Q&A: Denny White

21 Jun

By Ashley Eliot
Denny White might be young but he’s got an old soul. Only 21 years old and a few shows in since his live band lineup was official, and the Costa Mesa-based singer-songwriter already has a residency at Detroit Bar this month.  He obviously knows what he’s doing. White, who sings and plays keys, has the ladies and gentlemen awe struck over his pop/soulful chops and catchy ballads like in songs “Over My Head” and “All or Nothing.” The piano rock artist who reaches a diverse crowd from teens to moms, talked to Everyday Noise about how he got into this style of music.

Ash: What gravitated you towards playing this type of music? Because it’s pretty unusual for a young dude, I think.

Denny: Growing up, I was surrounded by an eclectic range of music; everything from Frank Sinatra and The Beatles to Motown and blues artists. While, also, listening to fellow pop contemporaries of our time. It was the feel, vibe and timeless sound of the classics that influenced me and pulled me into that vein of writing.

Ash: What would you say is the typical age group that comes out to your shows?

Denny: It’s a very wide range, everyone from 16-year-old girls (permitting the show) to your college age crowd to even soccer moms.

Ash: How long has your solo project been around? And when did you decide it was time to get the full band in action?

Denny: It was last June when I decided to pursue my solo career, and that was the time I immediately assembled a band for my first EP. Since then, I have put together a new group of talented friends who play with me.

Ash: What is your music background, previous bands, etc?

Denny: I started piano at a young age, but really fell in love with it once I entered high school and was introduced to jazz and blues. From there I started writing, and singing in church. By the time I entered college, I was consistently writing, and playing gigs. Around the same time, I started my first legitimate band called Bridgetown–it was a piano/pop/rock project that got me excited about playing in front of people from playing big shows at the Roxy and The Glasshouse. As a result of my selfish tendencies in the music and business aspect of the band we went our separate ways. A month later I started Western Front, a more progressive/indie/rock band with old high school friends who had moved back to California. With them, I recorded my first real EP, and began to get more serious about the role music would play in my future. However, after only six months, a sold-out show at the Troubadour and a west coast tour, I decided to leave the band to pursue my own music outside of the walls of a band.

Ash: How would describe your music in only a few words?

Denny: Soulful loving vibe.

Ash: For being only 21, you not only have a mature sound but a mature way of working with people and networking. How have you adapted to the music business so quickly?

Denny: I owe much of what I know to working with Tim Taber, and Jared Gibo at Transparent Productions, a national Christian concert promoter who I worked for as a grassroots marketing manager for almost two years while acting as the production manager for large shows. With the company I also worked closely with Live Nation and AEG, learning very fast how much of the industry operates from the show perspective. It was a couple years of important growth that I took from Transparent in working in the music biz, and now here we are!

Ash: You play at Kitsch Bar in Costa Mesa every Wednesday. How did you get the gig and what can one expect from you that night?

Denny: One night, I began a conversation with the doorman, who happened to be the owner. He asked what I did for work. He soon heard me at a gig and I immediately started playing. Now, its been five months every Wednesday. It’s a much different vibe with just me and my piano, one could expected lots of jazz/blues-infused pop tunes, Beatles covers, standards, everything from Oasis to the ladies’ favorites including covers by John Legend, while playing several of my original songs. It’s a much more intimate experience for the listener.

Ash: What can we expect from you in the next few months?

Denny: I’m starting a record with new songs and working with the same producer who did The New Limb’s record Sounds People Can Hear. We’ve been working through my identity as an artist and I couldn’t be more excited about finishing it.

Ash: What is your advice from one musician to another?
Denny: To stay who you are, and everything you do, do it with integrity and passion.

See Denny White at Detroit Bar every Monday with The Steelwells for the month of June. Free/21+/9 p.m.

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One Response to “Q&A: Denny White”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Meet Denny White! « OC Foodie Fest - August 6, 2010

    […] Denny a couple months ago when he had a residency at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. Read the interview here. And please please please watch and LISTEN to Denny performing his song “All or […]

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