David Ost is a singer-songwriter currently based in Hamburg Germany. We discovered his debut single ‘Gamblers Of Romance’ and since he is releasing another new single this week, we thought it would be perfect timing to get to know him better.
We are happy to say that he is one of the biggest discoveries this year. ‘Gamblers Of Romance’ spent 3 non-consecutive weeks at the top of our chart and with a new song on its way we feel it’s just the beginning of an incredible career for the artist.
Tell us about the journey up until the release of your debut single ‘Gamblers of Romance‘.
I’ve been thinking about this one quite a lot recently. After browsing through all the years, the time that I uncovered music as “an interest of mine” might actually go back to my very early teens. I took drum and piano lessons, played in a couple of high school bands and my best buddy and I tried to be the next Neptunes.
I grew up in quite an academic environment so I thought studying music would be a grand idea. But kinda like the story about the guy who wanted to be a boxer, until he met someone who really wanted to be a boxer (or Seth Rogen) it didn’t work out and I started to be convinced that I was missing that certain something. I wasn’t really able to write songs and my singing was shite. Lots of studying different things and lots of living abroad later I found myself in Glasgow, where I somehow started to find music (again) as if it was this thick old dusty book you’d find in the attic and blow the dust off.
I started to play again and write songs, proper ones. Early 2019, I felt comfortable enough to go out and regularly play at open mics, where I dropped into the Hamburg Singer-Songwriter scene. My buddy Mo and I also went to Panama together that time and we thought it would be worth a shot also doing music together. So last summer we went into a little studio and recorded, among other tracks, my first single.
Was there a specific reason why you choose ‘Gamblers Of Romance’ as the very first song to launch your career?
It’s the first song I wrote that made me feel confident about my music. And I feel like it’s basically covering most of the things I want my music to be. A Singer-Songwriter base with a sound landscape you might have not heard before but yet catchy as if it’s been around somehow. Does that make any sense?
What was the inspiration behind the song?
Something a good friend of mine said, the image of love at war and Tony McHugh’s unreal guitar play.
Did anything in your life change after the release?
I started to feel a lot more comfortable with myself. And I played a lot more gigs.
How would you describe your sound?
Singer-Songwriter-Folk-Beat-Pop? Sounds weak as fuck… You do it.
Congratulations, this Friday you are releasing a brand new single ‘Some Of Your Songs’. What’s the story behind the song? How was the song born?
It could be a failed love story with a secret songwriter that can’t go on stage to sing her songs. It could be an anthem for all artists in disguise. Or something entirely different!?
‘Some Of Your Songs’ could be an anthem for all artists, in disguise.DAVID OST
Your guitar and vocals sound effortless. I bet you put a lot of work into it. Would you mind sharing more about how long it takes to achieve that result?
Well, most of the chords I know are from John Mayer songs. His music also taught me a couple of nifty tricks here and there technique-wise. Also not to forget Tony McHugh, man – this guy is insane. Yet, I wouldn’t agree to be effortless at all, let’s go with “alight”! The key to singing acceptable was actually nothing else than meaning what I say. Ah, and years and years of practice obviously.
What would need to happen for you that you say “I made it in the music business”?
If I could make a living from only that.
Music to me is a pursuitDavid OST
What does your creative process look like?
Most of the time I sit down and try to distil what has been floating around in my head whenever I’m not doing music or grab my guitar and see where it takes me. The lyrics mainly drop-in after I find the melodies with made-up-English. The exception is certain lines popping into my head in random situations that feel like building a song around.
My Producer (Moritz Drath) and I though have developed a pretty neat flow that also includes samples and sound landscapes to get us going into a certain direction that we both like and that somehow sounds like me.
Who are your biggest music influences?
Grew up with German and American Hip-Hop, idolizing The Neptunes, and spent a quite some time on Progressive Rock. Discovered John Mayer around the time of his Continuum LP and haven’t been able to get away from his stuff ever since. Which is also one of the reasons why getting a Martin Guitar was on my bucket list. A couple of years ago I discovered Max Martin or Finneas like Popular Music for myself. A most recent major influence is definitely Dermot Kennedy.
What are some of the most difficult challenges you face as an artist working in the music industry?
There’s plenty of ways to promote your independent music to a broader audience, which is excellent because you can basically just do the entire thing from scratch yourself. I’ve run into really great people that just love supporting artists for a fair buck. Or look at you guys, that’s just plain awesome! But the vast majority of offerings either seems heavily scammy or pretty much is. And it’s hard to know what is actually done for the money you spent. I guess you can’t avoid trial and error.
If we’d hack your Spotify account, what artists would we find?
Jacob Collier, Marc Broussard, Bon Iver, Will Varley, Flume, What So Not, Sam Fender, Tom Misch, Chris Stapleton, Anomalie, FKJ, The National, Dermot Kennedy, Jack Garratt, Biffy Clyro.
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
Haha yeah, recently I had that with “if the world was ending” by JP Saxe & Julia Michaels (produced by Finneas) and “A Closeness” by Dermot Kennedy. Oh, and I wish I had written “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell. The first one is the kind of pop songwriting I enjoy a lot, the second one is Dermot’s mixture of guitar picking, folk poetry, rhythmic singing and drums that make it so mystical and exciting for me I guess. Even if it might not be the case objectively, it sounds new and special to me. Why ‘Cover Me Up’? Common, that swag to it and that chorus! Also an interesting cover out there by Morgan Wallen.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
That I at least went for everything I’ve ever wanted to achieve and owned it along the way.
I think we all need this one just now: What is a song that makes you extremely happy?
Do you think there’s anything artists or fans can do to support each other during these strange times of Covid-19?
Yeah, I think artists should try to take things online as much as possible and don’t be shy to make aware of their PayPal and whatnots, so people can support them digitally.
What have you got planned for 2020 and have any of your plans been impacted?
The plan is to release a couple more Singles that lead to an EP this year. I’ll be going on tour with Tom Klose for 13 Dates in Germany. This won’t be until September, so I really hope things will be back to cool by then.