Ollie McGill

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Ollie McGill
concert in Toronto (2019)
Background information
Birth nameOliver James McGill
Born (1981-11-02) 2 November 1981 (age 42)
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
GenresSka, jazz, Latin, reggae, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboards, recorder, tubular bells, backing vocals, Melodica
Years active1999–present

Oliver James McGill (born 2 November 1981) is an Australian musician who is the keyboard player and backing vocalist for The Cat Empire. He composed "Dumb Ways to Die" for Metro Trains Melbourne. McGill is also a member of several other bands, including The Genie (a fusion band), The Conglomerate (a modern jazz quartet), Peaking Duck, Outlier, The Future, 77, and Past Ollie's Bedtime.


Ollie McGill attended Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia. In 1999 McGill on piano was a member of Jazz Cats, a nine-piece jazz group, which issued a four-track extended play, The Jazz Cat.[1] Late that year McGill on keyboards, Ryan Monro on double bass and Felix Riebl on percussion and vocals, founded a split-off group, The Cat Empire.[2][3]

During 2004 McGill and Harry Angus (also of The Cat Empire) on trumpet and lead vocals, Jules Pascoe on bass guitar, and Harry Shaw-Reynolds on drums formed an improvisational jazz quartet, The Conglomerate.[4] In September 2005 McGill was a founder of a four-piece jazz ensemble, Peaking Duck, with Munro (also in The Cat Empire) on bass guitar, Dave Ades on saxophone and James Hauptmann on drums.[5]

In November 2012 he composed the song, "Dumb Ways to Die", for Metro Trains Melbourne, via agency McCann Melbourne. The song reached the top 10 of the iTunes charts within 24 hours, while the video went viral, achieving over 6 million views in just three days.[6][7]

June 2017 Ollie Began his side project with Georgie Chorley, and the Band HipMama was created. Inspired by New Orleans, Jazz, and Neo Soul the debut EP will be released in November 2022.

McGill also works as a producer, having produced two EPs for ILUKA (Nikki Thorburn), and a number of tracks for Phoebe Eve.[8]


  1. ^ Jazz Cat (Musical group); Riebl, Felix; Hull-Brown, Will (1999). "The Jazz Cat". Jazz Cat. Retrieved 5 July 2015. Performer: Felix Riebl, percussion; Will Hull-Brown, drums; Ryan Monro, double bass; Ben Edgar, guitar; Ollie McGill, piano; Ross Irwin, trumpet; Eric Budd, trombone; Tarko Sibbel, alto sax; Lachlan McLean, alto and soprano sax.
  2. ^ "The Cat Empire". rage. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 7 August 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  3. ^ "The Cat Empire". Music Australia. Ryan Munro (interviewee). National Library of Australia. 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 12 August 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "The Conglomerate Go to the Beach". Jazz Australia. 12 March 2006. Archived from the original on 9 May 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Transitions Series". Melbourne Jazz Co-operative. Jazz Victoria. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  6. ^ Dumas, Daisy (19 November 2012). "Metro's tongue-in-cheek transport safety animated video goes viral on social media". The Age. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  7. ^ Moses, Asher (30 November 2012). "Safety video goes viral, not bad for a dumb idea". The Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited. p. 2. ISSN 0312-6315.
  8. ^ Ollie, McGill. "Ollie McGill, Music Maker". Archived from the original on 3 March 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2012.