Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Oklahoma’s Anne Reburn. Together we discussed the musical “Oklahoma!”, their previous life-draining job, YouTube, their latest single “Touch The Night”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is thankful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you?
Thanks for having me, Mustard! Happy to be here.
2. You’re from a small town in Oklahoma. What are your thoughts on the musical? Does it portray Oklahoma accurately?
While Oklahoma plays an important part in the history of musical theatre, viewed through the lens of today you can’t deny that it has problematic themes and characters. I’d say the most realistic part is that in the show and in real life, everyone knows the song “Oklahoma!” Especially the part where you spell the name and yell. It’s the official state song!
3. Speaking of musical theatre, you began performing in musical theatre productions around age 10. What was your favorite production to be a part of? What improv game do you recommend all humans give a try?
Musical theatre was a huge part of my life growing up, and it will always have a special place in my heart. So many of my most treasured memories involve shows and performing, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Playing Mary in The Secret Garden was my first lead role which makes it very meaningful, and playing Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone was probably the most fun!
4. You studied abroad in Spain. What was your experience like there? Where do you recommend a fellow human visit in Spain? Did you come across any Spanish music that influenced or inspired your own?
At the risk of sounding like that annoying girl who just got back from study abroad and won’t shut up about how amazing it was… it was life-changing. I learned that there is a lot of variety within a fairly small geographic area, so I recommend seeing as much of it as possible!
While living there I was introduced to popular music and reggaeton, which opened the door into exploring other genres and music from years past. I was inspired to add some Spanish into my writing, but uh, it’s like, really hard to rhyme in one’s second language. Now I’m delving into 2000s hits, the kind of music that gets played at weddings. I have a lot to catch up on!
5. Mustard has observed that humans sometimes work horrible, life-draining jobs. Your previous draining job inspired you to pursue the creative arts further. For those who may be stuck in a similar predicament, what advice would you give them?
That’s very true. I would say seek out ways to bring creativity into your life. If you don’t have a creative outlet, you may have to build it yourself. For me it was starting to upload covers on YouTube, but there are so many different ways you could go!
6. Who (or what) influences you?
Ooh, interesting question. I’m influenced by creators and musicians I see on social media, but it can be a double edged sword– both inspiring and discouraging if you allow yourself to compare yourself to them. I stay in my bubble to a certain extent to protect my mental health.
7. What is your songwriting process?
Usually I write on piano, and the melody and the lyrics come at the same time. I keep a notebook and notes on my phone with ideas, so if I don’t sit down to work on something specific, I look through those notes and start on whatever calls to me. I’m always inspired by my own feelings and experiences. Even if a song is fictional or exaggerates reality, I believe there is always a grain of truth in it somewhere. That’s what makes it authentic. That’s what makes people connect to it.
8. Your YouTube channel has over 350k followers and features both covers and original music. What has it been like to watch it grow? Did any YouTubers inspire you to create the channel?
It’s hard to find the words! It’s surreal, it’s wonderful, and it’s a great honor. I am forever grateful for the opportunities it has brought me and for the people who have found me through it. Funnily enough I really didn’t watch YouTube before I decided to start uploading videos, besides the occasional viral video that infiltrated other social networks. I remember seeing a few videos by Paint (Jon Cozart) that inspired me. My early editing style was influenced by that type of split-screen music video, and has evolved from there over the years.
9. Do you have a favorite cover? Is there a song you will not cover?
I can’t pick one single favorite, but “How Deep Is Your Love” is up there. I also have to tip my hat to “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” which was recently featured on season 3 of The Boys on Amazon Prime, helping me accomplish a huge career goal.
I’m too scared to cover Bohemian Rhapsody!
10. You head a small army of clones. What does a typical day entail?
Let me tell ya, it’s not easy. They all have a mind of their own, so every day is different. But I love that! After I finally get Grumpy Clone out of bed, I might work on learning a new song, recording, writing original music (if I can get the house to myself), or shooting and editing video for YouTube and my other social media. It just depends where I am in the video cycle! Sprinkle in a little bit of answering emails and other administrative tasks, and maybe working on a special collab project every once in a while, and that’s the life of a clone leader. I am a truly independent artist– no agent, no manager, no record deal, no clone wrangler. Almost all of what you see (and so much of the behind the scenes work that you don’t see) falls to me.
11. In 2017 you released “So It Goes.” What was the inspiration behind this single?
“So It Goes” was written after I returned to the US from Spain. I initially wanted to stay and work in Spain, but it didn’t work out, so I had to move on. That moving on was my decision to move out to Los Angeles and wholeheartedly pursue a music career. It’s a song about finding the peace in letting go.
12. For those who have not listened to Anne Reburn, how would you describe your sound?
Sweet, light, and a little quirky. Not-too-serious songs about serious subjects. And always stacked with harmonies.
13. 2019 saw the release of your EP “Dis Tracks.” Could you share more about the concept behind this EP? Do you have a favorite diss track?
Dis Tracks is my first EP. It explores the end and aftermath of a toxic relationship, how it feels when someone tries to take your voice away, and how it looks to find it and take it back. With these songs I was thinking about dis tracks in a non-traditional sense– the emotions behind mine are strong, but they’re presented in a light, poppy way.
14. Some humans have trouble accepting wrongdoing. Such as Mister Always Right. How can humans learn to accept wrongdoing? What prevents them from wanting to be wrong?
Mustard is getting philosophical! It’s really hard to admit when you’re wrong. It’s a bad feeling that no human wants to feel. I think it’s easier when a kind, understanding person is on the other end– it doesn’t make it painless, but it creates a safe environment.
15. “Touch in The Night” inspires Mustard to develop human legs and dance in an arcade parking lot. What was the inspiration behind this single?
Now that I’d like to see! “Touch in the Night” was a special project. I wish I wrote it, but it’s actually a cover of an 80s song by the same name, originally released by the German band Silent Circle. A friend connected me with a label called Thump Records who was looking to do an updated cover of this song, pitched me as a vocalist, and it went from there!
16. What is next for Anne Reburn?
Well, I want to figure out what to do with all the songs I have written but not recorded. If you’ll allow me to wax poetic for a moment, being on YouTube has taught me that a simple video can have a reach and an impact beyond my wildest dreams. It’s already taken me to places I never could have imagined. So in that sense, I don’t know what’s next, but I’m looking forward to being surprised.
17. Where can readers listen to your music?
You can find me by searching “Anne Reburn” on YouTube and all the major streaming platforms!