We’re back with another post for Artist Of The Month! It’s crazy that this is already my third AOTM post of the year and I’m super excited to keep this going throughout 2019. Like I said when I introduced this series, I was open to formatting ideas but loved the potential to feature artist interviews as much as I could.
The artist of the month for March is named Oston. Learn more about her below:
Name: Austin Wolfe (stage name Oston) – “it’s not just a boy name.”
Hometown: Park City, Utah
For Fans Of: Julia Michaels, Lorde, Sasha Sloan
Why You Should Care: If you’re even remotely interested in pop music, get Oston on your radar. Not only does her music feature catchy pop lyrics infused with R&B and synth beats, but her lyrics are the perfect combination of simple, refined and straight to the point. Good pop music tells a story with the lyrics without giving away any sort of depth to the storytelling, and that’s a quality of songwriting I am drawn to the most. Not only is Oston only 22-years-old, but she’s releasing all of her music independently, giving her story a sense of freedom and authority that lots of artists her age can struggle with in this day and age. Plus, she’s based in Chicago! I always want to show the local artists some love on the blog when I can.
Check out my Q&A with Oston below.
Chicago Haze: What inspired you to pursue music?
Oston: Music has always had an interesting presence in my life. When I was 5 years old I started begging my mom to take voice lessons because a family friend thought that I could sing. I was lucky enough to have another family friend visit from California and show me how to write music. There really has been nothing else I’ve ever considered doing.
Chicago Haze: How did growing up in Park City, a known very religious city, affect your views, goals and plans for yourself?
Oston: Although Park City or Utah in general, has very religious traditions, I didn’t grow up practicing any specific faith. My parents exposed me to multiple points of view which helped me navigate through our community. It wasn’t until I started making music in Chicago that I realized I was a bit afraid of being judged for what I say or how I expressed myself. It took me a while to feel comfortable with that possibility and, to be honest, I’m still learning to be. It’s like any culture or environment, where it’s not until you leave that you realize there are so many different ways to look at the world.
Chicago Haze: Describe the transition from Park City to Chicago. When & why did you come here?
I wasn’t 100% certain Chicago was where I wanted to be when I started college in 2015. Moving here was exciting but overwhelming at the same time. I was homesick regularly, wasn’t sure I wanted to stay, considered moving multiple times, but was lucky enough to fall into a team of great people very quickly. Chicago is a great city where you can learn about everything from culture, to food, to art, and everyone has a new or different perspective. I have learned so much living here and am forever grateful for the experience.
Chicago Haze: What has the process been like releasing your singles up until this point? Who and what inspires you in the studio?
Oston: The process has been a little intense but fun nonetheless. When I started at the studio I am still with today, I started out as a demo singer. Honestly, I wasn’t the best at that – it took me a long time to unlearn things from my classical training. Along the way I was trying to write music that was very mature and not fully authentic to who I am. Originally, I was adverse to pop music but once I started studying how complex and intricate it is, and learned how fun it could be to write, everything started to change for me.
A couple years later I finally felt like I was ready to start releasing music. My manager and I went through my entire catalog and decided to move forward with a couple I had already written and then write a few more. Once we picked the songs, the two producers lixa and Dino Zisis, along with myself spent two weeks straight in the studio getting the music the way we wanted it.
Releasing has been a wild ride since our plans seem to change on a week to week basis. The response has been incredible and I couldn’t have ever imagined things moving as quickly as they have.
Chicago Haze: If you had to sell your brand to someone on the street in three words, what would you say?
Oston: “You like music?”
Chicago Haze: If you could work with anyone, production or collaborations, vocally, etc, who would it be?
Oston: If I could work with anyone it’d be Julia Micheals, Justin Trantor, and their entire team. Max Martin is another idol but at this point I’d be too scared to speak.
Oston just wrapped up in Los Angeles with a SoFar Sounds show and a Radio Disney Showcase.
Oston has an upcoming show in Nashville and you can see more details on it here.Oston is set to perform in Chicago on July 14 apart of the Taste of Chicago lineup.
Click here to read all Artist Of The Month posts.