EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Whitesides Talks New Album, Staying Connected With Fans and More

Back in 2015, Jacob Whitesides released his debut album Faces on Film. His singer/songwriter abilities to show his emotion through every lyric has allowed him to grow a genuine fan base that supports him everyday. Whitesides just released his new EP, Winter Hurts and we had the chance to chat with Whitesides about his new music and how he’s staying in touch with fans during this pandemic.

Let’s talk your brand new album that came out last week. What was creating that like? 

This is the EP that I’ve wanted to release since the beginning of my career, and every step of the way felt just like that. It was rejuvenating and came so natural. The songs are bare, but every little detail was added with precision, and sitting around creating those little things never felt forced. Everything about this EP just felt effortless, and free. The only challenge for me was adding minimal production to each song so that the story telling was enhanced and not drowned out in any way. I wanted the lyrics to be the forefront of every song, so anything that was added was placed precisely. I truly loved every second of the process.

The EP is named winter hurts, what’s the meaning behind the title?

Most of these songs were created in a really difficult time in my life, and I was starting to feel how deeply the seasons really affected me. I always found it easier to deal with my depression and anxieties when it was warmer out the higher temperatures always comforted me and relieved some of the things I was feeling, but winter always hurt me. I felt like things would stock pile in my brain, and I had no warm release. The lack of sun always made me feel stuck. Seasonal depression is a very real thing, and I wrote most of these songs when I was confused, sad, and cold.

Do you have a favorite song off the ep?

I feel like I always have in the past with other projects I’ve created, but not with this one. This EP feels very much like a package deal, and I really didn’t even want to release a single song by itself. When you listen to it from start to finish it feels like every song is meant to be together. I might have a favorite further down the road, but for now they’re all beautiful to me.

You released an album back in 2019 called colors as well. You’ve been releasing a lot of music recently which is nice. What was writing your first album after a few years since your last album like? 

It didn’t feel like a big jump for me because I’m always writing. I really never turn off that side of my brain unless I’m touring. I can easily sit down in my garage and write half a song I’m really happy with, and then a couple weeks later sit with my producer and finish it. These ideas and songs just start to pile up, and then I group them together or drop them individually when the times right. I’m constantly thinking and feeling, I’m a very sensitive human who tends to never shut my brain off. Which is nice for releasing music often, because I never have to sit down and force a song out.

How would you say your sound has changed since your 2015 album faces on film? 

I feel like you get a familiar feeling when you listen to those songs from 5 years ago, and you can tell they were getting closer to the sound I have now. I was only 16 or 17 at the time, and I was figuring out my sound with each project I released. You can still hear the honesty and emotion in those songs though. I still really love that era of my music though, because even when I was less in control of the overall vision for my projects you could still tell it was coming from my heart and I wasn’t making shit up. As the production improves, and my writing improves, and my voice improves, you still hear then what you hear now.. honesty.

We haven’t seen you on the road since 2018, by the way you put on amazing show in Boston. But sadly we probably won’t see you on the road for while. What have you been doing to stay connected with fans during this pandemic? 

Interacting with my fans is always something that has felt natural, and never forced. Although it’s terrible that I had to cancel shows coming up, the constant interaction has remained the same. I still tweet with them daily, put out song snippets, livestream constantly, and do everything I can do to make sure they’re taken care of and don’t feel lonely and isolated during this awful time.

What are you most excited to do once this is all over?

Touring is something I’m so anxious to get back to. I love performing so much, and it activates a whole different side of my creative brain that is usually turned off when I’m at home or in the studio. I think for the first time in my career I’m actually a bit anxious to be back on the road again. Part of me feels like im losing my social skills and stage presence stuck in quarantine evert single day. I am making a point to not slack off, and stay in shape so when the time comes I’m ready to give every once of my energy on stage.. these new songs deserve it.

If you could set up a fan for them to listen to your music in a setting, what setting would that be?

This EP sounds best in the car, and I know because I’ve listened to it over a hundred times in there. It’s diverse music that you can have on in the background when you need to focus on other things, or when you’re trying to relax and turn your brain off, or when you need to jumpstart your feelings and have a little emotional field trip.

What’s one quote you’ve heard in life that you want to ECHO out to the world?

“Just be humble”. I’m not better than anyone in this life, I always try my hardest to treat each person I come across with the upmost kindness and respect. It’s something that was hammered into my head as a child, and I’m thankful for that.

Take a listen to Whitesides new EP now!

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