UK-based Oli James (a.k.a Network) is only 16. Within that last few months, he seems to have come out of nowhere, yet he’s already making fast forming ripples — perfect conditions for a tidal wave.
Some semblance of a beginning is important to ease the shock of this startling rise to the surface, so here’s Network’s progress from my completely fictional perspective:
Oli is born, starts making beats straight of the womb, latches on to that Dirty Bird sound like a mother’s teet. Plays with drum machines and audio software instead of tonka trucks. In a pre-teen revelation, decides a whomping bass line is what must pump blood through the body. Oli, convinced beat making is now connected to his survival, makes more beats, sends one to Madtech Records. Madtech releases ”Moving On” about 4 months ago. I download it, I play it regularly on my iPod mini, but forget who the artist is.
Oli releases ”My Body.“ It pops up on a random Tumblr blog with an obscure picture and no artist name. I track it down, download and play it incessantly. Suddenly the name Network makes a connection in my brain.
“Rainforest” pops up on my SoundCloud dash, I download it, have a minor “whoa” moment and finger scramble over to Indie Shuffle to let the world know that Network is bubbling over with talent and now is the time to take notice. Also, any money that he’ll have a Dirty Bird release in the near future? I’m calling it.