It seems like we’re always falling for another musical YouTuber, but this time the obsession is real. Seventeen-year-old singer/songwriter Jacob Whitesides has been winning over hearts ever since his first upload, and after a stint on X-Factor, Jacob is now celebrating the recent release of his new EP! And did we mention he also just wrapped a tour with Fifth Harmony and is on tour now with R5? See what landed this John Mayer-esque cutie on our up-and-coming list!
Tell us about your EP, A Piece of Me.
The EP is probably one of the most fun processes I’ve gone through so far because I love writing music and being in the studio. On the EP there are no covers. There are a lot of real instruments on the songs—drums, bass, banjo, ukulele, all kinds of stuff. This is my first time ever writing and recording music. It’s been really interesting when my musical influences come out.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I listened to a lot of John Mayer and Jack Johnson. I listened to a lot of Gavin DeGraw. Since I’ve gotten older I’ve listened to a lot of Ed Sheeran and Mumford and Sons and Passenger. I like a lot of the acoustic bluesy stuff. John Mayer is always my favorite, though.
Did you ever think that uploading a few videos to YouTube would result in all of this success?
No. I had no idea, honestly. My dad had always been really into music. He played music for a living. He kinda inspired me to start playing around with the guitar. So I started playing guitar and the girl I was talking to at the time was really obsessed with Justin Bieber so I decided, “Hey, I might as well start singing so I can impress her!”
All this success has made you pretty popular with the ladies these days. What are the three traits you look for in a girl?
I always look for a girl that loves to travel. I think that’s important because I’m always traveling on tour and stuff. Another one would be a girl who’s really understanding of my career because it’s really kind of complex. And a girl that’s into the same kind of music that I like is something I look for. So if she likes my music and John Mayer then she’s definitely a keeper!
What are three things that you absolutely will not forget to take with you on a tour?
My guitar—that’s a must no matter where I’m going on tour. Another would be my PS4… and probably my stash of Taco Bell gift cards because that’s all I eat!
Netflix/ TV Addiction: Breaking Bad and Walking Dead
Now Playing: I’m always listening to John Mayer. One of my favorite artists I’ve been listening to a lot recently is Damien Rice. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Drake. That’s like my one guilty pleasure is rap music.
Biggest Fear: I’m actually terrified—I’ve gotten over it a little bit—of the dark. Mainly night time. I’m not scared of being in a dark room but I hate looking out of windows at night!
Venue That You’d Most Like to Play: Red Rock