Drake White released one album and two EPs on Big Machine Label Group, including his recent Pieces project, before leaving the record company. Although the decision to leave BMLG wasn't entirely of his own choosing, the Alabama native knows it's the best decision for everyone.
"It's a tricky little place," White candidly tells PopCulture.com. "I've always been super convicted about my art and what I wanted to do. And the label's job is to give that art the best chance to win across the board, commercially or whatever it should be. I know exactly who I am and what I want to do for an artistic standpoint. And that is that Muscle Shoal kind of southern-fried, soul, funky country music.
"It's fiddles, it's harmonicas, it's great bass lines and great song writing," he continues. "I've written with the best songwriters in the world for the last six, seven, eight years in Nashville. I've always been one of those guys that are left of center. And that's why I've never tried to deny that. I've got a lot of fans and a lot of great friends in country radio. Country radio is a big priority of mine, but the bigger priority is the fans. It's really super serving those fans and giving them the most unbelievable show."
White understands that his music might not be as commercial as some other artists receiving airplay right now, but he would rather make the music he wants to make than try to be something – or someone – he is not.
"I'm gonna use this platform that Big Machine and Universal have helped me build over the last six, seven, years as a catapult and I'm gonna find a partner that loves that southern-fried thing that we do. We've got a lot of interest already. And, I've got some music in the studio. I went to work. I went straight to work and started recording all these songs that I had written that for one reason or another the label said, 'I don't know if that'll work at radio. I'm not sure.' Or, 'Man I think this is great for radio. I think this is great commercially but, eh.' Just a hesitancy because there's a lot of money. There's a lot of things tied up in us.
"I'm being really truthful right now. It was a risk. " he adds. "But now, I've got the confidence now and I'm gonna go out and do exactly what I know what we are great at. And we are great at it, at going out and doing it and having fun with it, serving these fans. And that's what we're doing."
White admits it was a initially a disappointment to be let go from BMLG, but already he sees that it's for his best.
"No man wants to be dropped, or fired from a job or anything," White concedes. "But I knew it made me so hungry. Back when I got dropped from Universal five years ago, it was God's way of just showing me, just testing me. Because I know He's got great things around the corner for us. I know He does. I know it. I've dreamed about it and I feel it. And I have faith that that's coming. So it's just, for me it kind of puts another arrow in my quiver and prepares me for even a bigger thing."0comments
White is spending much of the fall on the road. Find dates at DrakeWhite.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Tim Mosenfelder