Born in New York City, music has been a key part in Olu's life. At the age of two, his father bought a spinet piano which Olu learned to play. At five, he was accepted for a college course to act as a pupil for the professor. He studied classical and jazz piano, percussion and voice until he graduated from high school.
After high school, Olu attended college off and on and sang in an R&B group at industry showcases. As he formed his own rock-soul group and began packing clubs, he got a call to put out an album on V2 with a more soulful sound.
Olu released the album Soul Catcher in 1999 and had moderate success. However, after a dispute with V2, he parted ways and began traveling the world. In 2005, he released the album Beautiful Place, a collection of songs inspired by his travels.