Brett Staska

Published on November 2nd, 2021

Brett Staska by Jakob Takos

The first glimpse of Brett Staska in the video for his new song “Still on My Mind” is a Snapchat-ish blur. But he comes into quick focus inside the narrow camera frame crooning the first lines of this lovelorn pedal-steel ballad. A rangy figure with a distant gaze holding a microphone near his heart, Staska has a model’s chiseled looks and an outdoorsman’s tan. He’s wearing a terracotta suit and a bolo tie, and he’s a portrait of quiet reflection under the wide brim of his cowboy hat.

This echo of a bygone era would be right at home in a David Lynch Twin Peaks” roadhouse. But it’s mostly a product of Staska’s sun- and wave-dappled South Florida. Even in a country-western setting, Staska — an avid surfer — adds subtle surf-rock touches.

“I am heavily influenced by beach culture when it comes to songwriting,” Staska tells PureHoney. “Over the years I’ve learned to find inspiration in my surroundings, not just in musical taste. Florida, believe it or not, can be inspiring in that way. Endless content. Plenty of good songs are just waiting to be written.”

The non-Florida contribution came literally from the other side of the world. Staska was recording in Loxahatchee with musicians Efrain Chura and Chris Denny when he noticed an ad on his Facebook feed for Jy-Perry Banks, a renowned pedal steel guitarist based in Sydney, Australia. On a whim, he hired him “and sent the tracks to Sydney to add some twang,” he says.

Banks’s label “was so stoked on how the tracks came out that they asked me to join the roster,” he says. Staska now has a distribution deal with Australia- and New Zealand-based Heartsville Records. “All from a targeted Facebook ad,” he says. “Funny how some things work out.”

With Florida-based Stoke Surfboards as a partner in music and surfing, Staska is working on a full-length album, and plans to tour the West Coast and Australia next July. “If I get to travel and surf while sharing my music with others along the way, then I already feel like the luckiest man in the world,” he said. ~ Abel Folgar