia proves that this singer-songwriter and guitarist has his eye on the prize.
Since December 2017, Oscar has performed a whopping 104 shows at 46 different venues, events, and festivals – 51 of those shows were performed this year alone and it is only August people! Oscar’s lyrical style echoes authentic storytelling, complimented by the deep raspy undertone of his vocal expression. The ONTAP team are placing their bets on Oscar to go all the way and we are fairly certain that we have picked a winner!
Oscar has lived a fairly alternative lifestyle to many of us city-slickers, growing up in the heart of the Snowy Mountains on a sheep farm near Numeralla Village. As a little boy, he used to listen to his mum’s old CDs stored in a wooden trunk which inspired his love for music. His mum also used to make Oscar little guitars out of cardboard and rubber strings, until Oscar finally learnt to play a real guitar when he was only 7-years old. Despite sheep farming being a family owned business, Oscar says he is fully committed to music.
Driven by his love of creating, Oscar began song-writing and developing his own percussive-acoustic style to add depth to his music. The idea behind percussive-acoustic is to think of your guitar as a drum kit, producing rhythmic sounds with your hands that equate to a kick drum, snare, or hi-hat. This essentially means that Oscar is a one-man band ready for world-domination!
Currently, Oscar is inspired most by Ben Howard for his detailed song-writing, his energy while performing live shows, and his obsessive work ethic. Oscar’s favourite quote by Ben in reference to music, is “You have to be prepared to work hard, and the nice thing is if you love it, you’re totally prepared to work hard, you’d do anything for it…I always give something 120 percent if I really want to do something, I really try and make it happen.”
New Single Release Announcement - This is Not a Drill
‘Places’ will be Oscar’s second single, which will be released this coming Friday the 16th of August on all platforms – eep!
This track depicts the start of a new chapter in Oscar’s personal life and music career as he chases his dreams, as well as following his intuition in all aspects of my life. Oscar: “Song-writing for me has always been about understanding ideas or events that I have gone through, or people I have met.” For example, Oscar explained that the lyrics for ‘Places’ reference the sad fact that sometimes it isn't possible to keep in touch with old friends despite wanting to, especially when touring as a full-time muso. Oscar: “It is the nature of the beast, but I wouldn’t trade those lows for the highs and the love I have for creating and performing my music.” So, in summary, this song is very sentimental and worth a listen!
Lyrical Extract from ‘Places’:
‘Please stay in touch,
Don’t fade away
The connections that I think I’ve made
They all willow within my thoughts
While I fall asleep’
On Tour Indefinitely
Once Oscar graduated from school, he set his intentions on gigging full-time around Australia and has already earnt legendary status for performing 104 shows in under two years. He enjoys a nomadic lifestyle, living in his 2004 Toyota Prado most of the time to save some coin! Touring has taken him almost everywhere including NSW, ACT and VIC, but starting September 2019, he will be able to add SA, TAS and WA to his ever-growing list. Oscar may be a country boy at heart, but he sure is making waves in the Australian music industry.
Touring with Oscar is never dull, especially when his mate Pierre tags along for the show!
While Oscar played a 3-hour set at a recent gig, the bar staff decided that they would treat Pierre to unlimited free beverages. As I always like to say, never say no to free sh*t – right Pierre? Unfortunately for Oscar, Pierre was not in a coherent state to keep him company during the draining 2-3-hour car ride home like he promised. Free drinks and a free ride home… being friends with Oscar seems to have its perks!
The Challenges of Being a Full-Time Musician
There will always be some challenges when you’re a full-time muso, but Oscar emphasised that it is all about having the right mindset, an idea of where you want to go, and seeing things through.
Travelling interstate can get a bit tricky!
When travelling interstate - booking gigs requires a lot of research which can become overwhelming if you’re doing it all by yourself. But, being a part of ONTAP means that Oscar has a great chance to be booked for a gig by prospective venues and fellow musicians. With ONTAP’s help, Oscar recently found and booked Madi Leeds as a support act for his debut Melbourne show on September 11th at Some Velvet Morning. I guess you could say that we’re kind of like Tinder for musicians!
Oscar: “Being a part of a booking service like ONTAP means that I have access to a great database for venues in and around Melbourne, which is arguably one of Australia's most thriving music areas, is an essential service to be a part of!” Don’t worry mate, the ONTAP team has got you covered for all your booking needs!
Busking can make you or break you.
Despite having consistent work, Oscar still loves to indulge in busking while touring because it challenges him to put on a performance that will stop people in their tracks so to speak. Oscar: “sometimes it can be really challenging, but it’s amazing if you can build a little crowd.” When asked if it was also lonely being a solo musician, Oscar replied: “touring alone can be hard sometimes…but I have learnt so much about myself by doing so and I wouldn’t trade it for anything at this stage…I really enjoy the challenge and the freedom.” Go get em’ Oscar, you got this!
Mentors are like musical guardian angels, right?
And as Oscar knows all too well, mentors are a wealth of knowledge and can sometimes be the difference between making it in the industry or calling it quits. Mike Horneman has been an extremely supportive mentor to Oscar over the past 12-months, helping him to stay focused and motivated. Oscar: “He helped me record my first EP in his home studio, he taught me how to book gigs, buy certain gear for live performances, and just little gems of information about the industry and his experience in it.” This is a great example of why is so important to network in this industry, so don’t be afraid to make friends fellow musicians.
As Oscar would say, being a muso is “not a straight race, but neither is life in general.” So be bold, be brave, and make waves people!
Until next time,
Tour Dates for September 2019 – Oscar Litchfield
1st: Bermagui Beach Hotel // NSW
6th: Marlo Hotel, Marlo // VIC
7th: The Shed, Benalla // VIC
8th: American Hotel, Echuca // VIC
10th: The Cally Hotel, Warrnambool // VIC
11th: Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne // VIC
15th: The Bay Pizzeria, Port MacDonnell // SA
21st: Coriole Vineyards, Mclaren Vale // SA
22nd: Coriole Vineyards, Mclaren Vale // SA
28th: Woolshed Brewery, Murtho // SA