If you asked him where he would be at this point in his life, middle-school Weston wouldn’t say making music.
Weston Weast grew up mocking the way artists on the radio would sing.
“I pulled it off in a way where I kind of sounded good doing it,” said Weston, a junior music major from Oklahoma City.
Though he only took piano lessons, his mom eventually encouraged him to start experimenting with his voice.
After middle school, he started learning guitar and fell in love with the process of creating.
“In high school, I came to the realization that music was the only thing I’m the best at,” he said. “I might as well pursue that if it’s something I want to do.”
Weston said he knew his musical abilities were God-given talents, and it was a blessing to realize that at such a young age.
As he transitioned to college, he was unaware of the music scene in Abilene, so he bought his own equipment for a home studio. As a resident assistant in Mabee, he makes most of his music in his room and records in the Williams Performing Arts Center. One of the downsides to being an RA, Weston said, is the loud air conditioning unit.
“There’s something more free, having my own equipment, because I control the placement of things and the comfort of how long I can take on whatever I’m working on. It’s perfect for me where I am right now.”
From beginning to end, the process takes a few months. Typically, he thinks of a certain series of lyrics or melody line and bases the rest of the song around them.
“For me, singing in the shower has always brought the best tunes,” Weston said. “A lot of these songs that I write come from one certain aspect that I love.”
When he finishes the lyrics, he takes time to play the guitar or piano to figure out which fits best. As he puts together the song, he tries to recreate what’s in his head and loop it. Finally, he goes through the recording process.
Weston said he calls his songs “bops” because when people can dance to them, the lyrics get stuck in their heads.
His first, “Something Different,” came out in August of 2018.
“For me to put something out there that is tangible and people can get to is really nice,” Weston said.
“Kiss Kiss,” his newest single, came out on Valentine’s Day. Weston said it was his interpretation of the most generic romance pop song because for the past 20 years, most of pop has been about romancing something.
Weston built the entire song around the chorus, “make me want to kiss your face off.” He said when he came back for the spring semester, he had a lot of free time, so it took him three days to complete the song.
“With Kiss Kiss, I was on such a roll because I had the lyrics weeks before I started recording.”
The song is family friendly, and Weston wanted to make sure his wordplay was good enough for the people who really listened to it. His approach was to make the song more about how it sounds rather than how it is spoken out.
“I don’t think I tried making it different as far as lyrics and beat,” Weston said. “From a face value, there’s nothing different.”
Weston said the song is unique because his listeners know him and his personality.
“I don’t come across as someone who fits the stereotype of today’s pop artist,” Weston said. “Imagine someone like Ben Rector trying to be in romance pop, that’s the personality I bring.”
As he makes more songs, Weston said he wants to fit into the category of alternative rock, though when he performs live with an acoustic guitar, he finds himself sounding more singer-songwriter and American folk.
“Through my music process, I try to find a way to blend them together.”
Weston said his vision of who he wants to be as a performer and his presence around people, is what sets him apart.
Right now, he’s working on his third single to put out around March 29 when he opens for Willow City on campus. All three singles will be on an ep he plans to have out before summer when he works as a camp counselor.
“I’m in this place where God is good and I’m able to be very creative with what He’s given me,” Weston said. “For me to hold that back for myself and not give anybody music is kind of a waste with what he’s doing in my life.”
When he performs in front of people or he’s recording by himself, Weston said he finds himself caught in the moment, knowing he wouldn’t be able to do so well if it weren’t for God.
Weston performed for an art show in the Shore Gallery this semester, closing his set with “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. Andrew Godfrey, an ACU graduate and worship leader at Radiant Life, introduced himself because he was impressed with how Weston sang.
Since, Godfrey has been mentoring Weston to lead worship.
“At that point I was performing but I felt like I was worshipping by myself,” Weston said. “I continue to be blessed with opportunities the more I sit down and create music. It’s proof of God in my life.”
Weston said one of the most frequent questions he gets is why he chose to go by the name, “Weston & the Evergreen” instead of his name. Because there are people he wants to perform with, he used a band name in hopes that musicians would join him on his journey.
“The evergreen is not a collection of people, it’s a state of mind,” Weston said. “Someone can go through all different seasons of life, but abiding in God’s love keeps you evergreen. For me to be Weston in the evergreen, I can be residing in that idea that God’s love is enduring.”
Listen to Weston’s songs below: