Breaking into the music business takes someone who is hard working and dedicated to overcome long-shot odds.
Log Cabin resident Travis Whitehead is one of those people who's “not giving up” to succeed as a Southern country rock singer.
Whitehead, who was born and raised in Bastrop, will be releasing his first album, Where I Come From, within the next few weeks.
“I wrote every song on the album,” he said. “They're songs about experiences I've gone through in my life and I hope others can relate to.”
Whitehead said he got his first taste of music when he was four years old.
“My dad gave me a guitar and taught me how to play,” he said. “I began playing the base guitar in my church [East Haven Church of God] at age seven or eight.”
Whitehead said he played in his church band until he graduated from Prairie View Academy in 1999. Once out of school, he worked in construction. He said after returning from a construction job in Green Bay, Wis., a group of guys in the band, Savin Dixon, asked him if he would be their base player.
Whitehead said playing in the band was a lot of work in the beginning.
“I auditioned on a Monday,” he said. “They said my first gig with them would be that Saturday and handed my a list of songs I had to learn before then. The list had 200 songs on it.”
Whitehead said while in the band, he got married and had a son, Davyn.
“All of the band members had families so we didn't have shows all the time,” he said. “We played at gigs once or twice a month and my wife went with me to all of them.”
Whitehead said his life was good for the most part until 2008 when he went through a divorce.
He said at that point he “stood back and looked at his life.”
“I got out of the band in the first part of 2010 for personal reasons,” he said. “I decided to take a break from music for a while.”
The only time he played was “around campfires” or at “small gatherings,” until a year and a half ago.
“A friend of mine approached me and told me a lot of clubs had been asking for me,” he said. “I decided to get back into music, this time solo.”
Whitehead said experience in the band taught him a lot about the music business.
“Over the last year and a half I've concentrated on song writing and performing,” he said. “The eight songs on my album aren't the only ones I've got.”
A close friend who's been in the music business for 25 years gave him the advice of not putting out all his songs at once.
Page 2 of 2 - “He told me you've got to keep something in your pocket to pull out when it's needed,” he said. “He breaks things down to me so that they make better sense.”
Whitehead said for now, he's continuing to play music and spend time with his son, who now lives in Baton Rouge, as much as he can.
“I get him every other weekend and I always make sure to be with him on his first day of school,” he said. “I'll make trips to his school, when I can, and eat lunch with him. His teachers tell me he'll brag and say, 'My dad's coming to see me today.'”
Whitehead said the best advice he can give someone who's trying to make it in the music business is “don't give up.”
“You'll soon figure out who's going to support you and who's not,” he said. “People are going to bad mouth you no matter what you do. The ones who support me, I don't like to call fans. They're supporters or simply friends I haven't met yet.”
Whitehead will be performing at 10 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Morehouse Activity Center (MAC) and at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Specialty Daiquiris.