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by Megan Bowles

The all-round creative teaches us how to navigate that cryptic ‘we need to talk’ message.

Austin Sands is the true definition of multifaceted. Born and raised on the coast of California, the musician, singer, songwriter and designer knows no creative bounds, and has been this way since he was just a child. Having been introduced to the music world when he became injured and could no longer play basketball, Austin took up the guitar at the age of just 9. From very early on he found musical influences from bands like Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and Blink-182 while also taking a serious interest in composers like J.S. Bach and Issac Albeniz. Ahead of his time to say the least, he was playing shows by the age of 11 and quickly became versed in not only modern music but classical, flamenco, music theory and songwriting having been mentored under classical guitar virtuoso Gregory Coleman.

Many may know him from his over decade-long part of the rock/electronica band, Metro Station. The band’s hit single, ‘Shake It’, went double platinum and set Austin up for solo-success, very much proven by his first independent venture, ‘Cruise’, which was released in August 2021. The song landed 3 Josie Award nominations and vast press praise. Following up from his smash debut single, ‘We Need To Talk’ is a must for your electronica/pop playlists. The single captures his unique blend of electronic beats merging into what we think will be a melody defined by the acoustic guitar and a slowed down tempo – then that contagious beat hits us again with a flurry of energy. Though the song discusses the anxiety we all feel when we see that ‘we need to talk’ message light up on our screen, Austin manages to turn ‘a negative into a positive’. He says ‘if you receive that message, or hear those words.. it’s probably them, not you’.

Though excelling within the music industry, Austin’s creative and entrepreneurial pursuits also extend to the world of luxury eyewear design, where he is a partner in Hoorsenbuhs eyewear division. Launched alongside his business partner Robert Keith, his frames are worn by the likes of Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Jennifer Anniston. We spoke to Austin to get all the details about his new song, and find out where his polymathic journey will take him to next…

Congrats on ‘We Need To Talk’! Talk us through what inspired you to create it…

Have you ever received that text? I bet you have.. How did it make you feel? I’ve gotten it too many times and finally the ambiguous uneasiness of those four words made me feel that certain way that makes you need to put an emotion/experience to music.

What message do you hope people take away from it?

A fun anthem for a loaded statement. If you get that message… Take a breathe, slow down, you’ll be ok.

"It’s ok to be happy and positive, and it’s also ok to write about something potentially negative."

How do you feel like your music has evolved so far?

Starting out playing classical music at a young age, dabbling in flamenco, going full grunge/alternative pre-teen, getting fully immersed in to the punk scene as a teenager, then playing multiple festivals, headlining SXSW and finally ending up playing this new kind of synth-heavy singer-songwriter with elements of all of the genres mentioned above, I’d say it’s ever-evolving.

What do you envision the future of music to look like?

I see it incorporating elements of all genres.. It seems even purists are glad to think outside the purist box these days and incorporate non-traditional elements in their genre. I see a lot of collaborations and features all over the board. EDM-emo rap-country could easily happen.. It’s probably already happening!

What is one change you’d love to make to the industry?

I’d like to get more talent heard without the industry politics, and I’d like to hear more positivity in music. It’s ok to be happy and positive, and it’s also ok to write about something potentially negative. I did with this song and chose to turn it in to something positive and maybe even humorous at times.

If you could collaborate with any musician in the future, who would it be and why?

Wow there’s so many amazing artists out there in so many genres I’d love to collaborate with, but the first name that comes to mind would be Thom Yorke because Radiohead is one of the main bands that made me want to start playing music.

Where would be your dream venue to play?

The Grand Ole Opry. Last weekend I accepted the Song of The Year Award there for my last single “Cruise”, so after having such a special night at the Opry I’d love to play there! Red Rocks and Dalhalla in Sweden are also at the top of my list. The natural aspects of those two venues are unbelievable!

Who are you betting on for future stardom?

I love seeing people who are hard workers get recognition, so I’ll bet on them!

Where do you hope to be in the next year?

Making more music! Watch out for a music video and some remixes later this year, and many new releases in 2023.

The next 5 years?

Still evolving and continuing to grow on this amazing journey!

Press play on Austin Sands’ ‘We Need To Talk’ below now…

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