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Winston Orz Chats About Indie Music, Cooking, Cat T-Shirts, and His New Singles

Cryptic with a dab of nostalgia, Winston Orz, the East Coast indie artist to watch, is cutting through the indie music scene.



Winston Orz, photo by Erika Arlee

Cryptic with a dab of nostalgia, Winston Orz, the East Coast indie artist to watch, is cutting through the indie music scene with more than just the average danceable sad song. We caught up with Winston to talk about life, art, and his recent releases. He shared his love of cooking, making cat t-shirts, and sharing life with his partner.

Winston told us about his lifelong musical journey and how he came to discover certain musical influences. Surprisingly, there was a point where he wasn’t that interested in music until one Christmas when his uncle gave him some Beatles records. He calls that his “Dark Period.” Shortly thereafter, the floodgates opened for him, and he was listening to The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, eventually moving on to artists such as Mac DeMarco, Yellow Days, and Homeshake. More on Winston can be found here:

In Winston’s own words:

“I was raised on a lot of oldies, ’50s to ’60s soul music era stuff, also somehow ’80s music. I went through a music dark period somewhere in middle school to early high school. Then my uncle gave me these Beatles records for Christmas.”

Later when Orz starts college, his roommates got him started playing instruments, and making music. Orz opens up about his early music experiences; “I was living at this house, and two of us were musicians, and they started teaching me guitar, so that’s how I sort of got into it.”

When asked about his music writing process, Winston admitted that he works with a team of really talented producers. “I write the song on acoustic guitar; I have a general vision for the song. I start playing guitar, and lyrics just sort of come.”

Pre-pandemic, Winston was in a band, trying to write upbeat songs to get people moving. When COVID-19 took over the world and forced everyone into quarantine, Winston was left to write songs in solitary. “Then COVID happened, and I was writing songs alone; it was the feeling lost and uncertain,” Winston comments regarding his headspace while writing “For You.”

During this first release, he worked with producers Tyrek Hearon and Ethan Hanson, who helped him realize his vision for the stream-of-consciousness piece that has been attracting attention on Spotify.

Winston explains the feeling behind For You:

“‘For You’ is a stream of conscience lyrical song. It’s not like I came from a specific place, it’s was more like a feeling, (considering the COVID quarantine). I was in a sort of liminal space, you’re not exactly here or exactly there, it’s not necessarily a bad dream, you’re somewhere between realities.”

Winston Orz “For You” single artwork

Winston Orz “For You” single artwork

My curiosity about this artist peaked the moment I saw his preview of “Spider Woman.” A full display of “chill” at work, Winston is seen calmly singing whilst large hairy spiders crawl freely all over his body. That’s right, tarantulas! Inspired by personal experiences and paying a bit of homage to The Cure’s “Lullaby,” this new single packs a lot into a single release.

“Spider Woman,” written and produced by Orz, was released as a single with some very interesting visual media accompanying it. Director Damien Capps was the genius behind the music video. Having tarantulas involved was a must for Orz from day one. “We did actually film some video with a spider; that whole process was like an odyssey,” Orz shares the complicated experience of trying to track down a spider for film. Capps confidently said he had “contacts with tarantulas,” then that fell through.

It became clear that finding a tarantula, and someone with experience to handle them, was not going to be as easy as they thought. Once a tarantula was acquired, nobody wanted to handle it. Also, no one wanted to hurt the tarantula, so they needed some help. The best part of his story is when a girl shows up, and is willing to hold the tarantula. Her only qualification being that “she likes spiders!” Overnight, Hannah Foy became, “The Spider Wrangler,” which allowed the whole project to finally come together.

At first, Orz was a little fearful, but the spider was actually very “chill,” maybe too chill. At times the spider wouldn’t move, then “she just nudged it, and it just went on its way, a few times it went really fast,” Orz shares. For the animal lovers of the world, no spiders were harmed in the making of these videos. For the most part, the spider did whatever it wanted.

There is more to this song than mere novelty. Winston’s musical composition begs us to seek more information about his creative process to find the meaning behind this release. Music aside, our country is in an era where addiction and mental health are gaining greater awareness in society through media.

There is no dancing around it, “Spider Woman” is a commentary on addiction in a society that offers everything to us without restrictions. The concept of addiction goes beyond just substances; it can be food, VR, gaming, devices, and more. We are all guilty of letting something unhealthy fill that “hole” when we need comforting.

Winston Orz “Spider Woman” single artwork

Winston Orz “Spider Woman” single artwork

Orz emphasized that “Spider Woman” is not meant to glorify leaning on outwardly things to satisfy ourselves. It attempts to capture the emotions and experiences that accompany a dark time in one’s life where anything other than self-control takes the wheel. It is something Winston has seen people he loves struggle with. Winston adds, “it’s so prevalent in society, it’s hard not to want to address it, or write about it. You don’t have to be directly affected by it, to be touched by its effects.” During the writing process, Orz puts himself in the shoes of someone struggling with these issues.

Orz provides insight behind the meaning of “Spider Woman” lyrics:

“Losing control starts as something you want, but it is actually controlling you. When you’re feeling bad it’s always an easy answer. It’s this relationship that can help when you’re down. Like a woman you have in your arms, but those arms control you.”

There is more coming from Winston Orz in due time, and we are looking forward to it. “Spider Woman” and “For You” are out now on all your favourite streaming platforms. Give him a follow, give him a listen, tell your friends… If it’s in you, find some way to support Winston on his musical journey.

Winston Orz (sitting), photo by Erika Arlee

Winston Orz (sitting), photo by Erika Arlee

Lover of all things music, Vanessa De La Rosa has been involved in the music scene most of her life in different capacities. All genres welcome, she is a past master in the art of "nerding-out" with music, and is excited to explore that passion by sharing the stories of artists everywhere. Fan of: Festivals, gear, music production, all genres, supporting artists, concerts, and merch!