Born and raised in Texas, Jake Worthington was injured playing football and while recovering from the injury, discovered a love for music. Worthington took part in The Voice in 2014, ended up on Blake Shelton's team, and placed second in the show's finale. Earlier this month, Worthington released his self- titled EP which showcases a voice with a sweet drawl that is made for traditional country. Worthington kindly took the time to talk about his roots, the EP and more.
You were very sports oriented, but when you broke your back, a love for music came front and center. Was that something that was always there or something new?
There was always a love for music. I broke my back, but that isn’t why I play music at all. I started to pick up guitar and play with friends when I was in 7th or 8th grade. We started playing shows and stuff back then, and I always had the feeling that I wanted to do something like that. Once I got through high school and went on The Voice, I decided that music is where I wanted to go.
Did your experience on the Voice exceed all expectations?
It went way beyond. I knew I wanted to do The Voice, but I didn’t expect any of that to happen. It was kind of a roller coaster ride that I wasn’t necessarily ready for, but I was so glad that I decided to do it because it threw me into this crazy dream. It was tough in a lot of ways for some folks, many of us were far from home and out of our normal comfort zone, but the only tough thing for me was wearing all of that make-up (laughing).
How did that experience shape you and your sound further?
Prior to The Voice, I was digging into more of a Red Dirt/Southern Rock type sound, but the neo-traditional style was something I took to, sang well…and is music I truly love. The Voice didn’t necessarily help me decide this was the sound I wanted to have, but made it very, very possible for me to have a chance.
I’m truly blessed by God, my friends and my wonderful supportive family for helping me get where I am now and where I am going. I just want to keep working towards my goals and setting new ones.
George Strait and Keith Whitley are some of your influences, is there anyone else in particular?
For sure. If I told you every one of them you’d hang up the phone (laughing). I am a big Jo Diffie fan, as well as Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence. I also like Mark Chesnutt, Martina McBride, Norah Jones and Stevie Ray Vaughn; even Van Halen with David Lee Roth. 90’s country though is the stuff mom and daddy played…it’s just good music - belly rubbing music is what we call it at home.
That decade did produce some great music.
You recently released your self-titled, five song EP. Did you write for it?
I co-wrote “This Damn Memory,” “Don’t Let The Redneck Fool Ya,” and “Friends.” I fell in love with the other two songs when I heard them and really wanted to cut them.
I’ve been doing a lot of writing in Nashville, learning how the process goes and having a great time with it. I love co-writing; not all the time am I great at it, but I am putting the time in and getting there. Co-writing is a very intimate experience that I personally enjoy, and any time I get a chance to write with somebody else and learn about their ideas I am grateful.
You mentioned you co-wrote "This Damn Memory," what is the story behind that song?
People ask me how I think up songs; for the most part I write about something I have been through. I also write about, and get most of my inspiration from, people I have watched weather the storm: friends, family and loved ones. The story for this song, well, it’s true to life for somebody else for sure. It was my first co-write, and I am very, very happy with it.
Do you play predominantly in Texas?
Yes ma’am. Right now I am based mostly in Texas, playing shows here and there trying to get it going, but the goal is to get everywhere else. We will be traveling to Colorado very soon, and I am excited about that. We will also be going on a radio tour to promote my first single, “Just Keep Falling in Love,” which was just released to radio. I am excited to focus on getting the music out there for everyone to hear.
This year saw some big things happen for you, is there one goal you would like to set for 2016?
Absolutely. I want to get my songs on the radio, release my first full length album and put country music back on the map. I’m very appreciative of everyone who bought and enjoys my EP. It’s my first project, and so it obviously means a whole lot to me. I appreciate anyone, positive or negative, for paying attention, and I promise to keep it all about the music.
For more information visit his official website
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Listen/Watch the lyric video to "Just Keep Falling in Love" here