Check out our interview with rising singer/songwriter Jake White who just released his 3rd single “Brightside.” “Brightside” encompasses the feeling of when you enter a new relationship after spending time to work on yourself and truly get in touch with yourself. His sound is similar to artists such as Shawn Mendez and Sam Smith.
Follow Jake @thejakewhiteofficial
Hi Jake, please tell us a little about you?
I’m graduating from U of M School of Music at the end of April with a major in Multi-Disciplinary Voice and a minor in Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. I released my first two singles in fall of 2021, and in early 2022 I was featured on an EDM record by Warner Music. “Brightside” is the fourth song I’m releasing, and the first one that has a music video coming out soon. In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and my cat and dog.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
empathetic, chill, seeker
How did you get started in the business?
I had some really memorable experiences in high school with choir and musical theater, being a part of Grease and playing the lead role in Pippin. That definitely solidified my career path in music. Then I was thrilled to get into the University of Michigan’s school of music and have really enjoyed my time as a part of the Men’s Glee Club and the elite Friars group. I’ve gotten to travel all over the U.S. to perform. While at U of M I also got the opportunity to be a part of the Game of Thrones National Concert Tour at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with Ramin Djawadi. Being a part of that massive production was thrilling, and I wanted more!
How has this changed your life?
I always hoped I could turn my passion into my career, but I also knew it can be tough out there for aspiring artists. Now that I’m actually working in the business, I’m feeling optimistic about my future in the industry. Everything I’ve been through up to this point has been worth it. That’s a great feeling to see it all come together!
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I’ve been singing and writing music for years, and then a year ago I teamed up with music producers, Jeremy Pholwattana and Cooper Anderson. I’ve learned so much from them, and that’s when I started releasing original songs.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Emotional, heartfelt, pure
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, The Weekend, Joji, Sza, and Adam Levine. Lil Nas X for his bravery and courage in expressing himself. I make music to express myself as I continually grow and learn and to invite others to participate in that journey with me. I hope to continue to use my music to write and sing about issues that speak to the shared human experience.
Tell us about your new single “Brightside?”
Brightside is a pop song about seeking love with an upbeat and playful vibe.
What’s the story behind the song?
It’s about being in the right space to invite love into your life.
And about the success of your previous singles “Unwanted” and “Self Destruction?”
I was humbled to learn how many people connected on such a deep level with the themes of feeling heartbroken and unloved in “Unwanted,” and with the journey to self-empowerment in “Self-Destruction.” It’s like I’m taking the audience with me on my journey to becoming the best version of myself who is ready for a healthy relationship.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Creating relatable songs that really resonate with people. When people feel less alone, or moved by my songs.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I studied entrepreneurship at U of M. The most helpful resource I can across was The Entrepreneurial Artist by Aaron Dworkin
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Producing songs is a process. When you trust the people you’re collaborating with, you have to trust the creative process. Don’t be afraid to keep making a song better. There’s always more that could be added, or that could be done differently for better effect. Don’t rush to release it, give it time to breathe. To get to that final version requires parking your ego at the door.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful IG account?
I’m not a social media expert, but I think those who are successful post frequently and with a sense of what others would find meaningful and relatable.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Just be who you are. Because it’s enough.
How would your best friend describe you?
Kind and a good listener, someone you can count on.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“Finding Jake.” I spent my youth in the closet with two halves to my psyche representing my interior life that was my true self, and then the image I portrayed to others to fit in. Since coming out as gay my junior year in high school I’ve been figuring out how to mesh all of the parts of me.
What’s next for Jake White in 2022?
I’m experimenting with more of an electronic sound. I hope to continue releasing original songs as I continue on my personal growth journey and continue to develop the sound that best represents that journey.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
I like fashion and playing around with my own unique style. I’ve always felt comfortable identifying with male pronouns; however, I do love to push gender boundaries with my clothing choices and by occasionally wearing make-up or painting my nails.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Doing what you love surrounded by people you love. And pets are a must have.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
My mom and me in Europe for a month. We travel really well together and had a blast in Italy a few years ago.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Lin Manuel Miranda. “Hamilton” inspired me when I was at an impressionable age.
Best advice ever given?
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.
Do you support any charity?
I have been volunteering at a juvenile detention facility and sharing music with the inmates. It’s been so amazing to remind these teens of the types of fun, healthy, creative endeavors that await them, but also to help them express themselves and find some joy while still locked up.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself writing music, producing music, performing, and collaborating with other artists on cool projects.
Favorite song? Why?
“September” by AJR. I love how he wrote the song for a child he hadn’t had yet. I hope to be a parent some day too, and that song moved me and got me thinking about what kind of dad I could be.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s a tool that can be used for good or bad. Cyber bullying is one of the negatives, along with body shaming and ghosting. Positive uses are connecting with people you don’t live nearby, sharing music and ideas. Regardless of how you use it, social media can also be addictive and prevent you from pursuing activities and experiences in real life. So balance is key!
Where we can follow you?
Here are my website and social links:
Book: “Call me By Your Name”
Quote: Maya Angelou: “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Movie: The Scream movies
Tv Series: Euphoria
Favorite Food: Italian
Travel Destination: Italy
Sports Team: I cheer for my alma mater U of M, but I don’t really follow sports too much.