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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Q&A: Kendall Custer’s ‘Not Gonna Fall’
Photo by Courtesy

You can watch Kendall’s New Music video here:

Battalion life and arts writer Jack Riewe spoke with Kendall Custer, a former A&M student who just released her first music video, “Not Gonna Fall.”


THE BATTALION: Describe your connection with A&M.

CUSTER: I went to A&M my freshman year. I’m from Boerne, Texas and my family has ties to A&M. My sister went there, so when I graduated I was kind of torn because I had ties in LA also. So I was thinking of moving here, but then I really wanted that college experience and I loved A&M — all the traditions — so I went there for one year and loved it. But I still wanted to pursue music so I left after a year.

THE BATTALION: How did you get started pursuing music?

CUSTER: I’ve just been writing and playing music since I was 14 or 15. I was going to go to Nashville or I was going to go to LA — I honestly didn’t know. I had ties in LA, like I said, and then the first week I moved [to Los Angeles] I got set up on a co-write with Shevy Smith, who is now my producer. That’s what I’ve been doing the last few years here. I’ve been working with her and writing.

THE BATTALION: What do you hope to accomplish with music?

CUSTER: I just hope I make music people want to listen to and hope I can do good with it somewhere along the way. I want to get involved with organizations and such with opportunities they provide. I’ve been working with an organization named Afghan Women’s Writing Project that Shevy introduced me to, and I might be in New York for all of October to teach songwriting to kids in Brooklyn. It’s kind of cool how music has opened all these doors that I wanted open, so it opened all these opportunities you don’t really plan for.

THE BATTALION: What inspires your songwriting?

CUSTER: Just mainly the situations I go through, family, friends. Also relationships I go through, or life. I write about everything or anything, there doesn’t really have to be just one thing that inspires it. It can be off a feeling or something that happened. Just anything, I write all the time.

THE BATTALION: Who inspires you musically?

CUSTER: Kanye is a huge inspiration, honestly, just his samples — I think he’s a genius. I really like James Blake, I like The 1975 a lot, and I think their guitar parts are awesome.

THE BATTALION: I saw that you just made your first video. How was that and what was the process like?

CUSTER: It was really fun. That was the first project I’ve taken from ground zero and really gone full circle with. I mean I created the storyboard, and my best friend Liana Liberato, who actually directed it, was involved too. We created the storyboard and hired our producer Julia Hodges, who’s actually from Boerne as well. She produced it and she made so much happen. It was just three girls working on this project and it was our baby. We took it from, like I said ground zero, and we made all these things work. I’m on the music side of things — I don’t know how to produce a project. I don’t know how to get the rights to film a video on this location or anything like that. So we just had to figure it out, and it was so much fun, and when it finally came together and it was the first day filming I was sitting in. The very first shot we filmed Ryan Good who was in the video, when it was just us in the room with the camera and the camera guy was in the back of the room, we couldn’t see anyone else in the room next to us or who was watching on the monitor. So I was trying to tell what everyone was feeling. When Liana cut and she came in, and Julia came in, and my mom came in, they were all just crying. It was just really fun fulfilling the dream of making a music video with your best friends.

THE BATTALION: How would you describe your music style in your own words?

CUSTER: Someone called it “gracefully bold pop,” and I loved it. I think it’s genius.

THE BATTALION: Can you give A&M credit to helping you with your music in some way?

CUSTER: Yeah, I think A&M was a foundation of who I am a little bit. After high school, when everyone starts figuring out who they are, it was a great first step and it filled its job. People go there and they graduate and they move on to their next phase of life, and it did that for me. I didn’t go all four years, and I obviously didn’t graduate, but it did have the same effect on me. It helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted to do, and I met awesome people, and I’m so thankful for it.

THE BATTALION: What do you have planned next?

CUSTER: So we’re doing the album right now, but I don’t think it’ll be out ‘til September. Our goal is Sept. 1. We will have the other album and hopefully another music video, and some press releases about things coming out in the fall, but the main thing is the album. I’m so excited. It will be released on Spotify, iTunes —  everywhere.

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