Katie Cerulle ’22
Briston Maroney is an up-and-coming alternative rock artist that is taking TikTok by storm with his track “Freakin’ Out on the Interstate.” This breakout track has over 50 million streams on Spotify over the past three months. With over 46,000 Instagram followers and 46,000 likes on TikTok, Maroney is taking the indie music world by storm.
Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Maroney actually auditioned for American Idol at the Knoxville audition site in 2014. He explained to the judges during his audition that his experience growing up in a musical family has helped him develop his skills as a singer and guitar player. The judges raved about the unique nature of his voice and how it improved the power behind his words. Thus, the judges advanced him to Hollywood where he became one of 30 finalists. However, he ultimately did not advance beyond that point due to his age and want of experience.
A few years later, Maroney independently released his debut EP entitled Big Shot in 2017. This EP had four tracks, the most popular being “June” with over 4 million streams on Spotify. Over the next year, he released a few other songs including, “Under My Skin,” I’ve Been Waitin’,” and “Freakin’ Out on the Interstate,” which became part of his first EP released with Canvasback Music and Atlantic Records, entitled Carnival in 2018. In March 2019, Maroney made his first appearance at South by Southwest. He also opened for Liz Cooper & The Stampede and Wallows on their respective tours that year.
In May of 2019, he released his second major EP entitled Indiana. He told Enfnts Terribles magazine in 2019, “It’s really just four songs that came out of a time where I moved. I was living in Florida with my mom, and it’s about me moving to Nashville. In the songs, I’m talking about the change that came along with moving and just ‘change’ in general.”
In the same interview, Maroney also explained his excitement about touring with indie band The Wallows: “It was so awesome and once in a lifetime. They have been so kind to me! It was my first time playing concerts in Europe, so that was such a cool experience.” He also explained the origins of how he began touring with the group, claiming, “I got super lucky!” He elaborated, “I got to meet them in Los Angeles, when I was out there visiting some friends. We ended up working with the same management company and it all just worked out really nicely. Then, they needed a support act and I just started working with the management, so it all came together.”
Unfortunately when the pandemic hit, all touring and live shows stopped. Over 2020, however, Marooney released over five singles, including a cover of his girlfriend Samia’s, another Indie singer-songwriter, song. “Is There Something in the Movies?” was then released to great acclaim. Starting in the beginning of 2021, Maroney began releasing more new music in preparation for the launch of his first studio album Sunfower which is said to be released Apr. 9. The first three songs of the album have been released: “Sinkin’,” “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t,” and “Freeway.” A music video for “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t” premiered on Feb. 10.