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Life & Work with Oston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oston.

Hi Oston, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My mom helped set me up with singing lessons when I was a little five-year-old kid. I was always squawking around the house, making up gibberish songs, and putting on shows for friends and family. When the time came to pick a college and choose a career path, there was really no choice in it – I’ve never wanted to do (or been passionate about) anything but music. I moved to Chicago and immediately started working with a studio (while also taking College classes), writing and cutting demo records for other people. Eventually, I started writing for myself and released my first EP in 2019 called ‘Sitting at the Kids Table’. I moved out to LA immediately after I graduated to start up a career in music, and now here I am!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Honestly, being an independent artist is never a smooth ride. It’s always a fight to get your music heard, noticed, and cared about. I spend a lot of days second-guessing myself and wondering if it’s even worth it to try. No matter how hard I work on a song or record, how much money, time, and love I put into it, it’s completely in the hands of the listeners to determine what happens to it. But that’s also the most amazing part of it all…Every time I release a new record and get a response back from the listeners (people truly caring and connecting with the message of my songs) – it’s all completely worth it and I keep on pushing.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m OSTON, an indie-pop artist and songwriter based in Los Angeles, and I love writing songs for myself and other people! My first EP ‘Sitting at the Kids Table’ was released in August of 2019. My newest single, “Tomorrow” (with JORDY) was just released November 20th and earned a spot on Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’, ‘Fresh Finds’ and ‘Fresh Finds Pop’. And finally, I have an EP called ‘Am I Talking Too Much?’ set to release this March of 2021. This EP dives into a new part of my brain and highlights my lyrical storytelling. I truly couldn’t be more excited for people to hear this next batch of songs.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Releasing original music is always risky. In one way or another, it’s like highlighting the darkest parts of your diary that you’d never want anyone to find, blowing the text up to billboard size, and saying “HERE! PLEASE READ THIS!” For a long time, I was really worried what people might think of me if I sang about the things I really wanted to like sex, drugs, alcohol, mental health, etc. I actually used to censor a lot of my writing, trying to make sure I didn’t swear or say anything that might be offensive to someone. But as I started writing more and diving deeper into the impact I want to leave on the world, I realized that the best songs come from a place of vulnerability. As I was writing, I fell in love with records like Julia Michaels’s ‘Nervous System’, Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’ and Snail Mail’s album ‘Lush’. All of these masterpieces are proof that being uncomfortable creates the best stories that people can relate to and listen back to time and time again. I don’t want to be an artist who sings about the most surface level parts of everyday life, I want to make people uncomfortable when they hear what I have to say. But like…uncomfortable in a good way.

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Image Credits:

Lauren Nieves, Mira Horwitz, Mike G, and Michael Arellano

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