The Future of Country Music Is Safe with Triston Marez

photo: Brooke Stevens

If you’re worried about the future of country music, just take a spin through the gaggle of singles and EPs the stunning 22-year-old Triston Marez has assembled, and be assured the genre is in good hands moving forward.

It’s been too long coming, broaching the subject of this young man from Houston, TX who released his first single back in 2017. But the reason for the delay was the hope that eventually he would announce a proper debut album, maybe on a record label, resulting in lots of fanfare and a pre-order link for people to point their passion for his music towards. But that’s hasn’t come for Triston Marez, at least not yet, while it’s past time for this young man to be on every country fan’s radar.

What has come is a succession of digital-only singles and EPs that have country fans in Texas singing Triston’s praises. It’s part of a specific strategy to keep his music on the front of people’s minds with periodic releases as opposed to full-length albums every couple of years. It’s unconventional, and though this strategy has been tried before often to failure, it has worked for Triston Marez so far, putting him at the top of the list of fastest-rising artists in Texas music, primarily due to how appealing, and how country his music really is.

Triston Marez lists his influences as performers such as Aaron Watson and Cody Johnson, not surprising for a Texas kid who also has spent time in and around the rodeo circuit as he pursues his passion for music. But truth be told, Marez is decidedly more country, and decidedly more traditional than those two. From a musical family originally from Oklahoma that includes bluegrass and fiddle in the pedigree, Triston’s roots in the music go deep, and that comes through in the music.

Meanwhile Triston’s ascent and appeal seems more akin to other quick risers in Texas music such as Koe Wetzel and Parker McCollum, centered mostly around younger audiences, including lots of young women, and men. Triston’s presence on Twitter and Instagram is formidable. Just like Koe and Parker, he’s social media savvy. But there’s little presence on Facebook where the older listeners tend to be. Triston Marez has captured the cool factor, but again, the music is just so much more country than Koe and Parker, making it ripe for appeal for traditional country audiences young and old.

Take his latest song, “One Day” for example, just released. The introduction reminds you of a Keith Whitley song, leading into ample fiddle and steel guitar overlaying a story about building a home and starting a family. The music is an overture to the older generation of country fans, but the message is to the younger one, bridging the divide between the two. Triston’s single and EP-only strategy has created a lag with older listeners, but they will come around once they’re exposed to the music. Triston Marez could hit the RFD-TV circuit like Mo Pitney did, and find immediate appeal specifically due to being so young, but sounding so country.

The sky is the limit for Triston Marez. It’s all being orchestrated by Alex Torrez of the Torrez Music Group, who is also working with Nashville-based songwriter Gabe Lee, as well as Jamie Lin Wilson. It’s all very promising. With Triston’s curb appeal and flat-brimmed baseball caps on Instagram, but his starched jeans and cowboy hat on stage singing traditional country songs, it’s the kind of shot of youth traditional country needs, while for once, not compromising on the country side of the equation.

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