INTERVIEW: Jake White –
Hi Jake, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great. I am graduating from the University of Michigan with a major in vocal performance this month. In fact, I just attended my very last class today. I’m excited about starting the next chapter in my life!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Brightside”?
This is my third single, and I am extremely excited to share it with you! This is the only single that I actually recorded in the studio instead of through Zoom. I hadn’t met my producer, Jeremy Pholwattana of Sound Entertainment, in person until I flew to the New York area to record “Brightside” and film a music video for it. This was certainly the largest, and most fun, project I’ve worked on so far. “Brightside” is a pop song about seeking love with an upbeat and playful vibe. It’s about being in the right space to invite love into your life.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
This song is actually the first song I started writing after my worst breakup. I have referenced this breakup in other songs and interviews, but this song really speaks the most to the full journey of healing I went through. I wrote the verses to “Brightside” first, and I used them to reflect on the pain I was feeling after the breakup, while also trying to remind myself of the amount of love I have to give. How I feel like I truly pour my entire being into loving someone. And then I released two singles about heartbreak before coming back to ”Brightside” and finishing it. The chorus was born out of my idea for what it takes to make love last. I wanted to emphasize the importance of communication and an optimistic mindset. There has to be a desire to talk through anything because you know this person is worth fighting for. You both must believe that you are best friends and that you could build a life together.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
Yes, we filmed the music video around New York City, and it’ll be released shortly after the song is released. My favorite parts of the video were filmed in Times Square. I had only been to New York City once before when I was eleven years old. My family took me to see A-ha perform on their farewell tour. It was so different being back as an adult, and more fun!
How was the recording and writing process?
It was so fun to write this song because I actually wrote the chorus with the help of my Mom and Dad. They supported me emotionally as I healed after my devastating breakup. I think their contribution to the lyrics makes the song unique to me because they are forever now a part of that song in a special way. The recording process for this song was really fun because Jeremy and I workshopped the vocals in person, which was easier and more engaging than over Zoom.
How have Shawn Mendez and Sam Smith influenced your writing?
Shawn Mendes has inspired me for years with his voice and his songwriting skills. I am very impressed with how well he can sing and play the guitar at the same time. I know how challenging that can be. And Sam Smith has awed me for years with their incredible voice. I have seen them live 3 times, and I always leave their concerts in tears. Their ability to be their true authentic self is inspiring. I have struggled with my own body image for many years, and to listen to some of the most incredibly talented people on this planet, like Sam, open up about similar issues helped me not feel as alone as I did in high school.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
I am releasing this single for now, but I have a lot more songs in the works!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I don’t have dates identified yet, but this summer I’ll be collaborating with a local artist on a song and music video. I’m also looking at releasing an EP of new songs in the fall.
What else is happening next in Jake White’s world?
After graduating from U of M, I’m going to be writing music this summer and starting full time work, hopefully in Tennessee so I can escape the Michigan winters. I’m looking into the tiny home lifestyle, but we shall see what happens. Basically, I’m deciding between a big city like Nashville and a tiny home on the side of a cliff. I’m leaning towards the cliff! I’ve also been invited to perform live this summer in Tennessee with a former member of the Allman Brothers Band!