Lyric Spotlight | March/April 2010
A Q&A with Lyric Contest 3rd Place Winner Effron White
In your AmericanSongspace.com bio, you mention a couple of song placements, one on an Australian TV program and another on Canadian TV. How did those come about, and how did they pan out financially and/or creatively?
I don’t know specifically how those songs got placed. I assume they were just grabbed off the Internet somewhere. I didn’t know anything about it until I received my first ever BMI check for a pretty decent amount. What’s even better is the checks have kept coming.
Can you talk a little about how your song “Long Haul” was fleshed out? Any particular inspiration, or a story behind it?
“Long Haul” was a gift. I was on one of my own long hauls as a part-time traveling troubadour. One morning in a hotel room I grabbed my guitar and started writing these words. In an hour or so I had most of the song, or at least the main idea. When I got home, I tweaked the words and worked out the melodies.
I know nothing really about truckers, trucks, or trucking. But I guess I can relate to driving many hours down some lonely highways to get to a gig. The more I sang the song, the more I realized that that trucker was very much me. And I taught myself something through writing this song. Songs are often like prayers. You write them not necessarily knowing that you’re really asking for something in your life that you’re lacking. In my case, I was feeling a loss for having not told certain people how much they have truly meant to me. “Long Haul” was the catalyst for me getting that part of my life in order before it was too late. I feel the action I took because of the song was the answer to the prayer that I only realized was a prayer through playing it many times over and over.
You put out three albums independently in the past decade. How do you find time to work a day job in picture framing, write and perform songs and promote your self-released albums?
I ask myself those same questions all the time. It does take a lot of effort to balance all those things. On top of all the things you mentioned, I do some art (currently, junk art sculptures) too. And I have a family I have to make some time for. I have often thought how great it would be to not have to go to the day job. But I’m afraid I would not use my time as well then. I’d probably get very little done, I know this because, believe it or not, I waste way too much time now.
Was there a moment of epiphany that you can point to as a prime inspiration, or a signal toward a more serious-minded musical focus?
I talk about wasting time. There was a period in my adult life where I was really just being lazy. It reached the point where I just couldn’t stand the thought of throwing my life away. So, I got serious about music.
Has the festival circuit proven to be fertile ground to get your songs out to people?
I think it has. I just got back from the first annual 30A Songwriters Festival down in northwest Florida. The festival sold out and I was able to get my songs out to some very receptive audiences. I sold a few CDs and handed out lots of free bumper stickers (my most popular sticker being the one that reads, “EFFRON WHITE? EFFIN RIGHT!”)