Sound Off: OSTON
Dec 30, 2019
“‘last time’ wasn’t even supposed to be a part of the EP,” OSTON explains. “It was the absolute hardest song to crack but somehow feels the most personal. I begged my team to see the same beauty in it that I did. We went back and forth between an acoustic record and something fully produced, and I’m so glad I get to share both versions with everyone.”
We got the opportunity to hang out with OSTON at her photo shoot last month. We were so inspired by her creative energy and her passion for music! We sat down and asked her some of our exclusive questions.
What was your inspiration for your music?
The first body of work I released called ‘Sitting at the Kids Table’ was really inspired by people that I thought gave me purpose or defined me. Boy, I was wrong about them! There was a real fear of being introspective and figuring out who I was, who I wanted to be, or my general point of view. ‘Sitting at the Kids Table’ exposes the uncertainty I was feeling that can best be described by titles like ‘give up’ ‘last time’ and ‘nobody cares.’ It’s a culmination of being confused and the need to be loved and accepted that I think most young people identify with. As I’ve grown, my music has too. The post-Kids Table stuff I’ve been writing discusses much deeper-rooted topics. I’ve been inspired by revelations about my own mental health and anxiety. I talk about the frustrations I have with our political leaders and issues in society. Beyond my own emotions, I’ve been inspired by the obsessions of other people and my interpretations of their life!
What inspires you to be an artist and write your own songs?
There’s some transcendent feeling that happens when you get to play a character, write stories from that perspective, perform them, and have people connect with it. Sometimes the character’s position and perspective are similar to my own and some situations are ones I would never actually put myself in.
I just genuinely feel honored to be able to write music that resonates with an audience, even if that audience is one person. If I can make one person feel better after hearing my songs, then it’s all worth it.
If you could work with any artist – who would it be?
I have admired Julia Michaels’s songwriting for years. Her debut EP ‘Nervous System’ completely shaped the way I view pop music and heavily influenced the writing in my first project. I find myself very inspired by her writing as I continue to create more content, and if we were put in a room together I know we could make something very special.
JULIA! PLEASE, JUST BE MY FRIEND!
What city was your favorite to perform in? Why?
Chicago will always have a large part of my heart. It’s where I went to school, felt like I grew up for the first time, and just really feels like home. A large group of friends and family come to every show and it’s always an incredible feeling to watch them, and the rest of the audience, shout the words to my songs back at me. Every city is great, but Chicago will always be special.
I hate to say it but I’ve never actually done Karaoke. I COULDN’T TELL YOU WHY but it scares the hell out of me. If I was gonna do it, I feel like I’d choose Mr. Brightside, or something that literally everyone knows and would chant along with me. This whole fear is so weird though, because I worked as a lounge singer through college where I sang covers for 4 hours a night, multiple nights a week. Hahaha I’m dumb. I will say I love performing ‘Feel it Still’ as well. If you come to my shows, you might hear that one!
The song I’ve been listening to on repeat most for the last few months is “Freakin’ Out On the Interstate” by my friend Briston Maroney. He’s got the best lyrics around, all of his stuff is really incredible.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl. I watched this in the living room of my childhood home, my whole family huddled around our little tv. I’m not sure if it’s that memory, the screenplay or Johnny Depp’s incredible performance that sparks my love for that movie, but it’s remained my #1 for the last few years.
MAC AND CHEESE!!!! Any time, anywhere. Mac and cheese.
It’s cheap, it’s cheese, I’m poor, I love it!
Someone get ahold of the Mac n Cheese ad agency, I’ll rep you guys any day.
My go-to show when I’m ready for bed is Cutthroat Kitchen. Whenever I travel I either choose HGTV or the cooking channel on the hotel Tv. I used to really love Chopped, but Cutthroat adds that extra element of humor that really spices it up!
I also carry a stove-top pan with me to my writing sessions so I’m always prepared to cook up a meal…so there’s that weird connection.
Dream concert ticket (any band, any decade)?
FLEETWOOD MAC!!! I would kill to see them. Or the Beatles. I got to see Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza a few years back, but I would do some weird things to see the full Beatles boys back in action.
Three people—dead or alive, real or fictional—that you’d like to invite
At this point in my life, I deeply value the time I get to spend with the people I love. While I have a whole list of comedians up my sleeve I’d love to plop down together and enjoy their banter, I’ll always choose to spend a meal with my family (my mom, dad and younger brother). Very close
in line would be my bandmates David and Trevor and my manager Christian. We don’t get to see each other that often – but when we’re all together (wherever it is), it feels like my second home.
Do you have a party trick?
My best bet is always that I can sing the alphabet backwards. I learned to do it in third grade by staring at the alphabet letters stuck up on the ceiling and learning them front to back and back to front. I guess this probably sounds as exciting as counting down from 26, but once people try to do it themselves they always get stumped.
COOOOL TRICK, I KNOW…
Tell us a secret?
I’m very afraid of the ocean and open water. It’s to the point that sometimes, if I’m in a swimming pool alone at night, I get this irrational feeling that I’m going to be eaten by a shark and I panic and have to get out.
What does popular mean to you?
I think “popular” holds a different meaning to everyone, and changes as we learn and grow throughout life. When I was in high school, I thought popular meant fitting in with the cool crowd and getting invited to parties. When I got to college, popular was being known by as many different groups of people as possible. Now, to me, the idea of being ‘popular’ means creating a real connection with the people I care about, and hoping that everyone walks away with a good memory and reason to spend more time together.
Can you tell us about any shows or projects you have coming up?
2019 has been my biggest music making year yet. Most of my time was spent in writing sessions with incredible producers and writers, creating the most honest and vulnerable material I didn’t know I was capable of. Now that the year is about to wrap, 2020 will be an explosion of OSTON bops!