OK Cowgirl: A Labor Of Love

emilytreadgold #1, Features

Ok Cowgirl’s hazy, dreamy sound is filled with angsty melodies and intimate, gut wrenching lyrics. Sometimes you can just feel when a band is on the cusp of their breakthrough and this is one of those times. We talked to them at SXSW about the challenges they’re facing and how they work together as a team.

How did Ok Cowgirl come together? 

Ok Cowgirl: Ok Cowgirl took quite a few years to come together, I started playing with my drummer Matt when we were freshman in college which was almost ten years ago. Slowly, I met these guys. I met Jake, my guitarist because he was my bartender at one of my favorite local spots. John and Ryan, the other two players I used to play in their band, and then they joined mine. It took a while, and the band is based around my songs. I slowly started picking up more players, and we became this cohesive unit. In 2020, we decided on our name and wanted to do the whole thing. We were just friends who enjoyed playing music together.

Can you tell me how you find your community? 

Ok Cowgirl: I think we’re all bonded with a shared love of music and exploring new music. We have a really strong DIY Ethos, and we all have a background in throwing shows in warehouses and backyards and rations. We love to go out and discover new things that nobody else knows about and that’s one of the reasons we love coming to south by, there’s people here form all over and there’s so much to explore and discover. 

I love that, too; I love that you can just camp at a venue and find new bands. What has been on of the biggest challenges for you as an indie artist?

Ok Cowgirl: Honestly, the money. We’re about to put out a full-length record, but it took a lot of money to record that and compensate all of our creative friends who helped. Everybody in my band has a day job that helps fund this, and that takes time. Figuring out how to balance your money and time to fuel this dream is really challenging at times. It’s a labor of love, and we’ve all sort of built our lives in a way that tailors to us being able to take advantage of opportunities like coming to south by, going on tour, recording, playing, shows and we do that because we love it,.

There’s so much work that goes into it; I feel like if you don’t love it, you can hear it. How do you guys work together? 

Ok Cowgirl: Usually, I write the songs. I love songwriting; even if I couldn’t sing, I would still write songs. I just find the craft so interesting. I love people, I love communicating, I love interacting, I love how relationships relate. I’m constantly thinking about our feelings and how we’re all connected to each other. I pick out songs I think the boys will be excited about and together we flesh things out.

I feel like having a team you can trust is the only way you can make it work.

Ok Cowgirl: It keeps things exciting for me because if it was just my song and I was recording it in my bedroom, I would do it a certain way, but then they come up with ideas I’ve never thought about, and the song ends up growing into this thing that’s just always better than it would’ve been if I had done it all myself.

Is it like a no negativity in brainstorming type of rule?

Ok Cowgirl: Everybody in my band is really honest, and that’s probably our policy, honestly. We’re all here to do this song justice and make it the best it can be. Voicing our ideas and also voicing our opinions, staying flexible, and not taking things personally are a huge part of our process. Not every one of your ideas is going to end up on the record, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we don’t value your option. It just means we’re working through it. Things and we want something we’re all excited about.

How do you not take something personally?

Ok Cowgirl: It just takes some humility and respect. You really have to respect and trust each other's opinions. I trust them enough to try it out their way. At the end of the day, we all end up happy and on the same page.

What's your best piece of advice for women in music?

Ok Cowgirl: Learn how to trust yourself. I think it was so hard fo rme to learn how to trust myself, I had so much imposter syndrome. I think it's about knowing that the best music you can make is your own music. Music is so subjective, and all you can do is make something that means something to you.

Keep up on Instagram and Spotify.

Emily Treadgold

Facebook Facebook