Kicking off his nationwide tour in Washington, D.C., at U Street Music Hall, Jacob Whitesides is not your average teenager. At only 18, Whitesides has already starred on The X Factor, acquired over two million Twitter followers and performed his hit song “Secrets” on Good Morning America. With an international following, the pop singer performed his extended play last year in Paris, Copenhagen, Brazil and other major cities around the world. Even though Whiteside’s popularity on social media is booming, he remains grounded through his small town upbringing in Tennessee.
Recently recognized by MTV as an “artist to watch,” Whitesides has been working to produce his first full album, which will be released later this year. In April, he released his fourth official single — “Lovesick” on iTunes, YouTube and Spotify.
In an interview with The Hoya on May 13, Jacob Whitesides discussed his musical inspirations, social media presence and his experiences on tour.
The coming release of his first full album later this year – what Whitesides called his next big big milestone – is a step forward for the singer, who has previously produced several EPs.
According to Whitesides, he finds his inspiration from his current relationship with singer, Bea Miller. The singer-songwriter said the difficulties of a long distance relationship became learning experiences reflected through his music. Whitesides also said that his new album has a lot to do with “storytelling” and growing up in Tennessee.
In addition, Whitesides identified John Mayer as one of his musical inspirations.
“John Mayer has to be my favorite artist,” Whitesides told The Hoya. While growing up, Whitesides said his dad would always play current artists like John Mayer or Jack Johnson.
Whitesides also said he has a “deep appreciation” for his fans overseas, citing San Francisco, Brazil and Argentina as the favorite locations at which he has performed.
With a worldwide following, Whitesides leverages social media as a tool to reach out to his growing fan base. Just a few years ago, Whitesides started uploading covers on YouTube and since then, his channel has boomed.
“Twitter is the best way to communicate with fans,” Whitesides said. He also mentioned his love for Snapchat, but believes that the app is “a one way stream”. He said he is still trying to figure out how to reach out to fans on a more personal level via the social app.
With over 16.2 million views on YouTube, Whitesides is certainly on the rise. Find out more about dates for “The Lovesick Tour” and his new releases here.
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