Jacob Whitesides - The button Factory
The Button Factory, Dublin
3 March 2017.
It takes all of 10 seconds to understand the appeal of Jacob Whitesides. For starters, there’s the easy smile, that roguishly furrowed brow, but all of that would be nothing without the rest. His voice— with just the right amount of grit—is perfectly matched to his oeuvre of sometimes-soaring, sometimes-tender, hook filled pop songs. Still only 18-years-old, Jacob has been organically garnering an impressive fanbase for the past four years (his YouTube channel has 16 million plus views). But with the release of last year’s two EPs, A Piece of Me and Faces on Film, (both of which reached #1 US iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart), a clutch of successful tours, plus his debut album out this September, this preternaturally savvy young artist is solidifying the foundation for a career set to endure well beyond flash-in-the-pan hype.
On September 9, Jacob will release his debut album, WHY?. Recorded, mixed, and largely written, in Nashville in six swift weeks, it was, funnily enough, this daunting timeframe that the 18-year-old says pushed him to his full potential. A powerful thirteen-track collection, it’s brimming with standouts like the finger-clicked soul-pop of “Lovesick” (“A fun song about getting in trouble with your girl”) and “You Told Me So,” which deeply reflects on the stresses of a long distance relationship. His songs are, by and large, heartfelt and relatable, sometimes they’re breezy, but even when they’re upbeat, there’s often another level to the lyrics if you lean in.
Jacob’s story is quintessentially modern: the rise of an immensely likable, warm-hearted Tennessee boy from a modest background, who, for all his pin-up appeal has revealed he’s a remarkably shrewd talent to boot. While his business acumen is both fascinating and, to a degree inspiring, it’s Jacob’s music—honest, unabashed pop songs—that are the crux of his appeal. Ask him what drives him to compose and perform and the reasoning is the same as when he first picked up the guitar at 13.
“I enjoy music so much and whenever it was taken away from me, whenever I stopped playing live, I was heartbroken,” he says. So Jacob poured his heart into his songs and his fans, with a future that lies resolutely in his own hands.
Tickets priced €25 go on sale Wednesday 21st September through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.