“Do you want a ring or a record?” says producer and longtime boyfriend of Iowa-born singer/songwriter Hailey Whitters. For her, it was no question; the ring was put on the back burner.
This should be no surprise to the people who have surrounded her since she moved to Nashville. Her desire to be great is unparalleled and it shows in her recent success: touring with Maren Morris, Brent Cobb, and Lori McKenna. She was also named one of SiriusXM and Pandora’s Artists To Watch in 2020. She anticipates on continuing this plethora of success with new album ‘The Dream.’
This 12-song project will be released on February 28 and to Whitters, it’s her most complete album that feels perfect. “This is the first record that feels 100 percent to me. It’s a time capsule of my time in Nashville and coming to terms with dreams and what they mean to you” she said.
But it did not come without frustration.
“After having some morale-killing lows with the business, I had finally reached my “fuck it” point and as a result was able to feel more creatively liberated than I had in years,” she said. “I went back to waiting tables and produced this record with my longtime boyfriend, Jake Gear. Our only criteria was creating something that we believed was great. It’s been an incredible surprise to watch how it’s being received both commercially and critically.
“I’m especially grateful for the artist community that has supported and propelled it; most recently Jordan Davis and Tanya Tucker … who are giving an independent artist like me the platform to share my music with the masses.”
This album is the perfect representation of everyone looking to “make it” in Music City. The dream can be defined a million different ways, especially in the music industry, where success isn’t easily defined. Some dream of being enshrined at the Country Music Hall of Fame, while others just dream of filling the tip jar at the bars on Lower Broadway.
For Whitters, this album has a different meaning, considering she fully funded it. She waited tables, sold a guitar, and reached into her savings. She was also able to obtain some cash from the royalties she received for writing songs for other artists such as superstars Alan Jackson and Little Big Town. ‘The Dream’ encompasses these hardships in tracks like “Ten Year Town” while also featuring renditions of Chris Stapleton’s “The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” and Brent Cobb’s “Loose Strings.” Perhaps the most intriguing fact about this is the fact that Whitters collaborated with some of Nashville’s finest women including Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Nicolle Galyon, and Brandy Clark.
To give fans an early look on what they can anticipate, “Janice At The Hotel Bar” will be the next single released from ‘The Dream’ on January 24th. Fans can catch Whitters on the road this year as she travels across the country, starting in Detroit on January 25th. To see a complete list of dates, visit her website HaileyWhitters.com.
‘The Dream’ will be available on streaming sites everywhere starting February 28th.