The music heard on Angel White’s upcoming debut album “Ghost of the West” may take inspiration from the wide-open spaces of the singer-songwriter’s childhood home in Cleburne, but the songs themselves are rooted from within.
Themes range from difficult conversations in intimate relationships to growing up as a person of color within Texas culture.
“So, the Ghost of the West kind of has three meanings,” White said. “It’s like the Spanish cowboy or the Native cowboy and the Black cowboy are kind of this ghost. And I experience it. It’s like, I guess, a surprise for some people to see me – to see a cowboy of color.”
Now based in Dallas, White has seen his career go from busking in Deep Ellum in late 2017 and 2018, to putting out an album that may not have started as country, but emerged with a sound that was intertwined with what White felt reflected himself as a person.
“When we were writing everything, it wasn’t like, ‘oh, we’re writing country songs,’” White said. “We were just writing good music. Just write great songs, tell a story, and then we can shape the sound of however we want it to be. But the idea was to make this rooted album that felt like it was the start of me, basically. I guess like my debut.”
And while the album may be closely personal for White, the artist sought to make it a sonic space that was welcoming to all – one that gives listeners a sense of the world that White knew growing up, whether it was on his family’s horse farm or being influenced by his father’s eclectic music tastes.
“I mean, I’m Texas born and raised, so it’s in the blood,” White said. “Really open space is a lot of the inspiration for me. Growing up in Cleburne – you know, small country town – we have the open fields, we got the cattle, you know, all that stuff. And that’s kind of what influences the sonics, I would say. It’s like, how can I make someone feel as if they are in this space?”
White is one of three finalists for Southwest Airlines On The Rise to Luck 2023.
Listen to more from Angel White in the audio player above.