Eraste (air-este) is a 21-year-old self-taught singer and instrumentalist from Texas.
Her main musical inspirations are Lorde, Halsey, and FLETCHER.
Growing up in a small town in Texas, she struggled with being queer in her youth.
Music was her outlet, she was able to express herself and write about how she felt outcasted, but also how she was able to find herself through music.
Since she is a fully self-taught musician, there isn’t much background with theory.
One of the things that makes her stick out in the music industry is that she is able to break style and musical boundaries because they aren’t real to her to begin with.
Some of the beautiful things that she writes about is her struggle with mental health and how it has impacted the people around her.
She wants her listeners to know that her music is how she centers herself and that’s how she has found her identity.
I was able to interview Eraste and get a little sneak peek into her life. Check it out below!
What got you started in music?
I’ve always loved music, but I grew up leading worship in my church. I feel like that’s how a lot of artists from Texas get started in music haha. I didn’t really have musical family members so my musical background is like… Hillsong and whatever my older sisters were listening to (Rihanna usually) or the Hot 100. I think that’s what made me really love pop music and made it feel like such a natural thing when I started making it.
Can you elaborate on what made Lorde, Halsey, and FLETCHER your musical inspirations?
I really enjoy listening to people with unique tones and honest story-telling because I can see myself in them. Halsey’s “Badlands” was the first time I was exposed to nitty-gritty electro-pop and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was a huge 180 from the country music that PLAGUES the panhandle lol. I love the way they tell their stories, and listening to Halsey was the first time I could really relate to someone who wrote about things I was going through at the time. That album and their music have such a special place in my heart because they gave me representation in the LGBTQ community that I hadn’t previously seen. Lorde is in a league of her own and Melodrama is the blueprint for everything I could hope to be. She creates with such a sense of freedom and honesty and writes about whatever she wants and we LOVE it. In pop music, there’s a lot of pressure to make your music “digestible” but Lorde never really gives a fuck about that, and that’s really admirable. I can only hope to tell my stories in the special way she tells her’s. They are all people I look up to when I’m writing my music, and they constantly inspire me to be more honest and vulnerable.
How have you overcome being queer with your music? Has it taught you anything?
I wouldn’t say ‘overcome’ as much as embrace being queer! I’ve known I was Bisexual since I was what, 15? And it was extremely difficult to come to terms with that for me. When you come from a place that’s so close-minded, there is a lot of pressure to become what others want you to be. My biggest fear is being inauthentic to myself, and so it was hard to know who I was and not be able to share it. I think it leads to a lot of questioning of who I am, like, who are you when there’s no one around to see it? Do you even exist? Kind of thing. When I was hiding, this music reminded me who I was even when I was running from it. I think as I continue to make my own music and explore the parts of myself I left behind it will continue to teach me that it’s okay now you know? This whole process has taught me to be kind to myself through all the self-discovery.
As a fully self-taught musician, what advice would you give to someone who is looking to learn how to play an instrument or become an artist?
Hahah I say “fully self-taught” I had BRIEF piano lessons (Joanne you’re a real one) but I was too small to like make it stick I guess. When I was a little older I started teaching myself to play pop songs on the piano, and I just used my ears! My advice would be to start on an instrument that makes the most sense to you, I’m a visual person so piano is that instrument for me! And then I branched out to learn other instruments when I was comfortable. I learned to really listen to music and then recreate those sounds on the piano, and that’s the easiest way for me! But if it doesn’t make sense to you I would say learn basic chords first, and then all the scales, and then it will come together. Music is just beeps and boops so eventually it will make sense because there are only so many beeps to be booped. haha.
How would you describe your latest EP?
Eclectic! Fun! Pop bops! In my EP I wanted to do everything I was capable of and I didn’t really go into it with a set concept or plan, and it’s funny to think that a concept came up anyways! The best part about coming from a household where there was little to no music, is that I was influenced by a ton of different stuff. Radio bops in the 2010s, country music (sadly), worship music, and everything in between. Although it was really fun to explore lots sonically, through that I learned what I am really good at and what I love to do the most and now I can move forward with that. It was so honest and I’m so happy to set that precedent so that going forward my listeners always know I’m going to be true to my experiences like all of my favorite artists.
If you could tell your listeners one thing about your EP, what would it be?
My opening line is “You can never really know me because I don’t really know me.” I think a lot of people can relate to that and so that makes it really special. I talk a lot about the idea of feeling lost and constantly feeling like you’re pretending to be something you’re not. If they have ever felt this way I want them to know that they are not alone!
Check her out below!