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The Artsy Jumbo: Axel Olson puts graduation on hold to pursue career in music

Published: Monday, December 2, 2013

Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 13:12


It is not often that a senior decides to take a leave of absence to tour with his band in Western Europe. But that is exactly what Axel Olson is planning to do. An international relations and economics double major who has lived in Belgium since the age of two, he has been playing the guitar for over 10 years.

Olson is the lead guitarist in the Belgian band Candy Robbers, playing with his good friend Maxime Rosenberg and the band’s producer Renoar Hadri. Olson and Rosenberg met in Brussels at an open mic night at a local bar. Both 13 years old at the time, the two began a long musical relationship which culminated in the co-founding of Candy Robbers as well as the writing and producing of a self-titled EP this past January.

After finishing the EP, Olson was faced with a tough decision.

“There was always the question about whether ... I should stay at Tufts,” Olson said. The band’s popularity has been growing since they released the critically acclaimed music video for their song “1000 miles.”

“We have to be pretty aggressive,” Olson said. “It’s all about getting heard by the right people at the right time.”

Although there are uncertainties, the band’s indie-pop style has been well received, and the members hope to garner a following in Europe and then bring their music to a wider audience. The dream for Olson is to somehow make it back to Boston.

“If we actually make it, it’d be nice to pull a ‘Guster’ [and return to play at Tufts],” Olson said.

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