Oliver Anthony struck a nerve with Americans all over the country with his heartfelt, raw and honest song, “Rich Men North of Richmond”. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the singer-songwriter the first artist ever to notch the achievement with no prior chart history.
He says he wrote the song as he struggled with his mental health. The song got over 32 million views on YouTube and Anthony says he just wants to give hope to the working class and people feeling lost in the grind. Anthony said there’s “nothing special” about him…just a high school dropout who has lived and worked in North Carolina and Virginia. He’s been working in industrial manufacturing for the last nine years and “getting to know tens of thousands of other blue collar workers on job sites and in factories. I’ve spent all day, everyday, for the last 10 years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided and manipulated.”
And no, he’s not signed to any record label. In fact, he turned down an $8 million dollar deal from a label. “People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off eight million dollar offers. I don’t want six tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight,” he wrote on Facebook. “I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bullshit. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”