Exclusive: Drake White Discusses 'Uncomfortable' New EP, 'Pieces'

Drake White's latest EP, Pieces, is finally out. The five-track project, produced by veteran producer busbee, took White to a new place musically, which is exactly what he wanted.

"It's been so great to be out there and be afforded the right to record another album," White tells PopCulture.com. "Working with busbee's been challenging as hell, but it's been fun. And the product is just exactly kind of what we set out to accomplish, and that was something that bridged the gap of the soulfulness of Alabama and Muscle Shoals and Nashville, and do that in a way that was true to who I was in the time that I'm living right now."

The Hokes Bluff, Ala. native combined his love of the music he grew up on and the music he now loves, into what became Pieces.

(Photo: BMLG Records)

"It's soul music," explains White. "It's soul country, and there's a little bit of ramble-rousing Alabama mud in there, too. So I really love working with busbee. It was hard. It was really hard to do it and make it. I'm like a Ferrari on one of those big, huge ships that are shipping the Ferarris. So I'm on this ship doing donuts on the deck, waiting to dock, to where I can just get off and just speed through the streets."

White relied on busbee, who has worked with Lady Antebellum, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Gwen Stefani and more, to take what White already loved, while not making it sound like any of his previous projects.

"The uneasy part was to go in and go out on a limb and ask busbee," admits White. "Not uneasy, it was just out of my comfort zone. But when you're out of your comfort zone, what the hell are you doing? You're growing. You're not growing if you're just like, 'Oh, everything is sunshine and rainbows.' So I got challenged by busbee melodically a lot. I like what came of it. I really do like what came of it. And I think it's all a balance."

The 34-year-old admits he would rather be uncomfortable than stay stagnant.

"I love being a little uncomfortable, which is weird to say," White acknowledges. "Fom working out being sore in my legs because I worked out my legs or snowboarding, or going out there climbing or hiking. I like pushing the boundaries. My band will tell you that I'm always out there trying to figure out ways to create moments and create experiences. And sometimes that gets uncomfortable because I'm not afraid to go in places that are hard."

White might be coloring outside the lines of the country music genre just a little, a scary move if someone is vying only for commercial success. But White's aspirations are much higher than record sales and chart positions.

"What I accepted is that I want to be playing music for the rest of my life," White maintains. "I play music. I play that guitar and sing. It's me. It's who I am ... I understand and want commercial success. I do. I really do, but I'm never going to sacrifice myself for it. I just want to make good music. I just want to make good music and help people. That's really it. And become a better person along the way. This is fun. This is all supposed to be fun. And the day I quit having fun is the day I'll quit. I love being on the road. I love meeting new people and shaking hands and kissing babies. I was just born to do it. It doesn't scare me. To be different is to be cool."

Order Pieces here.

Photo Credit: John Shearer