Jacob Whitesides has been an active presence in the music world since 2012, when the Tennessee native performed on "The X Factor" and began releasing EPs.
But with a new single, "Lovesick," out now and a debut album, "Why?," due in September, things are feeling decidedly more real for the pop singer-songwriter.
"This is my first tour where I've been pushing a single at radio, so that's a huge process. It's really big for me," Whitesides, 18, says by phone from a tour stop in Washington, D.C. "It feels like the pieces are finally coming together. I've been doing this for about three years now. I started out just doing covers, which didn't feel right to me, and now it's my sound and my band has really come together and made it a whole new process. It's just so fun."
And, Whitesides acknowledges, there's nothing wrong with easing his way into the music world, either.
"The paces has been great," he says. "It's not gotten overwhelming at any point. It's been slow but it's made it easier to process everything and appreciate everything. But it does feel rushed all the time, and that's kind of the pace of the music industry. It does get stressful, one thing after another, but it keeps everyone on edge,.
"I've learned to appreciate it, and I kind of understand it. It really does keep me motivated and on edge."
Throughout this time Whitesides has amassed more than two million Twitter followers and another 1.5 million Instagram followers, and his songs have been viewed nearly 16.5 million times on YouTube. The "Lovesick" single, meanwhile, is driving plenty of traffic to him; He wrote the song after a European tour earlier this year, working in Connecticut with members of the Canadian band Magic!
"I was there just planning the overall sound for the project and listening to music and kind of hanging out, detoxing from the European tour," Whitesides recalls. "That was the first song that came in and we loved it so much that when I flew back to Nashville about a week later I flew all the guys in from the band and really dove into it for, like, three days.
"That was a really special time, and I think you can definitely hear it in the way the song came out."
Jacob Whitesides and Shane Harper
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1.
431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $17.
Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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