Selecting The Free Music Video Winner: McKenna Esteb

by Nick Schenck

In April, we began accepting applications from Austin musicians and bands to apply for a free music video. This is our way of giving back to the incredible Austin music community that has been hit hard by both the cancellation of SXSW in March and the prolonged shutdown of many music venues, concerts, and festivals.

The final decision was difficult to make. After receiving an amazing response from many deserving local bands, we have chosen to produce the music video for the song, “When you were mine,” by singer-songwriter McKenna Esteb. We are aiming to shoot and release the music video before the end of the year.

Esteb, 21, describes the song as a “breezy summer tune about the changing of seasons and reflecting on the love we’ve left in the past.” Her band consists of Daniel Kapulkin (guitar), Jake Trisch (bass guitar), and Matt Shearon (drums). Esteb is the lead vocalist and also plays the piano.

Originally from Seattle, Wash., Esteb attended Boise St. University before moving to Austin last year.

“I didn’t move to Austin for a job, and I didn’t know a single person when I arrived,” she said. “I came for the opportunity of Austin’s world-renowned music scene. Despite the current events placing everyone’s lives on hold, I know this was still the best decision I’ve ever made.

“The amazing people I’ve met in the music scene in just these past few months are more than enough reason for me to stay put. I’ve never seen a city that revolves around music the way Austin does. Everyone is so involved, creative, passionate, and everyone wants to see each other succeed.”

Over the past several months, Esteb hasn’t performed with her band.

“Our first show as a band was two weeks before lockdown,” she said. “We still keep band practices alive and encourage creativity through Zoom happy hours, face-timing, and sending voice memos back and forth. The virus has directly affected our band with one of us having lost family to COVID.

“The disconnection from the music community we love so much and the disruption from daily normalcy has taken a toll on our mental health. While performance is not an option right now, we’ve seen the power of music keep us going and continue to provide a critical outlet for friends and ourselves.”

Sign up below to learn when the music video is released. Also, if you’re an Austin editor, camera operator, producer, or production assistant, and you want to contribute to this pro bono project, reach out to us at [email protected].