In 2019, San Luis Obispo band Próxima Parada released their song “Musta Been a Ghost” from their album “Kind Reminder.” Little did they know that the song would go viral three years later through a Tik Tok video.
The video, released in December 2022, by the creator Matt Firestine (@fuegostein) now has over 19 million views and three million likes. He called the song a “hidden gem” and wanted to introduce his viewers to Próxima Parada’s music through a short clip of the song. Since the posting of the video, the song has been included in the “My Life is a Movie” playlist created by Spotify, which has received over two million likes.
“When it first came out, we weren’t sure what to expect,” the band’s vocalist, pianist and guitarist, Nick Larson said.
“I don’t think we can ever have expectations of how well or poorly something will do. You have to get it to a point where we really like it and connect with it and resonate with it, and that we put it out in the world and then once it’s there, it’s kind of up to the world,” bassist Kevin Middlekauff said.
According to the band, the song has multiple meanings, and one is about missed connections due to lack of communication. The band found inspiration for their lyrics through the people around them — one common theme they observed is how people often feel “ghosted” or ignored by others. Larson wants listeners who feel this way to know that they are not inadequate or less than because they were left behind.
“It’s not about us convincing other people of our worth but us knowing the people we are and just letting that be enough,” he said.
The band also shared that the song is about confronting the awkwardness of disagreement. Rather than ignoring someone, the issue should be addressed.
“It’s okay to not have the exact same perspective as somebody,” Larson said. “I think it’s a lot better to disagree than to just disappear on people.”
Band members Nick Larson, Kevin Middlekauff, Josh Collins and Aaron Kroeger met at Cal Poly during their freshman year and decided to start making music together. Larson and Middlekauff lived in the Sierra Madre dorms together, and now they are proud to be members of a band that inspires Cal Poly students to make moves in the music world.
“I know there are other young musicians at Cal Poly that are super excited about music,” Larson said. And when we were in college, I don’t know if we really had a band [to look up to].”
Middlekauff shared that the band is planning on touring locally and internationally this upcoming year. A 13-song album is also on the way with songs in both English and Spanish, each sounding completely different from the other. They are excited for the future and all of the doors that this viral song has opened for them, including a larger fan base to connect with.
One of their new fans includes Norwegian snowboarding world-champion Marcus Kleveland who posted a video of snowboarding tricks to “Musta Been a Ghost,” which stunned the band members due to the number of messages they received from new Norwegian fans.
Próxima Parada is riding the wave of their viral video — and they don’t plan on stopping music or performing any time soon. They have come a long way from their first show at a local San Luis Obispo donut shop, SloDoCo, but they always plan to keep their close bond with the community.
“There’s something really special about playing at home in San Luis Obispo,” Larson said.
Thanks to a 13-second video, Próxima Parada is ready to be the band from San Luis Obispo that made it big.
Listen to the latest episode of SLO-FI to hear first-hand from Larson about the creation of “Musta Been a Ghost” here.