Brisbane-bred bedroom singer / songwriter / producer Yoste (pronounced like ‘lost’) shares his debut EP, try to be okay, via Akira Records (Henry Jamison, Henry Green, Rosie Carney). We chat with Yoste.
Hi Yoste, how did you start your start in music and who would you say your main influences are?
My influences change moment to moment depending on who I’m listening to, of course, but if I were to pick those acts whose music has had the strongest and most lasting impact on me, I’d say: Bon Iver/ Justin Vernon, the 1975 and The National.
I started Yoste after a few unsuccessful years in and out of bands. It was fun but eventually I realised I just couldn’t make what I wanted to unless I really focused on myself and delved deep into what I wanted to say and how I wanted it to sound, and though those things change the general process has stayed the same.
Your lead single Chihiro has blown up, with over 26 million streams, Arc and Empty have both come out in the last few weeks and are doing really well, too. How has that left you feeling in anticipation of the E.P release?
I’m really pleased with the response to this EP so far. There’s a lot of build up to an artist’s debut release and I could throw around all the buzzwords like humbled and excited and grateful – and I am all of those things, but overall I just feel relieved. I know this is what I want to do and I’m relieved all these fantastic people and listeners are allowing me to do it.
What do you feel like you’re trying to express with your music on this E.P?
The songs were written over a period of about two years, from the end of law school to trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do outside of that. I really began to question my identity and my humanity and purpose and all of these really introspective topics, that sounds quite dramatic now but I was really in my own head – all the time. Crazy to think I’m technically a lawyer now – fuck that though haha.
Brisbane seems to constantly churn out music talent, what has it been like developing as a musician there/Who are some artists from up there you think everyone needs to check out at the moment?
I’m sorry to say I don’t think my answer to this question is the one you’re looking for. It’s true that Brisbane’s cultivated some great talent in recent years but other than it being a beautiful place to live, I don’t know that it’s effected me or my music at all, at least not in a way I can readily recognise.
I haven’t really hung out with or collaborated with any Brisbane artists, or other artists for that matter, and that’s kind of by design. There are lots of artists who collaborate constantly and that works brilliantly for them. But from the start of this project it’s been incredibly personal to me. It’s become interwoven with my identity, I’m not sure that’s healthy but it’s true. I definitely haven’t ruled out collaboration in general but it’s something I’d be selective about.
In terms of Brisbane artists to check out, I’d recommend mallrat.
How does that differ from the online/how has the internet affected your start in music and do you find a strong sense of community with other musicians & producers online?
It seems geography is largely irrelevant in terms of connecting with people these days. Having said that, I’m really looking forward to actually meeting people as i travel this year. The relationships never feel quite real to me until they’ve developed in person.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
At this stage I haven’t looked too far beyond the massive (at least to me) US tour that kicks off next month. It’s several months long in so many cities I can’t remember them all unless I’m looking at the poster. There may be shows in the UK, Europe and Australia but nothing’s been decided yet. And, of course, new music…
You can buy or stream the EP here.