Whitney Woerz Interview

Whitney Woerz

We recently had the opportunity to chat with singer-songwriter Whitney Woerz about her anti-bullying efforts, mental health advocacy, and her music.

Think Before You Type: What inspired you to start singing?
Whitney Woerz: I’ve been singing since before I was talking, my mom likes to say. I grew up doing musical theater, and ever since a very young age, I knew music was what I wanted to do with my life.

TBYT: How did you get into songwriting, and what is your songwriting process?Whitney: I wrote my first song for a friend who I only knew over social media. She told me that she wanted to kill herself. I wanted to help her, but I couldn’t physically see her. So I sat down and wrote her a song called Ghost Story.

TBYT: Who are your musical influences?
Whitney: A big musical influence for my is Lorde. Her lyrics/music are so intricate and unique, and I just love her sound. Another artist I am inspired by (lyrically) is Twenty One Pilots. Their lyrics are so inspirational and hold a message about mental health which I love.

TBYT: What was the inspiration for the video for Ghost Story? What was the process of making it like? What was it like to see the finished product?
Whitney: I worked with director Liz Garbus to put together a documentary/music video centering around six kids who are struggling with mental illness to share their story. The objective was to let people watching know that they aren’t alone in anything they are going through and to show that it’s ok to talk about these things. The process was really fun and inspiring. I am really close now with the people in it. Seeing the finished product for the first time made me cry. I was so so happy I would be able to share this message and so happy for the other kids that they would be able to help people 🙂

TBYT: Since releasing Ghost Story and coming out with a pro-mental health/anti-bullying message, what type of response have you seen?
Whitney: Some responses I get triggered by the music video are “this saved my life” or “this inspired me to keep going.” Comments like these make me want to continue doing what I do and keep making music to help people.

TBYT: How have you been able to use the internet in a positive way?
Whitney: I respond to almost 100% of comments on each of my social media platforms. By doing this, I form relationships with fans and can help them through anything they might be going through. I also always try to spread a positive message through anything I post.

TBYT: How do you deal with negativity online?
Whitney: I try to ignore hate comments. I tell myself they are jealous, and I focus on the positive.

TBYT: If you could speak to someone who is being cyberbullied, what would you say to encourage them?
Whitney: I always let them know that they aren’t alone. I also tell them (if it’s cyberbullying) that whoever is doing it is clearly not confident and would never say those things in person. The people who try to take others down over the internet are usually sad and have nothing better to do than to bully, which is uncool and shouldn’t be taken.

TBYT: Can you tell us about your work with Bring Change 2 Mind?
Whitney: I am a teen ambassador for Bring Change 2 mind, which is an organization run by Glenn Close to help end the stigma around mental illness. I got involved with them before I wrote Ghost Story, and they helped me through what to do with my friend who wanted to kill herself. They told me to call the suicide hotline for her, and after that, I wanted to be a part of their mission to save lives and end the stigma.

TBYT: Do you have anything exciting coming up in 2018?
Whitney: Yes! I am planning to release new music around February and also planning on touring over the summer.

Andrew Butcher Interview

Andrew Butcher

We caught up with Andrew Butcher, a former contestant on ABC’s Boy Band, to talk about music, cyberbullying, and what’s next for him.

Music means something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?

Music is my life. It’s a passion of mine that I’ve always had. It gives me hope for the future for myself.

How has your experience on Boy Band affected you as an artist?

I’ve learned new and amazing things that I would have never known if it weren’t for the boys, the producers, and Tim Davis (Boy Band vocal producer who also worked on 6 seasons of the hit series “Glee“).

People often forget it, but a little bit of kindness can go a long way. When was the last time that a stranger made you smile?

I would say the last time a stranger made me smile was last night. I was actually talking to one of my fans that I had never spoken with before, and hearing her story about how I helped her get through hard times brought a smile to my face.

When you’re down what song helps to pick up your mood?

When I’m down, I can always count on “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” by Shawn Mendes to make me smile. It brings back memories.

If you had the chance to speak to someone who has been cyberbullied, what would you say to encourage them?

I would tell them to keep their head up, and I would try in every way to bring a smile to their face.

We’re really passionate about encouraging other young people to use the internet for good. What’s one positive way that you would like to see the internet change?

A positive way I’d like to see the internet change would probably be, every time someone logs in a positive message will pop up and encourage them to go out and have fun!

Who is your role model?

Definitely my parents. They’ve taught me how to live my life to the fullest. If I had to have a musical influence or role model, I would probably say Justin Timberlake. He was once a small kid in my position. And now look at him!

What does the future hold for you as an artist? Do you have anything exciting coming up?

You can definitely look forward to some big things for me coming up! My Christmas song is out, my single just dropped with the music video, and my album will be releasing hopefully in February. You can always find updates on my social media and website.

Check out the music video for Andrew’s new single below!

Answers have been slightly modified to fit the interview format. 

Canyon City Interview

 

Lauren from TBYT hit the streets of New York to interview Paul from Canyon City ahead of his show at Rockwood Music Hall. Just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month, Paul touches on his experience with bullying and gives some advice for those who are currently being impacted by bullying and negativity. He also shares the story of how his new album, Constellation, came about and his plans for the upcoming months.

You can find out more about Canyon City Here: http://www.canyoncitymusic.com

Check out Canyon City’s new video for the song “Our Way” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFx5dlh0Zco&feature=youtu.be

Special thanks to Canyon City’s percussionist Vinay Shroff for his help with filming the interview.

Thanks for watching!

Royal Street Interview

Royal Street

We caught up with the members of Royal Street to discuss their newly released album “Flavors”, their love of music and touring, and their advice for people who are being cyberbullied.

How long have you been a band? What inspired you to become a group?

We have been a band for two years now. Alex and I (Viana) were in bands for a few years before, and Brian [Cauti] was always a friend of ours, our bands played together a lot in the Providence scene. One day we decided to reboot our music and start Royal Street, and we knew Cauti was the perfect man for the job.

Who are your musical influences?

We have all kinds of musical influences! They range from The 1975 and Prince to Paramore and Bad Suns.

You have a new album coming out. What was your favorite part of making the album?

Well, the whole process has been pretty fun and inspiring. The best part is definitely either writing the songs together or being in the studio and watching them come to life. Then the build up of waiting to show them to people is so exciting! That’s the stage we’re in now. It’s like waiting for Christmas morning.

What was your inspiration for the album?

Our inspiration comes from all around us. Things that happen to us, to friends, to the world. A lot of this album was inspired by our friends and also the experiences we’ve had together as a band!

You guys have played a lot of shows over the past couple of years. What’s your favorite part of touring? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Oh man. Touring is such a hilarious experience. Living together like bums really makes you become a family.  Usually, before our show, we just love hanging out with anyone who came to see us, and the other bands. We usually eat something horrible, that while we’re eating it we say, “ Well, we probably shouldn’t have this before we jump around on stage… “ but it never stops us. Also, whiskey is usually involved.

Music means something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?

Music means something different every day to me. But usually, it’s something comforting. Something there for whatever emotion I find myself feeling in that moment. That’s what I love about music, it’s versatile. There for you in whatever state you’re in!

At Think Before You Type, we’re really passionate about encouraging other young people to use the internet for good. What’s one positive way that you would like to see the internet change?

I would love to see less putting other people down on the Internet. If you don’t have something nice to say, then just don’t say it! I think people need to worry more about themselves and less about having an opinion on what everyone else is doing.

Who are you role models?

First off, our parents. We all come from strong support systems, and it’s an amazing thing. Musically, we look up to anyone out there doing the darn thing. We know what we do isn’t easy, and to see someone pursuing something they love is magical.

If you had the chance to speak to someone who has been cyberbullied, what would you say to encourage them?

Man. I would tell them to keep their head up and remember that whoever is on the other end of that computer has their own issues that they’re too scared to deal with, so they push negativity towards others. Don’t be like them, rise above them. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and the important thing is to be the bigger person.

Some edits were made for content and clarity.

Wanderer Interview

Wanderer

We recently had the chance to catch up with indie/pop artist Wanderer. Check out what he had to say about music, the internet, and what the future looks like for Wanderer.

You recently released a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. What made you decide to cover the song, and what helped you make it your own?

It’s one of my favorite songs of all time, and I’ve played a version of it at shows before. I liked the idea of taking the melody and lyrics but making the song more ethereal and cinematic sounding. Stripping it down and adding my own musical style turned it into something so different, that I wanted people to hear.

Who are your musical influences?

I’m influenced every day by so many artists and creators. But some of my main influences for Wanderer would be John Mayer, The 1975, Fleetwood Mac, The Weeknd, and Arctic Monkeys.

How large of an impact has the internet had on your career?

It’s everything. The way I communicate with fans, release music, deliver content, and present myself is all based up on the internet and how we all consume every day. Things like Spotify and Instagram have been so huge in helping me deliver my message to lots of people.

How do you deal with negativity online?

I think just remembering to take a step back and not let one comment or post get you upset is important. There will always be people who don’t like what you’re doing or are jealous. Not worth your time.

What is something people tend to misjudge or underestimate about you?

I think sometimes people just see what’s on the outside, and aren’t aware of the amount of work that goes into this project behind the scenes. Making the music is only a small part. Promoting, marketing, releasing, and running a business all come with it too. Every day I’m working towards a goal and doing my best to respond to everything and create an experience for fans.

When you’re down, what song helps to pick up your mood?

I like to listen to a lot of older music. So some Frank Sinatra or my favorite Beatles songs always do the trick.

If you could only use one social media site, which one would it be and why?

Personally, I’d say Instagram. It’s very straightforward and clean to use. I like having lots of visuals to accompany the music.

What is your advice for young people who are being cyberbullied?

Try to spend more time off the computer and connecting with people in real life. It’s easy to get caught up in what someone is saying behind a keyboard or anonymously, but you’ll realize that in the long run, none of that matters. It’s really all about being happy with yourself. Don’t get dragged down by someone’s negative words or comments. Most likely, they themselves are hurting or insecure if they are spending time doing that.

What has been the best experience you’ve had since becoming Wanderer?

I’ve had some really incredible shows and did an awesome tour at the beginning of the year. So I’d say that, along with writing some music I’m really proud of. Hearing my songs on the radio is pretty wild too.

What new things do you have coming up in the next few months?

I’ve got new music and tour in the works, so stay tuned!