Monday, February 21, 2011

Featured Artist: Preston Whitehurst

I met Preston at Chapman University after he sent me a FB message explaining that we were the only people are Chapman that liked Mercury Rev.  From there we formed a friendship that has lasted through many up and downs. I've been lucky enough to see Preston perform, which was absolutely fantastic, and also had a song written about me (see if you can find it here).  He is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
Psych folk rock. Nick Drake, Vetiver's early work, Bill Callahan (Smog), Leonard Cohen, Mojave 3, Wilco  

How did you get involved with music making?
In high school, music was the only thing that never bottomed out on me through the emotional highs and lows. I found a safe haven in the sharing of emotional experiences from the artist. It put perspective on my own. 

Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Usually I am just out doing something usual and either a lyric fragment or melody will come up in my mind, playing over and over. Then I'll see if I can find a guitar part that fits and work with it. As I write, it's a meditation about the overall spirit of the song matching up with whatever feeling I'm carrying around inside. This helps me to integrate with the beautiful and painful experiences I've had in life. I just write directly from my experiences, painting word pictures, metaphors. I want the words to be soil for others to grow the understanding of their emotions. That's what good music has always caused for me...inner growth.

How has your music evolved since you first began?
I think you could say I used to be more strictly folk. It's gotten a little bit more dense.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
I've got songs on my myspace page ( and soon to be on iTunes. Or if you just e-mail me here ( I will send you some mp3s. I self-manage the distribution of the album I just finished, "Love-Colors" and the best way to get an album from me, is to write to me with a donation (e-mail me first so I can send out my current address!) and we can do an exchange through mail.
Do you have any other creative outlets?
Hiking, photography, journaling, vegetarian cooking, meditation, yoga, and kirtan to name a few...
Do you ever find yourself in a creative funk?  If so, how do you get out of it?
My take on this is to just ride it out like a season because I know I will feel beauty and be hurt again...even though dry spells can cast the illusion of being stuck. 

How do you incorporate your creativity into everyday life?
It's probably most evident in my lifestyle. I am content with living very simply in order to have more time to get in touch.

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Thank you for putting a smile on my face!