Exclusive: Jacob Whitesides on Lovesick and all things tour
Jacob Whitesides is our perfect guy. He’s a talented musician, has so much love for his fans and—bonus!—is super cute, too. If you haven’t heard his name yet, you surely will be hearing a lot of it soon, so allow us to fill you in.
Jacob made his debut in the music industry with the release of his 2014 EP 3 AM, but even prior to that he was a contestant on the second season of The X Factor. Fast forward to 2015 when Jacob was named an artist to watch by Spotify, as well as Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing.” He’s since lived up to that title with his catchy new single, “Lovesick,” and the announcement of his debut album due out in September. Now, Jacob is on tour across the United States and Canada playing all of his upbeat jams and soulful ballads for packed crowds.
We sat down with Jacob and he gave us the inside scoop on his life on the road, new music and what it really feels like to get a tweet from a member of One Direction.
GL: How are things going so far on the Lovesick Tour?
Jacob: It’s been amazing! The fans have been really showing up and spreading the word, so it’s been great. It’s also been fun playing and teasing some of the new music.
GL: What can fans expect from your set?
Jacob: Lots of different arrangements of songs they already know. I like to change it up. For “Lovesick,” I throw the guitar down, dance around and act like an idiot. It’s a lot more upbeat than my usual shows, so it’s been good energy.
GL: Shane Harper is your opening act on this tour. What do you two bond over?
Jacob: After his set, we talk about the crowd and if they were crazy, if they’re more reserved, if they were screaming out or singing... He gets me prepped!
GL: What’s the story behind your new single “Lovesick”?
Jacob: I went directly from touring Europe into the studio. Mark [Pellizzer] and Alex [Tanas] from the band MAGIC! sent over “Lovesick” and it made me feel happy inside. A lot of my songs in the past were more acoustic-based and slower, but this one was definitely more upbeat. It has an old-time feel but it’s modernized, so it’s the best of both worlds. As soon as we heard it, my producer Dave and I flew back to Nashville and flew them in from L.A. and we worked on the song for three days. It was a blast!
GL: Is the evolution from your old music to “Lovesick” representative of the sound of the album?
Jacob: Absolutely! That was the main goal for this record—taking all of my early singer/songwriter influences like Jack Johnson and John Mayer and mixing it with more upbeat and pop influences and making sure that the old sound was still apparent, but also making it fresh and new.
GL: The music video for “Lovesick” brings viewers on quite the adventure. How much fun was it to shoot?
Jacob: I had directors send me the most random stuff they could think of and the robbing theme was the funniest one to me. I teamed up with Alex Aiono, who is this awesome kid out of L.A. that is on the same management as me, and Lord Wellington, who is one of my favourite Viners. It was fun doing something other than looking at the screen and singing, and I think it’s been one of my most successful music videos thus far. Even if you don’t like the music, you could press mute and still enjoy it.
GL: Throwback to 2012 when One Direction’s Liam Payne tweeted a video of you covering “One Thing.” How shocked were you when you saw that?
Jacob: I got so many notifications at once I couldn’t figure out what was going on. And when I finally saw that he had shared the video, I was running around and freaking out. I was calling all my friends—which was like two people—and I called my mom and was like, “MOM!” Hopefully I get to meet him one day and thank him!
GL: Something that people may not know is that you’re the CEO of your record label, Double U Records. What inspired you to start that?
Jacob: Back in 2012, I was on X Factor. I made a lot of friends on the show that went on to do big things, but some of them got trapped in deals that they weren’t happy with. So, I was thankful that BMG, who’s my current partner on my label, took a risk and gave me a lot of creative freedom. That was really important to me—not only the creative side, but also some of those smaller things that I didn’t want to lose control of like ticket prices and meet-and-greets. Hopefully one day I can sign some artists which would be really incredible.
GL: Rapid fire time! The weirdest thing I’ve brought on tour was...
Jacob: My own pillow and blanket. It’s nice to be able to cuddle with my blanket that smells like home and lay down on my soft pillows.
GL: My favourite tour snack is...
Jacob: Baked Lays. We’ve also had some awesome peanut butter-filled pretzels.
GL: The best artist I’ve seen live was...
Jacob: Ed Sheeran or Damian Rice.
GL: The song that I can’t get out of my head is...
Jacob: “One Dance” by Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla.
GL: The best thing about my fans, the Whitesiders, is...
Jacob: How relaxed they are! I went outside 45 minutes before a sold out show and I was able to walk down the line and just talk to people. That truly helps me get through the tour.
Are you seeing Jacob on his Lovesick Tour?