We are happy to spend some time today with the talented artist Michael B. Whit. Thank you for taking time to talk with us. We have listened to “40 Acres” and love what you are doing and bringing to country music. How did you decide this as your next release?
Y’all are very welcome, anytime. Honored to talk with y’all, and I’m thrilled that y’all are digging “40AD.” I was just in the studio having fun when this idea came to me to experiment with mixing a little Prince with a little Jason Aldean, and before you know it, 40 Acres Down was being created. I didn’t know how country fans would accept it, especially with the civil war going on internally with Country Music on who’s country and who is not. So I put it out there as just a throwaway song to give to my fans and supporters until we were ready to release my official single. It caught fire organically, and I’ve got to blame the fans for that.
This single has had such a warm welcome from fans. As an artist attempting to make a connection with audiences, how does the warm reception feel?
Honestly, it caught me by surprise. I never intended for the song to release as a full-fledged single, I tossed it out as a filler and an experiment with my fans, but it took wings unexpectedly. It worked, and I’m grateful that people are really vining with it.
When did you know country music was what you wanted to pursue? Why the country genre?
I always loved country music, but I just wanted to do music with no subtitles and no boxes, and when I finally had the freedom to make what was natural to me, it came out as Country. I guess I’m just an old-fashioned country guy that can’t help but make songs out of stories. I love that country music sticks to its guns for the most part while other genres have pigeonholed themselves into just a few topics, Country allows access to the full spectrum of what I enjoy talking about like God (without being over religious), family, love, breaking up, getting back together, pets, fights, late nights, hungover mornings, good times and times when you are down on your luck, it’s all in Country.
What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
Garth 07, I just remember thinking, wow, ok, this is the Michael Jackson of Country and the level I want to be on. I enjoy the rush of stepping out on the stage, watching the faces turn from uncertainty to the look of being pleasantly surprised. I love to connect with my fans on a personal level, also like we become family once you join the #WhitNation.
How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
We all have really come through some tough times as citizens of the earth with being locked down and all. I think over the previous year, I’ve really been able to hone in on the dynamics of my music, and what I mean is just how loud and clear can my messages get across to listeners without them being in the room with me. As performing artists, we haven’t been able to play out much due to the pandemic, so it has caused me personally to dig in deeper and find ways to make my sound connect even in the midst of being socially distant.
Musically, who are you listening to and enjoying right now?
Ernest, Wallen, Hardy, and Childers are getting major rotation from me right now, but anything Hunter Hayes does stays on my playlist. I know it’s a crazy mix, but I’m just like that, so if you pass me the aux cord on a ride home, I can take you from NBA Young Boy to George Straight before you get to your destination.
Final – SILLY! – Question: Which one item of food is always in your refrigerator?
Granny Smith Apple’s (Gotta have it with some caramel dip and a jar of peanut butter) Sweet baby Jesus it’s fire, and I can go for that right now!
End of Interview