Oliver Anthony has admitted that it’s “really funny” to watch people speculate about his political views following the release of his chart-topping single “Rich Men of North Richmond”.
An obscure figure on the country music scene, Anthony shot to fame in the past few weeks after his new single was described as a “right-wing anthem”.
The song, which sees Anthony rail against politicians, welfare recipients and taxes, has spent two consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It has been praised by right-wing media personalities such as Dan Bongino and Matt Walsh.
On Wednesday (30 August), Anthony, 31, gave his first interview following the song’s success to podcaster Joe Rogan.
Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, Anthony opened up about the way his personal life and political beliefs have been thrust into the spotlight, making him “the subject matter the last couple of weeks”.
“People are just trying to find out who’s this Oliver Anthony guy, and where does he work, and who did he vote for, and what’s his family like, and yada,” Anthony told Rogan.
“They want to sort of build this image of whatever it is that the person behind the song represents, for better or for worse... It’s really funny to watch on my end, because obviously, I know what’s true and what’s not.”
He continued: “There’s there’s been hundreds of hours of people’s time wasted probably talking about all these little things that don’t even exist. Somebody made them up, put them on the internet. So, I’m just letting it ride. I just think it’s great.
“At least the last couple of weeks, I think I’ve been able to entertain everyone and get everyone’s mind off like all the other horrible stuff that’s going on in the world right now. Like, at least everybody can have a good laugh.”
While Anthony continued to keep his political views private, he told Rogan that he’d played guitar and sang “on and off” throughout his life, but had only really got into music later in life.
The interview comes one week after Anthony shared a video saying he was uncomfortable hearing the song mentioned in Wednesday’s (23 August) GOP debate.
“It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me, like I’m one of them,” Anthony said.
“It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle, like we’re trying to present the same message.”
He continued: “It was funny seeing my song at the presidential debate, because I wrote that song about those people, you know. So for them to have to sit there and listen to that, that cracks me up. It was funny seeing the response to it.
“That song has nothing to do with Joe Biden – it’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden. That song is written about the people on that stage – and a lot more, too. Not just them, but definitely them.”