Welcome to “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” GO Magazine’s brand new interview series that profiles a different queer babe each day, by asking them seven unique (and sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.
Queer musician Often is a creative who pushes the boundaries with her work. She’s a singer-songwriter and photographer who I continually see express herself through different mediums of creativity. Her music has a raw edginess to it, perfect for processing a breakup or big life decision. She describes her artistic process as bigger than the music itself, it’s for the purpose of creating something for the universe.
Get to know what keeps Often grounded, inspired and persevering as an artist in our Seven Minutes in Heaven with her.
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Austin McAllister: I’m a singer, songwriter, and photographer currently based in Atlanta. I work in a restaurant to pay them bills.
GO: What is the driving force behind your career?
AM: Plainly, my sanity. Making music is therapy for me and I definitely make a lot more of it than I’ll ever share, but I just hope other people like what comes of it. Music has allowed me to learn a lot about myself, from being a lover of it to the process of creating it and then releasing it into the world. No matter what, the benefits of it for me as a person run deeper than the music itself.
GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?
AM: Outside. When I get into a groove with music I tend to be huddled up alone by myself and can stay there for awhile, but when I feel the creativity isn’t spilling out as easily as usual I know it’s time to get up. Nature has always been important to me (I did one of my first photo projects ever on trees) and I very much appreciate the quiet tenderness of the earth itself. When I was in college and felt unsettled or alone I would take long drives through the country in Tennessee or walks to nowhere particular and find peaceful communion amongst the trees. Outside of that, good conversation or classic soul train line videos tend to help.
GO: How would you describe your music in three words?
AM: A victorious struggle.
GO: What’s the story behind your artist name OFTEN?
AM: I was actually going by “Sorrow” initially because ultimately I’m a hopeful but also sad gal, but then I met someone and when I introduced myself with my birth name they thought I’d said “Often” and I loved it. Also nice that it’s a little less on the nose.
GO: What music are you listening to lately?
AM: I’m going through a big Top 40 phase at the moment and it’s so fun. Or, I guess what I feel is Top 40? It’s usually not one particular artist but on repeat right now is “Running Me Dry” by Bryson Tiller, “Hard to Love” by Calvin Harris and Jessie Reyez, and “Think About That” by Jessie J. Anything Cardi B because obviously.
Kelela’s music and career and entire personhood is a big inspiration to me. I find her incredibly motivating. Huge SZA fan since day one. I’ve also been going back to the music I played the most during my angsty teen years which was a lot of Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, Fiona Apple, and Mirah. I have an eternal crush on her.
Over the last few days I’ve also been pulling out the gospel and soul music I loved as a child. There’s always a big rotation with what I’m listening to at any moment. I could go on for ages.
GO: Where can people find you?