Interview with singer, songwriter Jake Etheridge
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with singer, songwriter Jake Etheridge. He starred in and was also a songwriter for CMT’s hit TV show “Nashville”. Etheridge just recently announced the release of his brand new EP, “Because I’m High”, due out on November 20, 2020. In our interview, we discuss writing music for TV Shows, working with singer Madi Diaz, married life with Canadian country star Mackenzie Porter and much more.
1. What first got you interested in music? Can you describe the type of music you would sing with your family during reunions?
So my whole family plays music, as far back as I can remember they all played and sang for every family get together. My grandad at the piano, my dad on guitar, cousin on bass, etc. It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I started to write and play myself. My first instrument was an electric bass, and I remember playing a gig w/ my dad and grandpa in Bakersville, NC for their Rhododendron Festival, all old school country. My family loves jamming to some old school country.
2. What was it like writing music for CMT’s hit TV show “Nashville” and starring on the show?
I remember in the beginning meeting the awesome Frankie Pine, music supervisor for the show, out in LA for this “Nashville” writer’s retreat. I wrote a song that weekend w/ Garrison Starr that ended up being my first song on the show. It was pretty crazy to me because that show was a big part of my version of this city, I moved to town shortly before the pilot episode aired.
Working w/ Frankie, talking over story arcs, and thinking about different characters experiences, I got pretty wrapped up into it writing. And then getting to actually BE on the show.. pretty wild experience for me. Kind of a full circle thing, my 2nd live show in Nashville was at the Bluebird Cafe, so to film a scene w/ Clare singing together at the fake bluebird was pretty freaking cool, to say the least. I can’t say enough awesome things about everyone around that show.
3. You wrote songs for film and television, including Bones, Shameless, the CW’s Supergirl, Charmed, UnREAL, Pretty Little Liars. Do you have any tips about songwriting for film and television for new songwriters?
I’m pretty horrendous at advice/tip giving but I’d say stick to your gut when doing the writing. I’m not deterring anyone from exploring new ideas and styles but I’ve always had my best of luck w/ licensing songs that came the easiest and were the most ’natural’ for me to write. Lots and lots of sad songs 🤘
4. What sort of themes should we expect from your upcoming EP with songs that includes “Kayla’s Party”, “My Head”, “Because I’m High”
I’d say the theme is centered around an honest inner dialogue with myself. Mostly an inner dialogue about the past and semi-arbitrary memories that still stick out to me. I, like most everyone else, think about the past quite a bit. Some but not all of the songs lean towards a stream of consciousness vibe. That comes from the way that I wrote them, mostly late at night when I’m too tired to overthink.
5. Can you tell us about ‘I Should Know’ and working with singer Madi Diaz?
I wrote “I Should Know” w/ my friends Olivia Rudeen and Madeliene Anderson. We didn’t start writing the song about anything in particular but we all share this feeling about social situations haha. And that feeling really is the one that comes across in the song most strongly for me. The “I hate parties” mentality. Also this idea that you’re with someone who’s kind of expecting you to be someone else. Someone that you ‘should know’ to be. We kind of cherry-picked our own lives for inspiration and so you have “I Should Know”.
As far as Madi Diaz, I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now, her writing and her voice. I knew I wanted a harmony that could stand a bit on its own and her voice was the first one that came to mind. She just came in the studio the morning of and had these instinctive harmonies that just automatically felt right. Her freaking voice man. I just love her voice.
6. On a personal note, how’s married life with Canadian country star Mackenzie Porter?
Married life is awesome!! Talk about a year to get married haha. We literally went from both Mack and I being on the road pretty nonstop for the backend of 2019, to being housebound together for most of 2020. It’s been really great to have that time though, to cook dinners together, and do the life stuff with each other that we hadn’t really been able to do so often before. Thankful for that.