WITH millions of YouTube hits and a new EP to her name, singer and songwriter Whitney McClain is well on her way to the top.
To celebrate the release of her Cruise Remixes EP, Whitney joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about standing out, her influences and the success of Cruise.
Q: Cruise caught fire late last year. Can you tell us about the song and what inspired it?
A: I HAD the Cruise instrumental for a long time. I really liked it, but I could not seem to come up with anything for it. The only thing that came into my mind when I heard the beat was the word “Cruise” or “Cruising.”
The instrumental was amazing, though, so I brought it to a writing session to expand on it. After working on it for a little bit of time, I liked the message that we came up with for the song, so we continued to develop and finish it up.
Q: The song broke over 1 million views on YouTube. But this is not the first time you have had a YouTube hit having done the same with your debut single Bombs Away. Why do you feel your music has connected so well with people and stood out in a highly saturated market?
A: I DO not know. I guess people can relate to going through hard times or being in love – things like that. It connects with people’s real lives. I think that is why I have seen the success. Cruise is about letting go of your worries. We all worry from time to time. And loving people and holding on when times get hard. I think those are things that everyone does from time to time.
Q: You recently released the Cruise Remixes EP featuring remixes from Da BeatFreakz, PhantomBOSS Remix and Davi Mix. What do you feel these remixes bring to the song?
A: THE remixes bring a whole a different style and flavour to Cruise. Originally the song was created as a mid-tempo groove. It is great to see these different producers’ take on the song to bring either a dance, pop, or acoustic feel to a song I love so much.
Q: YOU have overcome a lot to be in the position you are now, including brain surgeries in 5th and 7th grade. How important has music been in helping you through?
A: MUSIC was a big part of life from before – and even through – that time. It has always been something positive for me to hold on to, regardless of whether things were going well for me or if I was facing difficulties in life.
I truly believe singing is one of the gifts God gave me that heals me. I hope it can work the same to heal others who listen to my music.
Q: I believe you really started to flourish when you were introduced to the Austin, Texas music scene and received advice from your uncle Marlon McClain (formerly in band Pleasure). Who – and what – have been the biggest influences on your development as an artist?
A: IN the beginning of my development as an artist, I was really inspired by Beyoncé and her live performances. She is amazing. Then, I would say Amy Winehouse. Her song writing, soul, and her style have deeply influenced me as an artist.
My uncle and manager, Marlon McClain, as well as producer Mauli B., really supported me early on when I wanted to get back into singing and begin voice lessons. Mauli wrote my first single Bombs Away and has always inspired my performance and song writing. Both Mauli and Marlon gave me the tiniest taste of what being in the music industry is like, and encouraged me to follow through with my career.
Q: What artists inspire you and who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
A: THERE are a lot. Amy Winehouse really inspires me. Beyoncé. Adele. Dua Lipa, too. I think she is really cool. Ever since I was younger, I have always loved the Spice Girls. For future collaborations, it would be a blessing to be able to work with Pharrell Williams, CeeLo Green, and Salaam Remi. Their music is musical dope.
Q: What are your goals as an artist and what kind of music would you like to create in the future?
A: PERSONALLY, my goals are to keep developing my artistry and developing myself until I am moulded into the person I am supposed to be. I want to tour the world. It would be great to see countries all across the world and see different cultures. I want to be able to inspire people and help them to get whatever they need to obtain from my music.
Also, I would really like to do something philanthropic through music and artistry, too.
Q: What is next for you?
A: MY next step? Getting my butt out on stage and finishing some great songs I have been working on. Haha.
Check out Whitney’s music on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and Spotify
Official Website: WhitneyMcClain.com
SoundCloud: Soundcloud. com/WhitneyMcClain
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcNRJwWy9Yc9dtFQCyM 6X8g