Oklahoma Christian University’s own Colton Tarrant started a band, “cruz,” with two of his best friends, Garrett Wilson and Liam Jones.
With three singles released combining for over 38,000 streams on Spotify, “cruz” produces indie-pop with an Oklahoma flare. Their three current singles address a common theme in life: love.
How did you meet your bandmates?
I met our drummer Liam in high school our sophomore year. We found out that we both played instruments and liked the same music, so we decided to start a band called Ultra Violet with another one of our friends. After graduation, we kind of lost touch with our singer at the time but we knew that we still wanted to make music. We knew of Garret because he went to school not too far from us and would post singing videos on Twitter that got a lot of attention, and so we got his number from a mutual friend and texted him one day asking if he wanted to join our band and he said yes immediately. Soon after, he became best friends with us.
What is the story behind the name “cruz”?
I have always been fascinated with the culture of California and I basically just took the name “cruz” out of Santa Cruz, CA. which is a really cool beach town. Aside from that, I just thought that “cruz” was a name that both looked and sounded cool and matched the aesthetic we were going for in our band.
Who has been the most influential on your music?
We are fortunate that all three have different individual music inspirations. My idol is John Mayer, Liam loves U2, and Garret loves Harry Styles. It’s really fun whenever we’re all working on a song together to see all of those influences start to surface. Also, collectively, we all really love Rascal Flatts.
What is the hardest part about writing a song?
I think the hardest part is writing lyrics. It is always a challenge to write lyrics that are personal and honest to yourself but also try to leave enough space for them to be relatable to somebody else. Writing good lyrics is about finding the balance between the two and that is not always easy.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you as a band?
The first song we released, “Say It Back,” was really well received. Right now, it has over 32k streams on Spotify which is something we are really proud of because that doesn’t always happen to small bands like us. Also, all three of our releases have been played on local OKC radio stations which is really cool.
What is your favorite song you have written?
Over this past weekend, Liam (who plays football at Kansas University) was able to come down to OKC and spend time with us because it was a bye week. During that time, him and I wrote an entire song in about two hours called “What Friends Are For.” We have never written a song that fast before but we both think it is the best song we have ever written because it came together so perfectly in terms of the authenticity of the lyrics, melody and instrumentation.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Like I mentioned in the previous question, Liam plays football for KU and has to adhere to a pretty rigorous schedule. Because of that, we are not able to work on music as much as we would like and it is really hard to write a song over FaceTime. However, I think we have done a good job of making it work. Fortunately, we have a lot of songs that we will be ready to work on as soon as we graduate and Liam gets to move back to Oklahoma.
Follow cruz on Spotify