Check out our interview with Bay Area musician Reese Posten who recently released his single “One Less.”
After falling in love with music from a young age Reese has now been recording and publishing music for five years. His aspiration is to approach the music industry with a refreshing departure from the exclusively electronic-based music that has been adopted as mainstream, all while remaining marketable and enjoyable to the general public. With that in mind, Reese Posten’s music could be described as a cross between John Mayer, Elliot Smith, and Omar Apollo.
Follow Reese @reese.posten
Hi Reese, please tell us a little about you?
Hi thank you for speaking with me! I am a musician from the Bay Area and I love sharing my music with whoever is willing to listen to it. I consider myself a guitar player and have been playing for around twelve years. Recently, I have been experimenting in pulling aspects from different genres and implementing them in my music. I find that branching out musically is incredibly important in finding inspiration.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
That’s a really good question. In three words: creative, ambitious, and musical.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I feel that I only recently began taking further steps to share my music with a larger audience. I decided to do this because I wasn’t able to go to my college’s campus for fall semester. So instead of paying housing costs, I put that money towards efforts that would help distribute my name and my music to more people.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Laid-back, melodic, versatile.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
So many artists have influenced me but some noteworthy ones might include Green Day, John Mayer, Freddie King, Elliot Smith, Dominic Fike, BB King, and so many others. The people that I just listed are so different from each other but combined, I feel like they really helped mold the way my music sounds today. I started playing music at a really young age. When I was growing up, I never thought twice about making music and finding a career in that industry. I saw my heroes doing it and I needed to do the same thing. Above all those people is someone named Erik Frykman. He was my guitar teacher for years and he probably had the biggest influence on me out of anyone. He taught me how to find my sound and how to be a real musician. Without him, I would be completely lost as a musician and as a person.
Do you play any instrument?
Yes. I primarily play guitar but I can play bass, drums, saxophone, and a tiny bit of piano. I love trying to play other instruments. It’s like learning a new language.
Do you ever get nervous?
I get nervous when I show new music to people before it’s released because I’m always afraid they won’t like it or that it’s too different from what I have done in the past. Before COVID, I also got nervous before playing live shows but that usually fades within the first couple minutes of the performance.
Tell us about your new single “One Less?”
This new song was so much fun to record and produce. I worked for a few months on this one and tried really hard to make it sound like it did in my head. I remember getting FredTheBlackKid on the song and he recorded a verse for me, which was so amazing because my friends and I are obsessed with his music. This track is a blues-ey pop song with some R&B influence. There was just so much time that I put into this song and I love how it turned out.
What’s the story behind this song?
Over the summer, I had some issues with some friends of mine and they did some things that made me think of them in a different light. I remember being really bummed out about this and needed to find some sort of outlet for whatever I was feeling. So this song has sort of an angry or frustrated connotation and was, at the time, an outlet for what was happening in my life.
Did you have plans/concerts planned and cancelled because of COVID? If so have you done any online concerts or interaction with your fans?
I didn’t have much planned before COVID because I was just starting to release music under my own name. I didn’t have enough content or resources to confidently plan a tour or any run of live shows. However, I used this time to work really hard on creating new music and establishing my presence online so that when things are opened back up, I can start planning live performances. So far, I haven’t done any online concerts yet but I do have some ideas brewing that I would like to pursue.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I would love to do more collaborations with other artists. There’s another rapper named Luca Manatuano who knows FredTheBlackKid actually and I really want to get him on a song that I’m working on right now. He and Fred are really talented and I feel like they’re capable of so much in the music industry. I just hope they remember me when they inevitably blow up.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
The creative process is so much fun. When I come up with some idea that gets me excited and ready to write more, there is nothing that I’d rather do. I love being in the studio and experimenting with different sounds and different instruments until I have a song that sounds unique and melodic. I have found it really rewarding to release a song and hear that my friends really like my music because I try hard to write music that my friends would listen to. There’s not a lot about what I’ve been doing that isn’t rewarding. However, when I’m not able to record or write, I feel like I’m stuck or falling behind in what could be the perfect time to create and share music with an audience.
What’s next for Reese Posten in 2021?
I hope to continue to release music in 2021 and hopefully, if things are okay by them, plan a summer string of shows. I would love to start playing live. I also want to release an EP of some sort sometime next year and maybe collaborate with more people. I’m just hoping that 2021 makes up for 2020.
What is your favorite song? And why?
That’s a really difficult question. I think Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix might be my favorite song. This song got me into Berklee College of Music and I love playing it. It’s definitely my favorite Hendrix song for sure.
Any loves other than music?
I’ve surfed on and off for years and I really enjoy going when I have time. But I love exercising, spending time with my friends, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. At the moment I’m trying to make the most out of life and I can’t wait to see where I end up.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably BB King. I would have loved to talk to him about music and play guitar with him. He was a musical god and every guitar player, by default, worships him and his craft. It just seemed like he always knew exactly what he was doing all the time. I would do anything to be where he was as a musician.
Best advice ever given?
My former guitar teacher Erik Frykman, who is the greatest teacher and musician I had ever met, gave me the best advice I have ever been given. I had to have been in 6th or 7th grade and I remember feeling really discouraged to pursue music because I had constantly been told that you have to be incredibly lucky to find success. I talked to him about how I felt about it and how I was nervous about everything and he told me that everyone keeps telling you how lucky you have to be and how lucky everyone who made it was but no one tells you to make your own luck. Ever since he said that, I haven’t doubted anything that I’ve done. He was the one that got me over that initial barrier of worry and doubt. If he reads this, THANK YOU ERIK!
How’s a typical day in your life?
These days I usually wake up a little bit before 8:00 AM and go to class until around 2:00 on average. After classes I try to work on some music and practice guitar. I usually go for a drive eventually so I can see how some of my new music sounds in the car and also just to clear my head after a day of sitting on my computer. Then, if I have time, I try to see some of my friends, in a COVID conscious way. Not very interesting but I try to get as many things done as I can.
Name one your strengths?
I would say that I am driven and I try really hard to make everything work. I have really ambitious goals so I think that being driven is necessary when working to attain those goals.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
My perfect Sunday consists of sleeping in and not doing anything all day, until I do some work at the last minute. Sunday’s are my days to wind down and focus on preparing myself for the week.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
That’s an awesome question. These days, that song is usually The Spins by Mac Miller or Vampire by Dominic Fike. Those are two of my most played songs at the moment.
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think that happiness is when you find a part of your life that makes everything else feel worth it. It’s unreasonable to ask for a life where you love everything about it but once you have just one thing that makes you undeniably and completely happy, the rest falls into place and becomes worth the trouble.
Do you support any charities?
Well I’m practically broke at the moment but as of now, the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Central Kitchen would be two that I would donate to if I could. I also am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement as well and I feel that there’s a lot that needs to be done so that’s another area that I would love to eventually donate to.
What is your favorite healthy food?
It’s so weird that you ask that because I just got really into oven roasted kale chips and I have no idea why. I tried some and I couldn’t stop eating them. Other than that, bananas or broccoli, not together though.
And your favorite cheat food?
I honestly don’t keep myself on a very strict diet normally but something that I don’t indulge in all that much but I love is In n Out Burger. Most people on the West Coast love it so much.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If they can’t carry a conversation, I see that as a red flag for sure. I need someone that I can talk to organically without working to make things less awkward. Also, when someone is too attached to their phone. I like it when girls can have fun without checking their phone every few minutes.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
In the next five years I hope to be pursuing music at a higher level. I just want to be able to do what I love without having to sacrifice too much of my life. By then, I will be out of college and hopefully working with some really good people, regardless of what I’m doing.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Is homeless a valid answer? During quarantine I have stuck to the made clothing groups of sweatpants and T shirts. I wouldn’t consider myself to be someone that cares a lot about what I wear. These days comfort comes first. However before COVID, I would normally just wear Jeans, a T-shirt, and a hoodie or jacket. Nothing too special there.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s the best and worst thing that has ever happened to everybody. As an artist, it’s probably the most effective way to develop an audience because everyone is always on social media. It’s so much faster to enhance your presence when there are constantly millions of people that could potentially stumble across your profile or music. That being said, those exact reasons are also a major detriment to up and coming artists. How do new, undiscovered musicians fight through the crowd? It’s so difficult for the average person to focus on that many artists at once. These days, people move on from music every day. Artists need to find some kind of niche that has lasting power and continues to draw people in. If someone releases a hit song and gets 20 million streams on it, the odds of that carrying over to the next release are so low. Today is the best and the worst time for musicians to start their careers.
Where can we follow you?
You can follow me on
Quote: “Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself.”-Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”
Movie: Good Will Hunting, as you can see from the quote above.
Travel Destination: The coast of Australia or the Dominican Republic
Sports Team: Golden State Warriors !!