Photo credit : Dennys Ilic


Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great, thank you! Very excited to share my new EP called, “Backwards” with the world.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Cars Mars”?

Among the chaos, we have invested our time in the quick and easy things rather than the important things that take care and time. I want this song to help bring consciousness to the importance of relationships with each other and our planet, which I think is especially relevant given the present environment we live in today.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

My parents taught me to finish what you start, give 120%, never cut corners, be authentic and care about how your actions affect others. Ben and I wrote this song a few years back during a time when I was wearing many hats.  In between recording this EP, bartending and helping my brother open the #1 Bar in DTLA called Villain’s Tavern, I was also my Grandfather’s caregiver.  Being present in these extremely polar opposite environments really opened my eyes to people losing site of what’s really important. Big city life and the need for mass production can lead to careless actions. Everyone wants something Quick & Easy and spending quality time can be forgotten. I feel like we all can get wrapped up into that and it can lead us to miss the important moments in life.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?  

Working with director Jacquie Gould was such a gift. Not only was she passionate but she connected to the song and really thought out every word to help tell a story that we could all relate to.  The man that made it all happen is Dennys Ilic, Director of Photography and Leica Camera Ambassador.  He sprinkles magic into every project that he is involved in and I feel incredibly honored that he has showered me with so much support. His expertise in Cinematography makes everything seem effortless. Huge thanks to rest of the crew; camera operators, Simon Barry & Keith Andreen as well as David Hauser & makeup artist, my sister, Stacey Whitton Summers.

The single comes off your new EP Backwards – what’s the story behind the title?

The story behind the name of Cars Mars represents disconnection. Again, we invest ourselves in the surface and don’t take the time to nurture ourselves, relationships and the planet. We, as a society, are driven by the money carrot. Addicted to social media; Showing the world your best idea of yourself; brushing the truth under the rug if you will. We can miss so much importance and beauty and not even realize it.

How was the recording and writing process?

We took our sweet time! We worked with a few producers in the beginning and we couldn’t seem maintain the organic authenticity of the song. So, Ben and I decided to go back to the original way we wrote it and produced it ourselves until we both felt it was perfect. From every vocal nuance to every instrument struck, Ben nurtured everything with such delicate attention. Not to mention we were blessed to have the best musicians in Los Angeles on the entire EP.

What was it like to work with Ben Burget and how did that relationship develop?

Ben Burget was the saxophonist on my previous album release called,” Rare Bird.” Soon after, Ben and I started to write some new music on guitar and piano during the down time of touring “Rare Bird.”  Like a match to a flame, the world was our oyster. The most heartfelt waterfall of real music poured out of us like an effortless poem full of love and vulnerability, which actually shocked us. Lol He is my music muse.

How much did he get to influence the EP?

Ben is a co-writer on the first three tracks: Cars Mars, Backwards and Neverland. He also, performed, produced, engineered and mixed these tracks. He definitely had a lot of influence the entire way through to the finished product.

How has Norah Jones and St. Vincent influenced your writing?

I respect both of these artists for their originality and they expose their vulnerability in their writing and vocal ability. I wouldn’t say they influenced me necessarily. Always, when you reach the finish line with a product, you have to get in the mindset of, how do I market it? And in music, what genre do you fit in? Who do you sound like, if anyone? So when dissecting my image and sound, a few trusted music professionals, mentioned that I am reminiscent of these two incredible songwriters.

Known for working with different people – do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

It’s always different. I gage the other songwriter’s energy, which helps me know how to start the writing process. Where does the mood in the room take the song?  If I write a song on guitar, by myself, I typically work out the chords first and depending on how the chords make me feel then, I write my lyrics and melody.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Ben and I approach our songs from a very honest place when writing. We open up all the closed doors to our skeletons and expose them. I think that’s what you have to do; or what’s the point of words and music? Other than to feel, heal and relate because the human kind needs each other more than we know. If we realize this truth, we can be alone but never lonely.

What else is happening next in WHITTON’s world?

I have 3 obsessions – Music. Tequila. Environment.

Musically, I have two music videos coming out for my songs, “Backwards” and the Bladerunner cover duet which features iconic actor, Edward James Olmos called “One More Kiss Dear. I’m very excited for the handful of new products I’m working on currently for film and TV, which will debut in 2021.

Tequila and enviroment wise, I’ve been growing my own organic, sustainable vegetables since I was a teenager and that passion started my dedication to the environment. My music led me to Los Angeles, where my family‘s been in the spirit industry for over 20 years, everything from bartenders to bar owners to spirit educators and distillers. After many trips to Jalisco we fell in love with the agave, and especially the USDA certified organic production process. My curiosity for tequila and sustainability of the planet only grew from there and here we are years later with our own Tequila called EL SATIVO, the 2020 Tequila Of The Year (San Francisco World Spirits Competition).

We are always working on new ways to help with the environment and climate control. We’ve created partnerships with only sustainable companies and give back percentages of every bottle sold to Ocean Conservancy. Our bottles are 100% recycled glass and our labels are organic soluble so we don’t put pesticides back into the environment. Along with our efforts to help ocean and climate change, there is also a new distillery being built with only green and solar energy for production. #bettertequilabetterworld

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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