Interview: Drake White Talks Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Performance and Favorite Festival Foods
What are you looking forward to most playing the Gulf Coast Jam today?
Just playing! I am from the South, in North Alabama, and have been coming down here my entire life. I have a lot of friends down here. We love putting on these live shows and I know some people save up all year to come. So, I do not take it for granted that I get to get out there and kick some ass for the patrons of country music.
What song are you most excited for old and new fans to hear?
“All would be right with the world.”
Is that off of the new EP?
No, it’s not. “Girl in Pieces” and “Best is yet to Come” are on the new EP and I am excited for folks to hear them to. But I have a song called, “All would be Right with the World,” and I have kind of driven my band and crew crazy with it, but I know it is just one of those songs that I feel like I caught lighting with it when I wrote it and I am passionate about it and it explains me. I think a lot of people can relate to it.
Do you plan on catching any shows while here at the festival?
I always like Justin Moore. I love his band. I am good buddies with a lot of those folks. I think Justin is one of those people that are country and do not try to be anything else. He knows exactly who he is and does what he does. So, I am looking forward to seeing Justin.
Your newest EP, Pieces is just fantastic. How did you decide, “Girl in Pieces,” would be a single?
If I am being perfectly honest, it was kind of a committee type thing. I go out and write and perform the songs and am passionate and can put my two cents in, but radio is a totally different animal. I try to keep my head out of it and in it at the same time. When I go and create music I do not say "okay what is going to be the best for the radio." I say what is honest and true about this message to my fan. This EP was really a group of songs we had been recording and we went in and agreed that those were the best five that we could come out with. I love the tunes. I love “Grandpa’s Farm.” It was written by a buddy of mine Brett Cobb and Adam Hood. I have always loved that song. “Best is yet to Come,” is something I told my wife way back when. “Happy Place” is something I have had in my head since I watched Happy Gilmore 15 years ago. Ultimately my gut is what I follow at the end of the day.
Are you working on any new music already?
Oh yeah for sure. We are no longer with Big Machine label group. So now I am wasting no time. I was in the studio last week with my band and cut six tunes that I am absolutely over the hills about. I think this is some of the coolest stuff that we have ever done, and I think it is going to be massive. I love the way it feels. We will have a record out hopefully by the end of the year.
What excites you most about the Nashville music scene right now?
The ability to create and push music out easily. There are a lot of different channels now. You can go and make a YouTube video and have a million plays on it in a week and that is powerful. I am excited because I feel like people of all ages are creating. I am excited that there is just real music being made.
You have built quite a fan following on social media and through touring. How do you stay connected with your fans?
It is easy. We are really active on social media. It is an easy tool to find out who your fans are, what they are digging, and reposting. I have a great social media girl out with us that keeps her head around it. We just try to know who our fans are. It is not hard, you just have to pay attention to it. We devote an hour or two a week to really put our heads in to how we can get better.
Are fans going to be able to meet and talk with you during the festival?
Yeah! I have a lot of family and friends coming in. They will be rocking their ponchos. We rock at every show. That is what my band does so well. As long as we are shaking hands and kissing babies, I will stand out at my merch stand for hours and do it. That’s my job to do. When I am on stage I belong to the fans.
Who was your first concert?
Pearl Jam in 1999. My older sister needed a designated driver, so I drove to Birmingham, AL and saw Eddie Vedder jump all over the stage. That’s when I decided I want to do this. Live music is my heartbeat for sure.
Since we are hanging out on the gulf coast of Florida, do you plan on getting any seafood while you are here.
Love seafood. I have been coming down here catching speckled trout and redfish my entire life. I just love the people down here. The gulf coast to me is home. I think I got baptized in the Gulf of Mexico.
Football kicks off tomorrow. Are you an Alabama or Auburn fan?
I am a football fan. I graduated from Auburn in 2007. I love Auburn. It is more my style and speed than Alabama. But my family grew up huge Crimson tide fans. The entire time I went to school at Auburn I remained an Alabama fan because people said it could not be done. I am a rebellious soul. So, I remained an Alabama fan during my time at Auburn and wore my Alabama shirt under my robe at graduation. But I love Auburn and am just a big fan of football. Auburn education, Bama dedication.
What would you say is your favorite festival food?
Haha I try to stay away from it really. But I do love a good funnel cake with powdered sugar. I love boiled peanuts. You can't beat a corn on the cob. My favorite is Mexican street corn with Zatarain's on it.
If you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
I already am sponsored by them. Tito’s! Or just good produce, I know that is boring, and good whiskey. I drink whiskey in the Fall, like Bulleit Rye and vodka in the Summer. But I do like wine to. So Silbro wine, Tito’s, and maybe free Chipotle for the rest of my life would be good.
Is there anything coming up for you that you’d like to share?
Come to the show, it is awesome. My guys are awesome. We have new music coming out. Go get, Pieces. We are who we say we are!
ABOUT DRAKE WHITE: Named one of No Depression’s 7 Male Artists to Breakout in 2018, Drake White is going to put together the PIECES. His PIECES EP is available now and features 5 new tracks, 2 of which he co-wrote. This follows his debut album SPARK which has earned praise both commercially and across his loyal fan following. The 2016 Taste of Country Fan Choice Awards Album of the Year is a 12-track labor of love that showcases his exemplary songwriting with a rock-infused, organic Country sound and signature foot-stomp. The sultry song “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” hit the top spot on SiriusXM’s The Highway with its deeply personal lyrics and pulsating groove. It also earned Drake the honor of International Song of the Year at the British CMA Awards. Fans from all genres voted Drake as CBS.com’s GRAMMY “Artist of Tomorrow” as he continues to stun crowds with his incredible live show and soulful voice. Drake, along with his band The Big Fire, has previously toured with Superstars including Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Toby Keith and more. It is no wonder that the Alabama native was featured in Entertainment Weekly’s New Artists Who Will Rule 2017, Rolling Stone’s 10 Country Artists You Need To Know and Billboard’s Hot New Country Artists to Watch. Major corporations have also taken notice with Geico showcasing his song “Heartbeat” in their national television campaign. Drake recently wrapped a second leg on Kip Moore’s PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR and is currently on the road for additional headline dates. For the latest updates, visit DrakeWhite.com.