Pop singer OSTON confronts stupidity with a ‘Shrug’
For Information about OSTON and her new single “Shrug,” search @ostonmusic on all social media platforms.
A few weeks ago, pop singer and Park City High School graduate OSTON released a video campaign that shows her shrugging.
The simple gesture is a direct reference to her new single, “Shrug,” which is available now on all digital music platforms, including Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud.
The song, according to OSTON, an “American Idol” season 13 contestant, was inspired by an incident when she moved to Los Angeles after completing her music and business studies at Columbia College in Chicago a couple of years ago.
“I was wearing these dirty sneakers when I walked into this bar in West Hollywood, and all of these girls who were wearing Louboutin, Gucci and Versace brands all gave me these dirty looks,” said OSTON, who grew up in Park City as Austin Wolfe. “So I wrote the song about knowing there are those others out there who will always look down on me, so I would just shrug it off.”
The video campaign for the song came at the time when the COVID-19 quarantine started, according to OSTON.
“We would go to the store to get toilet paper only to find all the shelves empty,” she said. “One day I took a picture of myself shrugging in the middle of the empty aisle.”
The photo intrigued her manager, Christian Mulvany.
“He said we should make videos of me shrugging over the stupid things you have to deal with while we’re in lockdown, and use them to promote a song in a funny way,” OSTON said. “That appealed to me as well, because I was getting bored of my marketing practice, which would be to record a song and then ask my fans to presave it.”
Making short videos also took OSTON back to her high school days.
“I would make little stupid videos with my best friend, so it’s always been a part of my personality,” she said.
While making the videos were fun, OSTON did wonder if the middle of the COVID-19 quarantine was a good time to release a new song.
“I didn’t want to be the one who said, ‘I know the world is crashing down, but pay attention to me,’” she said. “So I decided to conduct a poll on social media and asked people if it was a bad time to put something out.”
The response was an overwhelming yes, OSTON said.
“Everyone told me they wanted a new song because they needed a distraction with all the stuff that is going on,” she said.
OSTON wrote “Shrug” with her producer NYDGE and friend Kim Vi in a four-hour session.
“It was interesting because we started with a different song that just wasn’t going anywhere,” OSTON said. “So, NYDGE pulled up this per-existing production he had done, and everything flowed out. We had the demo ready by the end of the session.”
In addition to addressing the dumb things people do during the COVID-19 lockdown, “Shrug” also relates to other aspects of OSTON’s life, especially when she faced dealing with record labels, management companies and talent agencies, she said.
“I just decided to shrug those things off and do my music myself to see if people would latch on to the weirdo that I am,” she said with a laugh.
The singer said she doesn’t know if “Shrug” will appear on a new album or EP.
“We’re still figuring all of that out,” she said. “I can say, however, that there will be a lot of new music coming out soon, especially this year.”
Part of OSTON’s creative drive stems from the support she feels from her family and friends in Park City.
“Everything I’ve released so far has done above and beyond what I expected,” she said. “That means the world to me. It really warms my heart.”
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