Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Eraste! Together we talked about their influences, favorite Mountain Dew beverage, crashing parties, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing?

Thank you so much for having me! I am good 🙂 Excited for summer and all the big changes and plans I have for you soon.

2. You are a self-taught singer and instrumentalist. What inspired you first to learn music? What advice would you give to those looking to follow a similar path?

I think I just wanted to recreate my idols at the time. I grew up always loving music and once I found out I had a natural talent toward it I just wanted to work on it day and night! I remember begging my parents for my first guitar because I saw Taylor Swift playing one, and I loved her! To anyone who wants to learn, keep in mind that anyone can (and should!) I know it can be daunting but once you find out the way you learn best it’s a bit easier. I tried to read music but it wasn’t as easy for me as learning by ear or visually and once I figured that out it came a lot faster. And I would suggest starting with the songs you love and learning those and then working your way out to learning the basics. I think everyone has the capability and I hope I can encourage people who want to learn that it is attainable! 

3. What is your favorite Mountain Dew beverage?

Okay so my piano teacher bribed me with Code Red and Code Red ONLY but I think as I’ve gotten older my palette has matured and I’m more of a Baja Blast girl. The best! 

4. Artists such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift influence you. What songs of each really connected with you?

Oh yes! Katy Perry OWNED 2010’s pop, her Teenage Dream album changed the way I see music and was the first pop project I fell in love with. I vividly remember watching the music video to “Last Friday Night” with my childhood best friend and dancing around her living room. Her use of the catchiest hooks imaginable influences everything I make today. Taylor Swift! Every single song but I think her writing on “Mirrorball” always really resonates with me. It’s about how we are always performing for those around us, and how the broken parts of us are entertaining. I feel that SO HARD as an artist. That song has influenced my songs like “Lead Role” and “Someone Else’ because I feel like people expect and want a certain version of me, and if I don’t live up to that, they love me less. Taylor Swift is and forever will be my icon!

5. What is your creative process?

It is a LONGGGGG process of me wanting to scream a lot of the time lol. Creativity is so beautiful and frustrating. It happens differently every time but usually I get an idea in the car or while sitting on the floor in my room. It could just be a feeling, like I’m overwhelmed with a certain emotion or situation and I really don’t have a choice but to get it down on paper. With my upcoming single, I got the idea after I cried in a grocery store haha. I had the hook on my voice notes app for forever (usually how it goes!) and if an idea is lucky enough to escape “voice memo jail” I spend time working with it. This song took several months to write because everytime I came back to it I still didn’t know what I wanted to say or how to get it out. It’s always really special when a song comes together really fast, but I think more so when I revisit an idea over and over because it gives me the chance to be really intentional and reflective on a certain period of my life. It’s hard and long but being patient and most importantly FEELING MY FEELINGS! (which I don’t always want to do haha)

6. How has social media helped you as an artist? Do you have a favorite platform?

I think it’s really helpful! I like TikTok because it gives you the chance to reach audiences you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. It can be a little stressful, so I try to focus more on the music and then make posts that seem authentic to me, and that helps take the pressure off 🙂

7. If you could have your music shared by any account on Tumblr, what account would it be and why?

Oh there was an account called WeHeartIt that absolutely RULED tumblr. If they reblogged you, that’s when you know you’ve made it. It was such a fun time, I would honestly love it if any of the big creators shared my music, it was a cultural reset for sure. 

8. 2020 saw the release of your debut “break my own heart.” What was the inspiration behind this single? Have you since repaired your heart?

I wrote that song because I was kind of admitting to myself that I still missed someone I had broken up with 2 years prior (now 5 years prior! ah!) And how I would still think about them all the time. It was my first love, and it had been years YEARS! I felt frustrated that I couldn’t just move on. I would indulge those feelings by re-reading old letters we had written, and wearing they’re old sweatshirt.It was inspired sonically by Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over” and I loved the huge 80’s synth-pop drums and chorus. I would like to say my heart is repaired becauseI have since then gotten rid of the sweatshirt but I think I’ll keep the letters forever. (so who’s to say????)

9. The following year saw the release of your EP “crashing every party.” Could you share what it was like to put this EP together?

Yes! It is actually a lock-down project. I think when everything shut down I realized that with all the extra time I had I wanted to pursue my dream. It was one of those things that just came together really fast, all at once. I co-wrote my EP with a producer duo, Landon and Bri, that I just met through a friend. Everyday for 10 straight days I would drive about 2 hours away from where I lived to go to this cabin in East Texas and we would make these songs. It was so fun to make it all at once because I got to explore several different sounds. I had no idea what I wanted to be making so it was amazing to try it all and push myself to make music I wouldn’t have thought I could make. 

10. Mustard wonders how you crash every party. Do you have a Google alert for when a party is happening? How do you attend each?

Facebook groups! You have to start joining facebook groups! I’m also a big proponent of going on “side-quests” on nights out, just seeing where the night takes you (but make sure one of your friends has your location turned on first!)

11. Do you have a favorite type of party to crash?

Weddings maybe? Like open bar hello! Score! Family drama! Love it! Free food! What more could you want?

 12. Earlier this year you released “Tragedy” in which you expose your deepest insecurities. How did it feel to write this and share it with the world?

I’m not gonna lie, it felt horrible. My music is so deeply personal and sometimes it’s easier to release than other times, and “Tragedy” was a song that was really brutal from start to finish. I pride myself on being vulnerable with my fans because I think it’s the reason a lot of people connect with my music, but to be honest a part of me didn’t want to release it. It’s hard to write a song that says, “Wow! I’m unloveable. Right? Who could ever love someone like me?” But I think through the process of working on that song I healed some of that insecurity. It was so scary, but I think the fact that so many people relate is proof of why I need to release songs like that. The response to the song definitely helped me feel less alone in that feeling. 

13. Your newest single “Sorry” was inspired by the likes of 1975 and Gracie Abrams. Could you share more about your latest release?

“Sorry” was an interesting one because my longtime producer and friend Alyssa Wilkens and I wanted to take a different approach to my style. I had been listening non-stop to the Grace Abrams album, so it felt like a natural progression to make it match that sound with guitars, guitars, and more guitars! I had written the whole thing one day, it was a song that came together really easy because I was feeling really apologetic. I had just burned a lot of bridges and in the wake of my break-up the feeling was very present and all-consuming, so the subject matter came really easily and quickly. After I had the demo I sent it to Alyssa and I said “hey, how can we make this sound like what I’m listening to now?” I think it’s great to recreate the music you’re currently listening to, because it adds some authenticity! We tried it a lot of different ways and when it was finally finished it was such a cathartic release. I think that’s what that song signifies, the release of those guilty emotions to make space for self acceptance. 

14. The target demographic for “Sorry” are hotties who drink too many lemon drops. How has this community responded to the song?

Hahaha yes! They love it! I think what I meant by that is that I wrote that song at 3am after a night out where I ruined a lot of people’s lives (never EVER drink too many lemon drops on an empty stomach when you’re upset hello recipe for disaster!) and I think people who are chaotic in that way can definitely relate to the guilt I was feeling. Everyone has been very receptive to the song considering I was admitting to a lot of my faults and short-comings. I wanted those girls to know it’s okay, we all make mistakes, and one bad night doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! 

15. What is next for Eraste?

I have… kind of a lot to say right now. I just went through a monumental break-up and I’m coming out of a period of my life that was full of self-discovery! I really want to tell the story of my break-up from start to finish, because I think I follow the path of something ending to growing and becoming more myself in the process! Lets just say if “Sorry” was the moment we broke up, I have a song coming out soon that is about all the fall-out after. I’m working with my friend Alyssa again, and we used even more guitars! That’s all I can say now but I do want to make an album eventually so that might be in the works. 

16. Where can readers listen to your music?Anywhere! Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, anywhere you can stream I’m there 🙂 Just look up “Eraste” and be sure to follow me so you don’t miss any of my upcoming releases! Thank you so much for your time! Love ya! 🙂


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