Sunday, July 22, 2012

Whitney Acke - Listen to her veritable songs

Story and interview by Chris Koppers, photo courtesy of Whitney Acke

Whitney Acke is a unique singer/songwriter from Lexington, KY. Her music, her uncanny knack, opens a land full of emotions and it is all accompanied by passionate melodies.
Whitney talked to me about her unabashed love: music.  She shows up with one of her poignant songs and it is like a bolt of lightning. Her penchant for getting the best of her songs and her lyrics will catapult Whitney to one of the best songwriters in the U.S..

Please learn more about Whitney. How?
Check the interview.

Your song I can't do this anymore seems to be a very personal song for you. How did you compose it? Based on personal experience? What is the key element (lyrics or melody, or even both)?

It’s funny because a lot of the songs I’ve written are about things I’ve experienced and been through myself. However, as a songwriter I often hear stories or have friends going through struggles that prompt me to write songs about THEIR lives and feelings. “I Can’t Do This Anymore” is one of those songs. It’s basically about a woman (a mistress, if you will) who is in love with a man who is unavailable because he already has a lady in his life. Though he has feelings for both women, the mistress looks at her life and decides she can’t go on with the relationship anymore.

The most personal song I’ve ever written is “A Different Kind of Crazy”, not because of the content of the song, but because of the story that surrounds it. I co-wrote it with my former gigging and songwriting partner, Audrey Elizabeth. It was a Monday evening, I’d had a terrible day, and she convinced me to come over and just hang out with her. She wanted to cheer me up and even met me in the driveway with a little red flower, because she knew I loved fresh flowers. She was known for giving people little presents to brighten their day.
As we sat talking in her living room about our woes, we jokingly underscored each other with her guitar, playing sad music when the conversation got serious and depressing. We’d not intended to write that evening, but all of a sudden the hook to the song came into Audrey’s head. I immediately came up with a melody and within 20 minutes, the song was complete. We quickly uploaded a video of it onto YouTube and I left. It was her favorite song she and I had ever written together and she texted me several times after I left about how much she loved it.

Two days later, Audrey died in a car crash. It has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever faced in my life, thus far. She was my very best friend…my soul sister. I miss her more than I’ll ever be able to explain and am still completely heartbroken without her.

That song was her last and greatest gift to me. It was the perfect conclusion to the perfect partnership.

What is your current project?

Currently I’m in the studio with a great producer named Coleman Sanders. He’s recently produced an album for a group named Sundy Best, who I anticipate will be a huge success. In addition, he’s produced backstage video footage for Shooter Jennings and is involved in a multitude of other fantastic projects. I’m blessed to be able to work with him! My new album should be out by Fall 2012. 

Where will you see yourself in 2015?

Hopefully doing what I’m doing now…only on a bigger scale! I will continue to write and play out as much as I can, sharing my music with whoever will listen.

Let us say there is an open microphone which is connected to the entire world - What would you address to the folks out there?

Wow. That’s a tough one. I guess I would say… Live out loud, live intentionally and love BIG.

What is your favorite instrument?

I love the guitar. It’s so versatile and can be played in many
different ways, to fit many different genres of music. My favorite musical sound is that of an acoustic guitar. I feel like the various notes and chords are a language all their own and can evoke emotion, as such.

What does motivate you to compose new songs?

Life. Emotions. I’m motived constantly by things I experience and by things I witness others going through. Sometimes I’ll hear people talking in the grocery store and get a song idea based on what I hear and sometimes I write from my own heart, about my own feelings.

Which music artist inspires you most?

I am most inspired by female singer/songwriters like Patty Griffin, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Sarah Buxton… These women are not only amazing singers, but they each have their own unique style and inspire me to want to grow as a songwriter.


Henry B. said...

A very heart-touching girl.
Thanks for broaden my music knowledge.


Betsy H. said...

Hello Chris,

You have talent to pick your musicians and let them appear on your crankbox.

Awesome. Keep on writing and shooting.

All the best,

ARCubit said...

Love Whitney! She's one of a kind! So happy to see this interview!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta get her music.

Thanks for the coverage

All the best,

Jim said...

Hi Chris,

I have sent you a message via facebook, cuz I would love to get your eyes on my band. I hope you can publish a coverage like Tatiana's.

Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Gotta tell you have the best music blog in town :)

Love to read yo stuff.

Best wishes,
Jennifer K. (you know me)

Megan S. said...

I haven't read such intimate interview for a while.


Valerie Bratts said...

Hi Chris,

I am already a fan of your site.
Please keep up the good stuff you publish on crankbox.

Much love,
Val :)

Anonymous said...

Whitney is awesome. I have listened to her music several times on youtube.

You blog is the best music blog I have ever seen.
Keep up the outstanding work!


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your articles and your photos are legendary.

Wish to see more.