Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Austin’s Edward Rendon. Together we discussed how they taught themselves an instrument, their career in design, their influences, their discography, and so much more! Check it out below!
1. Mustard would like to thank you for joining them. How are you?
I’m doing well, just trying to avoid the Texas heat right now! It’s been a brutal summer so far, but at least it gives me more time to stay home and work on music haha.
2. You are a self-taught musician and producer. What was the first instrument you learned? Do you still play this instrument? For those looking to teach themselves, what advice do you have?
My first instrument was the upright bass. I was in Orchestra for 6 years throughout middle school and high school. It was really great to have that foundation in learning music and playing in such a large group. I unfortunately don’t play anymore, but I do miss it a lot. From there I taught myself bass guitar and then transitioned to guitar and singing. It was kind of a long process.
My advice to someone looking to teach themselves would be that you don’t have to be a natural to learn and make music. I feel like when I first started, I had no sense of pitch or endurance to sing. I’m still kind of bad at remembering lyrics. But perseverance also prevails over natural talent in my opinion.
3. During the pandemic you began writing music. Could you share what songs or albums inspired you to begin writing?
Immediately, what comes to mind is Taylor Swift’s Folklore. 2020 was a very introspective year for a lot of us, and that album was my soundtrack. It also has a lot of my favorite musicians involved from Aaron Dessner to Jack Antonoff and Justin Vernon. Taylor also talked about how that album was the music she wanted to make free of people’s expectations, no stadium tours or commercial pressure, it was just music that everyone was listening to at home. That headspace and vibe was so inspirational to the beginning of my songwriting journey. I would actually say Already Dead wouldn’t exist without that album.
4. Has your career in design intertwined with your music? Do you design your cover album art?
In terms of my career in design being intertwined, yes and no. I feel like I naturally bring in this very analytical/creative mindset to my music, similar to how I approach design. But I do feel like I very intentionally separate the two. Working in a marketing department as a designer, you are always working with a goal in mind. Whether it’s driving sales, or getting approval from customers or even your boss, the work is not about you. It’s about the end goal.
With music, it’s the opposite for me. It’s very personal. It’s very selfish. I write music for myself, and nobody else. This is my escape to have my head in the clouds and express myself.
My album art is all illustrated by Carina Guevara. She’s an amazing illustrator that works in publishing and comics. I’ll give her some art direction on what kind of vibe I’m looking for with each release, but all the credit goes to her.
5. Who (or what) influences you?
I feel like this is a big question for me haha. I have a huge amount of creative influences from filmmakers to comic creators and of course musicians. My music draws a lot from indie, alternative, and pop music. But I think a lot of what drives me to write, are all the things I find hard to talk about in real life.
Lately that tends to be politics and the general state of the world. I used to be much more focused on the news cycles and spent way too much time doomscrolling on twitter. But I noticed a very direct correlation between that and the decline of my mental health. So now, I channel a lot of that energy into my music. The fears, the frustration, the existential dread, all written to the soundtrack of me singing with my guitar.
6. In 2021 you released your first single “Insecure.” Mustard has observed that humans sometimes feel this way for a multitude of reasons. Could you share more about this release? Is there a way to overcome insecurity?
*Insecure was actually my third single, Already Dead was my first*
Mustard, you’re very lucky to never feel insecure, I’m jealous. I’ve always been very naturally introverted and struggled with social anxiety. This song is about that feeling, being nervous when meeting new people. What’s helped me over time, is saying yes more to social situations and almost forcing myself to get over it. I also think quarantine helped me want to be more extroverted.
But this is still one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written. Which made it very difficult for me to record. Probably just too many high expectations on my end.
At a certain point, I felt like I hit a creative wall in the recording process. And that led me to reach out to Dave Bunting from King Killer Studios. He’s an amazing musician and producer that I met on Tiktok! So he ended up helping with the mixing, mastering, and production on the song. And I could not be happier with how it ended up and the whole process in general.
7. How have social media platforms such as TikTok helped you as an artist? Do you have any advice for artists looking to join the platform?
Tiktok has been amazing for me musically. The community and friends I’ve found on this platform remind me of the golden age of Myspace when it was one of the best things for discovering musicians. But it’s so funny, because now I have so many musician friends all over the world from New Zealand to the U.K. and all over the U.S. I like to joke that I have more online friends than here in Austin.
But this is the first time that I feel like a significant amount of people actually pay attention to what I’m doing music wise. I’ve learned so much from my friends on Tiktok, especially as a new producer.
For anyone who wants to start on Tiktok, I’d say just have fun, be yourself, and look more tomake friends instead of “Followers”.
8. Was “In The City” inspired by your city of Austin, Texas? Or did you have another city in mind when putting together this single?
“In The City” is loosely based on my experience with Austin. But I’d say “the city” is more of a metaphor for capitalist America, and how it can consume you and your self identity. Quarantine forced me to really question who I was outside of my job. And the more I asked myself that, I realized, I didn’t know anymore.
The line “I take a walk, to remember who I am”, was a literal moment that happened to me. I was walking through the Greenbelt in Austin and remember just having this realization that I really needed to focus on myself some more. And then the song just wrote itself after that.
9. “I only play when there’s nothing to lose. But don’t you know you’re already dead.” These lyrics are hard to grasp for a condiment. Could you share more about the inspiration for your single “Already Dead?”
Already Dead is about not taking enough risks, and trying to live life to the fullest. This was the first song I ever released as a solo songwriter. But this message is at the core of why I’m making music. Before this journey, I felt like I would play things way too safe in a lot of aspects of my life. And as a natural introvert, it was easy to always be in the back seat and never take the spotlight. And I mean that in a creative sense and a personal sense. So music has been this gift that helps me be my best self in a lot of ways.
10. “Time” is your most recent single. The album art features a skull on it. Is this the skull of the person who was already dead from your previous single?
No, but that is really funny. Maybe, I should start plotting all these easter eggs and connections between all my releases. That sounds like a lot of fun.
11. Do you have any upcoming projects or shows?
I’m currently making a concept album that I’m really excited about. I already finished some acoustic demos for the songs and now it’s all about putting together the final recordings. But I’m happily taking my time with it.
Aside from that I have been focusing on performing live more, whether it’s in person shows or streaming on my Twitch channel. I want to continue to build a community that is interested in my music.
12. Where can readers listen to your music? Do you have a preferred platform?
You can listen to my music on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Bandcamp and a variety of other streaming platforms. It’s all under my name, Edward Rendon. I’m also active on Twitch (HeyEdwardRendon) and Tiktok(Edward guitar), and those are great ways to hear me play live and hear my songs before they’re released. I’d say my preferred sites would be Spotify, Tiktok and Twitch, but I’m happy to connect on any platform.
You can find all my links here: