Eastern alumna releases new single “Goodbye”


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Cayla Maurer, Verge Editor

EIU alumna, Merritt Whitley, has been keeping busy since graduating in December 2013.

Whitley signed with ReverbNation and is working on releasing her first album.

After moving back to Kansas City, Whitley started working part-time at Kansas City Homes and Style magazine while pursuing music full-time.

Whitley is releasing her latest single “Goodbye” from her EP this week. Here’s what the singer had to say:

Verge: Let’s cut to the chase. Tell me all about your new single “Goodbye.”

Merritt Whitley: “Goodbye” is a very unique song in comparison to others I’ve written. Each line in the song essentially represents a different person, a situation or lesson that I’ve learned throughout the years. The song is just a big personal collage. It’s about letting go and realizing that it’s time to more on to bigger and better things.”

V: “Goodbye” was chosen by Al Walser to be broadcast on his Weekly Top 20 Show in Hollywood, Calif. What was that like?

MW: “It’s incredibly exciting just knowing the potential and possibilities that everything you’ve worked for is slowly starting to catch fire and hoping that it will continue to ignite and spread throughout the country and hopefully even the world.

My goal as an artist is to just be heard.  It’s a really hard career to pursue, but I love that challenge. You never know what to expect. All it takes is one song and the right person to hear it and your entire life can change.”

V: We love your cover of “Burnin’ It Down.” What made you want to cover that song?

MW: “I love country. Right now in the country music industry I feel like guys have really taken over. Don’t get me wrong, you still have those key artists like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, but country music is a guy’s world right now. I wanted to take a popular male country song and put feminine twist on it. It’s a really sexy song and I thought that if we took it to studio we could do something cool with it.”

V: We love that you are so active on social media. What is your favorite way to share news with your fans?

MW: “I’m obsessed with Instagram right now. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect with people. I love updating my profile and letting people see images. Hopefully they can connect with me through the pictures and sounds that I post. I’ve made some new fans recently from all around the world using a simple hashtag.”

V: If we were to flip through your iTunes right now, what artists would we see?

MW: “I listen to quite a diverse group of artists. My favorite artist right now is Sam Hunt. His song writing, his voice, his music overall. It’s great. I love Taylor Swift’s new album. She’s got some catchy tunes. I’ve got Carrie Underwood too. But don’t get me wrong, I also love Juicy J. He’s my favorite rapper. I think you can get inspiration from just about anything.”

V: What’s it like doing what you love?

MW: “It’s incredible. I did have a day job that I worked for nine months and it was a great experience, but I decided to quit and try to pursue music. A lot of people told me I was crazy and maybe I am a little bit, but that’s just one of the decisions you have to make in life. It makes me happier than anything every single day. I know that if I just keep working hard at it, it will lead me down a good, positive path.”

V: What’s next for Merritt Whitley?

MW: “I’ve got some upcoming shows in Kansas City and I’m working on an album. After I finish that I will look at the possibility of maybe moving to Nashville. I’ve always had my heart set on it. I just want to get more experience working with a live band. Definitely more covers and trying to get my music on the radio to be heard by the masses.”

To stay updated on Whitley’s music, shows and new releases, go to merrittwhitley.com.

Cayla Maurer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].