The rising lo-fi artist gets candid on his upbringing in Nashville and wanting his music to inspire.
It’s not every day we must listen to ferocious hard-hitting basslines and sharp cutting-edge wordplay, sometimes you just need a soothing melodic production, and Nashville newcomer Foster is providing. Slowly easing us into the airy dream-like production with twinkling keys, the singer’s vocals subtly enter the kaleidoscopic soundscape and leads us into a lulling world where lo-fi sensibilities rule. Taking us through the trials and tribulations of adolescent love, the singer paints a nostalgic picture for us, letting romantic lyricism and melodies tell the story.
Opening up on the single, Foster said, “’as long as I have you’ is reminiscent of a fictional story, there were times in which I was so emotionally involved it felt as if it were my current reality. Playing with the idea of being in a teenage relationship was very nostalgic for me, not because I was in one, but because I had always wanted to be. Because of these two emotional ties, the creative process was very fluid. Considering the story is fictional, I felt liberated to push it in any direction I wanted and create my own rollercoaster of emotions, which is something I’m not used to when it comes to writing. It felt very freeing.”
Born Colin Foster Taylor in Chattanooga, the artist began his career over eight years ago, with the singer churning out lo-fi singles on Soundcloud and YouTube. Now with over two million streams in the bank and a collaboration with Sarcastic Sounds & Cody, we caught up with Foster talking all things Nashville and how he wants to use music to help people.
Check out the single and interview below now…
Hey Foster! We are almost halfway through the year, how has it been for you so far?
So far, this year has been pretty good to me. I’ve spent most of it working on myself as a person, my mental health, and of course, a bunch of new music. Having this new and growing fanbase has really helped brighten some of the darker times and overall I’m just feeling really blessed.
Do you think everything that happened last year affected your creativity?
I think so. The combination of COVID and graduating from college meant that I no longer meet new people regularly. This limited me creatively, due to the lack of new experiences to draw my lyrics from, especially early on. For the most part, I have always written lyrics drawing from my own experiences or experiences of others that I’ve witnessed second hand, but the creative barriers that have arisen led me to consider a new option when writing: creating a completely fictional story. Since this realisation, I have almost only written fictional stories. I really enjoy it because it frees me of all limitations and allows me to write with more of a scene-to-scene mindset.
You were raised in Nashville which is huge on music, do you think growing up here impacted your sound?
Prior to college, growing up in Nashville didn’t have much of an impact on my sound. Looking from the outside in, it seemed like the Nashville music scene was strictly country. I’ve never been a big fan of country music, and although I admire it as an art form, it didn’t seem to have much of a creative impact on me. With that said, once I got accepted into the songwriting program at Belmont University, I realised the industry in Nashville doesn’t just revolve around country music. I was exposed to many different genres and sounds by the courses I took, from fellow songwriting students, and through industry opportunities in connection to the program. To my surprise, what I was exposed to most was pop music, and that had a huge impact on my sound, style, and creative process.
How did you first get into music? What is your earliest memory?
I have a very musical family. My dad and brother both play a handful of instruments, and my entire extended family is basically just one big band. Every family reunion had moments of a band rehearsal. The earliest memory I have regarding an interest in music, is when I decided I wanted to play the drums. I got a little drum set for Christmas and taught myself to play. Long after, my earliest memory of wanting to become a singer/rapper happened when I was around the age of 13. I remember listening to some Mac Miller songs on my phone and singing/rapping along with them out loud. I was always really shy about singing, so I was alone at the time, and I remember thinking to myself wow I’m pretty good at this.
You’ve just dropped your new single “as long as I have you”, take us through the production process!
It was such a fun experience making this one. I jumped on a Zoom call with the producer of the track, Christoph Andersson – whose work I have admired since I first discovered him in 2017 – and things fell into place on their own. He played me a loop of the chorus and I began to formulate a concept of how the song would go and how I would create a story based on the hook. We stayed on the call for a few hours, him adding the production and me writing the lyrics, both on mute, only occasionally unmuting to share a quick idea or feedback. The first few lines came to me almost immediately, which is not something that happens with every song I write. I’m a slow writer and I really like to take my time, so after he finished producing the instrumental, he sent it to me and we ended the session. I continued writing for two or three weeks, sometimes in my home studio and sometimes while on a walk or a drive. This is one of the first songs I wrote using the new fictional story strategy I spoke about earlier. I relied on a fantasy of what I would’ve liked my sixteen-year-old life to have been like for the first verse, and then drew on complete fictionality for the second verse, all while taking it scene by scene. After I finished writing, I recorded my vocals in my home studio, as always, and sent it over to Christoph. We went back and forth on a few small production details until we decided it was how we wanted it, then he mixed it and we had it mastered shortly after. I’m really proud of this one and I’m so happy for it to be my second single!
You created a single about young relationships, though you say you weren’t in one, what made you want to write a song about this?
Looking back on my teenage years, I really wish I had been in a relationship. I remember turning sixteen and getting my license being one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. I wanted to drive all day, it didn’t even matter where I went. I was always sneaking out, not even to get into trouble but just to go hang out with a friend or cruise around. I can only imagine what these experiences would’ve been like if I had shared them with a girlfriend; so, that’s exactly what I did.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to take away whatever they need from my music. It’s so interesting how a song can help a listener through a tough time even when the content of the song has nothing to do with their situation at all. The power of music is unexplainable. I just want to use that power to help people, and to show people that I am devoting my life into this as an artform.
You cite Mac Miller and John Mayer as your inspirations, what about them inspires you?
Mac Miller is without a doubt my biggest inspiration. I spent a lot of my life looking up to him – the passion and determination he had for music, along with the technical abilities he showed through his lyrics, voice, and production. He wasn’t afraid to experiment, to decline a mainstream opportunity to instead pursue finding himself creatively, and sharing that with the world. May he rest in peace! John Mayer has always inspired me as well with his lyricism, melodies, and incredible guitar playing skills. I always feel very inspired to experiment in the acoustic realm when I listen to him, especially his older music.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Right now, I’m just focusing on making the best music I can make and really finding myself creatively. I think I am narrowing down on my sound even considering the fact that the music I create has a very wide range of styles. I’m excited about a lot, but I think I’m most excited about releasing a debut project, and getting to share that with the world.