ASTN Wants You to Know 'You're Almost There' [Q&A]
Photo: Bryce Glenn
ASTN has been diligently putting his all into in everything the past few years, which mean he's been all up in his feelings, an emotive trip ending in an ellipsis, a prognosis of hope while hurting, all to our musical benefit. From regularly going viral with R&B-driven covers to leaving a palpable imprint with his own emotionally expansive work, the enviable artist is making his voice heard. To demystify this LA-based, lyrically-driven crooner, writer, and producer we decided to try to intercept him before the release of his latest EP, You're Almost There - a conceptual journey about the journey.
Ones To Watch: Who is ASTN?
ASTN is a combination of all my experiences over the last 23 years and is my main vehicle for expression. My real name is Austin, but remove 'U' and 'I' from the equation and you have an unbiased storyteller.
What is You're Almost There all about?
When I first started writing, I thought it was about a destination. A few months into the process, I realized it was always about the journey. It's easy to get caught up in what's up ahead, but just know that regardless, you're almost there. This EP goes through the cycle of love. I believe that's heartbreak, bitterness, moving on, honeymoon stage, and decision time. No matter how sideways your love life may seem, it's important to know that there's someone out there for you. Enjoy the moments and that person will fall into your lap, you're almost there.
Any collaborators of note? Who produced the EP?
For the first time in my music, I knew what I wanted to say before any lyrics hit the page or any notes were played. I began putting all the pieces together in january of 2021. I remember having my first session with my now good friend Danny Majic. I didn't quite know what to expect but we just sat for a while and talked through life and over the next several hours that turned into the lead single for the EP, "Gradually." That's exactly when I knew I wanted Danny to produce this whole project with me. I brought in a long time friend, Amelia Moore, to help with some things on the writing side and had a chance to meet Josh Bruce Williams who helped on the writing/production of the title track. I like to keep a limited amount of hands on projects like this because I feel like that's a good way to keep the integrity of the records.
You are several EPs deep from Tell Your Friends. How has your approach changed?
I am much more intentional in my approach. I used to make the music and then just let it fly into the abyss with zero planning. I think there was some magic in that, but being able to sit down with the people I trust most and tell a story through the visuals and the entire rollout of the music has completely changed the way I think about the process.
Can we expect more of this style in the future, potentially on an upcoming album?
This style will stick with me forever. I have no doubt that people will be hearing more of this sound from me... it'll always have a special place in my heart, and i'm sure it'll be evolving over time.
Besides this excellent EP what else should we be on the lookout for?
It's funny you mentioned an album... that's a challenge i have yet to face in my music, but i truly believe now is the time to face it head on. i also wanna perform as much as possible over this next year. i already have a few shows on the books... and who knows, maybe a tour sometime soon.
What's inspiring you right now outside of music?
Spending time with friends and the people I care about is something that I took for granted over the last couple years. I've found that just living life surrounded by amazing people is a good recipe for great music. Traveling is something that I want to get back into as well. I know there's a lot to see out in the world.
Love is often said to make us a fool, have you been had before?
not that i can recall, but shit... probably. I was a serial dater in high school and college so i'm sure there was a moment or two in there.
Who are your Ones To Watch?
i'm sure she's popping up on everyone's radar right now, but Amelia Moore is without a doubt my one to watch. we've known each other since sometime in early 2018 and watch her growth over these last few years has been very inspiring. Seeing how intentional she is with every move she makes has really made me rethink how i approach my art.
ASTN's You're Almost There is available everywhere you can stream it.