Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay White.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was exposed to a lot of music, reading and writing from an early age. I went to a Baptist church with my grandparents (which messed me up in a LOT of ways but was great for learning music and literacy). My dad was an ex-hippie English teacher who exposed me to tons of great authors and musicians from Tolkien to Dylan. He was also a basketball coach, so I followed suit and devoted a lot of time and energy to being a collegiate athlete because I thought, that would be my career path, too. After graduation, I moved to San Diego and coached one season of junior college before I finally gave in to the pull of my creative side.
I got connected with the San Diego music scene through Cathryn Beeks. During this time, I was going through a divorce, coming out of the closet and as a result, became estranged with many friends and family, including my own mother. The music community became a chosen family. After releasing my first solo record tracks, I met Veronica May who became my girlfriend and my bandmate. For six years, we performed and toured as The Lovebirds, a folk/pop duo. She has Bipolar and we endured some serious manic episodes throughout our relationship, so much of our material focused on mental health advocacy from both the patient and the care-takers’ perspective. In 2016, we professionally parted ways (we romantically parted ways years prior) and I started all over again as a solo artist. I released my recent record Lights Out and toured the West Coast in July of 2017.
Please tell us about your art.
Lights Out is a lyric-driven album that largely focuses on topics of grief, anxiety and challenges the LGBTQ community face, which for me, are interconnected issues I grapple with on a regular basis. My five-year estrangement with my mother finally ended after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. We tried our best to reconnect but unfortunately ran out of time and she lost the battle in February of 2017. Music has not only helped me process my own grief, but allows me to connect with other people and hopefully help them heal. I’ve learned that grief, though painful, can teach us all how to be more loving, mindful and compassionate. My goal is for my music to help people who’ve experienced such traumatic input find ways to cope and release a positive output into the world as they try to move forward in life.
I was very happy with the success of Lights Out. It debuted #2 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts and Global Texan Chronicles named it the #1 album of 2017. AfterEllen.com selected me as one of 15 LGBTQ Artists to Watch and I was recently nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the Best Singer Songwriter category. I’m back in the studio working on a new album, plus I’m expanding my corporate/event bookings as well as offering custom songwriting services. I hope all of that leads me to new travels, adventures and friends along the way!
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think our society’s addiction to constant curated online content makes it harder and harder to establish a genuine artist-to-patron connection. In many ways, I believe we’re losing ourselves to a mindless obsession with scrolling and posting. As artists, we try to create work that appeals to your feels. (I just coined that phrase, you’re welcome). But when we’re busy living in this alternate online reality, we forget how to be living, breathing, feeling humans. Over time, we are devaluing the awesome miracle that is human life by wasting time comparing our fake online selves to others’ fake online selves. This phenomenon is probably contributing (but not as much as NRA lobbyists or I dunno, the patriarchy) to the whole mass shooting debacle in our country. Simply put, people aren’t valuing human life as much, so the thought of wasting your own life or taking someone else’s doesn’t register as a huge deal. It’s similar with art. As our access to the glossy, voyeuristic side of it increases, our appreciation for the depth and quality of it decreases. That puts artists in a bind because we feel pressure to deliver quality content on almost a daily basis, yet the return is minuscule if you’re not Beyonce. Add to that, the fact our vulnerable little egos are naturally tied up to anything we share with the world because we created it. That’s the kind of heavy mind-fuckery that can have you feeling like an empty shell of a human failure on a daily basis.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that I can’t base my idea of “success” on what people think of me, who shows up to gigs, etc. There are way too many ups and downs in an artist’s journey – I’ve played a huge festival opening for David Crosby, then turned around and played in living room where 4 people showed up. If you let the crowd or the crickets be your gauge of happiness or success, you’re in for a hell of a roller coaster ride. I had let go any aspirations of being a household name and instead just try to focus on developing actual relationships with the people who appreciate what I have to offer. I hope eventually that will translate to some sort of financial stability, but if not, I’m not going to consider myself a failure. Gillian Welch has a song called, “Everything is Free” which pretty much speaks to this point: “We were gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn’t pay.” Artists makes art because it’s what they were put here to do.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Being an indie artist in today’s tech-driven world is a double-edged sword. I try not to get sucked up in the gross part (being paid pennies per stream/download, struggling to get people to come out and see live shows, having to spend way too much time caught up in “building your brand”, etc.). Instead, I try to focus on genuinely connecting with people through the avenues I have available to me.
For example, I have a small but mighty group of people who see the value in what I do and are willing to make a small monthly contribution to my online Patreon group “Lindsay’s Corner” that helps me pay for recording expenses, etc. As members of this group, they receive exclusive content, writing, artwork, behind the scenes photos/videos, PLUS, I get to know them on a more personal basis via private Facebook groups, etc. You can find out more about that at: http://www.lindsaywhitemusic.com
Other ways to support besides attending shows and buying music/merch can be found on my website at – this page has links to all kinds of offerings that help me pay my rent and feed my family. I sing at weddings and events, I do custom songwriting, I give songwriting workshops, write artist bios and more. I’ll even come sing in your living room for a couple dozen of your closest friends. I love offering all these services because I get to know people on a real, genuine level. https://www.lindsaywhitemusic.com/hire.html
If you want to support but you are low on funds, you can sign up for my free monthly newsletter, engage with me on social media (you’d be surprised how one simple “like” or “share” can deliver my content to more eyes and ears or check out the calendar for free shows! https://www.lindsaywhitemusic.com/live.html
- Website: http://www.lindsaywhitemusic.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/lindsaywhitemusic/
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/lindsayannwhite
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/listentolindsay
- Other: http://youtube.com/lindsayannwhite
Darci Fontenot, Alfonso de Alba