Mustard had the pleasure of reedcee who just recently announced their upcoming new album Cry Cowboy which we discuss in this interview. Together we discussed their identity, their influences, going viral on TikTok, and so much more! Check it out below!
1. Hello! Mustard would like to thank you and others in the trench coat for being here. How is everyone?
Hey Mustard. I feel like I should explain the trench coat thing a bit. When I wrote my bio, I was just making music in my bedroom and I didn’t think that anyone would actually find it let alone read it! So, in all truth, I am actually just one regular sized person in a trenchcoat.
2. Reedcee is several people in a trench coat posing as a singer/songwriter. Could you describe the creative process?
So, as Reedcee, I always start with an instrumental and then I use that as a vehicle to get towards the final song. I don’t consider myself a singer, I consider myself more a songwriter and a producer. So, sometimes, I feel like singing is something I have to do to achieve the end goal. I tend to build songs around hooks first and then I find that the content reveals itself through that.
3. Who (or) what influences your music?
When I was 16 I found that video of Pharrell Williams showering praise on Maggie Rogers (who is also from my home state of Maryland) and it changed me forever. The way Maggie was able to take these classical forms and organic sounds and make them sound danceable, cathartic and joyous was something that I definitely tried to take into my own music.
Growing up Southern Baptist, my family listened to a lot of bluegrass and I think that genre holds a lot of deep emotions. Like, sonically there’s so much joy there but in terms of the lyrics they can be so sad and dark. Recently I’ve also been obsessed with anything produced by Rostam Batmanglij.
4. In 2020 you released your first single “Wrong Guy.” You’re not looking for the right guy or a good time. Could you elaborate more on what you were looking for with this release?
I think I was just looking for a way to convince myself that I didn’t need the right guy or a good time. And, ironically, I needed both. It’s fun that I could turn those feelings into something you can sway along to. But, I think in the end it was my own loneliness manifesting into something I could find joy in. I still really love that song.
5. Following “Wrong Guy” came Mind in which you claim you can read your mind. Is this a power you have always possessed? What advantages and disadvantages does it have? How did that ability influence this single?
After I was kicked out of the X-men for being too powerful a psychic, I decided I would make a song about it. This song also subtly references my ability to teleport too (“I’m already there, I’m already there”
6. You had a video go viral on TikTok. How did going viral (and being on social media) help you as an artist? Did going viral help bring more eyes to your music? Is there a secret trick to going viral?
I grew up on the internet and I’ve always felt like the recipe for having a viral post is simple but different everyday. My video of me harmonizing with a screeching piece of machinery was something I did in five seconds. I thought it would be kind of silly but Tiktok seemed to really like it. This was a miracle given that my new song Hold had just come out. It was such a blessing I was able to direct people towards my music and that the few people who found it are actually gonna stick around.
7. Mustard considers your EP “Didn’t That Hurt?” a triumph. Topics ranging from hookup culture, college troubles, medications, and the queer experience. It is incredibly personal. Could you share more about the process of putting this EP together?
Two months after the first lockdown here in the UK, I moved into a shelter for homeless queer youth. It was scary even though it was a safe place, given everything that was going on in the world at that time. While I was there, I started writing again after a long period of not writing anything, mostly to cope with that fear. Over the year that I wrote the EP, I moved into a different shelter and had pretty much the worst time of my life. Most young people who end up homeless are queer people and, so, with these songs, I think I wanted to speak to the very specific feeling of isolation that queer people often feel.
I think the loneliness I felt during that time was exacerbated by the loneliness everyone felt because of the pandemic. And that’s how I think the songs on that EP present themselves— as kind of the larger echo of something that I was feeling personally. After I moved into my new home, I started producing the EP in my living room with my shitty laptop and my mic stand. I’m really proud of the guitar sounds on that EP
8. “Hold” is your newest single. It makes Mustard want to shapeshift into a human such as yourself and affectionately show a human love. What inspired this single? Is hugging a common human way of expressing yourselves?
The inspiration behind this single is my partner who I found shortly after the release of Didn’t That Hurt. We have been together for about a year now and he’s shown me what life can be. I just wanted to write a letter to him while also writing a song that could help me to release my fears of being emotionally intimate with someone. In terms of sound, Hold is indicative of what the rest of the album will sound like. This kind of marriage between classic country music and contemporary pop music. And as for whether hugging is a common form of human expression, I’ll have to get back to you on that.
9. What comes next after Hold?
My album, Cry Cowboy, comes out at the end of July. It’s ten songs and they all sum up how I’ve shifted from my last release to this one. It’s the best work I’ve made so far, all the songs slap and I think the gays will love it.
10. Where can readers listen to your music? Do you have a preferred platform?
The esteemed readers of Mustard can listen to me on any platform they choose. Spotify is probably my favourite because I can see exactly how many heads are bobbing along to my songs.