Artist OSTON, based in Los Angeles, has been composing music since she was able to speak. At the age of six, she began taking vocal lessons and continued throughout high school. While growing up in Park City, Utah, she did not see much of a music scene to be involved in, so as soon as she graduated from high school, she relocated to Chicogo to attend music school. She spent several years demoing songs for other artists before beginning to write for her own artist project, OSTON.”
After releasing her debut EP, she moved out to Los Angeles, where she has been working as an artist and songwriter for the past few years. “Whatshisface” is the song that I discovered her through. As I scrolled through reels, I was caught off guard by the sound of her voice. My first reaction was to ask, “How did she know my story?”? It was refreshing to hear the rawness and emotion contained in it. Throughout her music, including 20 something, she does not hold back and I believe that is one of the reasons so many of us are fans.
Your EP, ‘Melancholia’, already feels like a classic project based on the singles you have released. I noticed that you mentioned the title in the single ’20 Nothing’. Can you describe your journey with it?
I began writing for this project back in April of 2021 at a writing camp in Big Bear with 3 of my best friends (JORDY, Drew Polovick and kate the dreamer). The first song we wrote that I knew had to be the start of the EP journey was ‘HARD TO LOVE’. It was so raw and vulnerable and felt like the perfect way to close my Chicago chapter. Following this song, I kept being as open as I could about key moments I’ve experienced so far in my twenties. Painful and toxic breakups, coming to terms with mental health issues, struggling to love what’s staring back in the mirror, and trying desperately to figure out what in the world it means to “grow up”. ‘Melancholia’ takes the listener through the arc of my early twenties – feeling like the “best” version of myself is always right next to me and close enough to touch, but never fully attainable. I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing (as many of us 20-somethings feel) but I’m getting there a day at a time.
How are you doing with it now? Do you have any advice for others dealing with it that can totally relate?
Growing up is an adventure and there’s no textbook on how to do it the “right” way. Navigating through life and its responsibilities and expectations is a really bumpy journey. Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world and I’m totally happy with what I’ve accomplished so far, and other days I can’t shake the feeling that I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be at 25. The advice I find myself giving all my friends who feel similar is that we’re not alone in feeling lost and confused. We’re doing the best we can! I could definitely stand to take my own advice in that regard.
The importance of songwriters continuing the narrative that mental health is something that most people struggle with, according to Oston, is crucial as is songwriters being willing to be honest and vulnerable about their music about it. Her favorites include Julia Michaels, Carole Ades, and Chelsea Cutler..”I stumble across more and more videos on social media every day of people opening up about their own mental health struggles and how they cope.”
Has this EP assisted you in healing from the experiences you share on it?
Absolutely. Writing this EP was an undeniably therapeutic and cathartic experience for me. If I don’t heal from the writing process or from listening back to a song I’ve written, then I didn’t do my job correctly
OSTON performed her first Lollapoloza set last year and this year she was brought out by her friend Jordy to perform ‘Tomorrow’. This performance was the highlight of the festival, as their voices melted so well together.
Can we talk about how awesome Jordy is? How did you guys meet? How is it working with him?
JORDY is one of my closest friends and I love him dearly. I can say with confidence I really don’t know where I would be without him. I opened for him on a small run of shows back at the start of 2020. From the moment we met we instantly just clicked and started writing together and spending all our time with one another. He’s been such an important part of my writing process and has helped bring some of my absolute favorite songs to life (including 2 of my favorites on Melancholia)!”
OSTON released her debut EP, MELANCHOLIA, at The Moroccan Lounge this past weekend, her first LA headlining show. Dasha performed as a special guest. “Playing live shows is the thing that makes it all feel “real” for me. It’s one thing to look at numbers on a phone screen, and a completely different experience to see a crowd of real human people showing up to support you. I was just honestly excited to celebrate all the hard work my team and I have put into this project now that it’s finally out in the world.”
You can now stream her debut EP, ‘MELANCHOLIA’, across a variety of streaming services
Reach Oston on Instagram
This interview is in Issue 46. You can see it free here.