With the launch of 303 Music Vol. 4, we have compiled a series of interviews with the amazing local artists who are part of this special release. In each segment, artists will discuss what being on this vinyl has meant to them, the importance of the song that they chose to be featured, and talk about what life has been like as a musician living through the events of the past year. Check out 303 Music Vol. 4 to see all the amazing talent that made it on this year’s record, including this article’s interviewee, Paul Whitacre.
With illuminating passion and artistry, Paul Whitacre has hit an impressive stride with his latest string of releases. Mixing singer-songwriter sentiments with lo-fi electronic production, this artist creates a mood that feels like a warm ray of light beaming through heavy clouds. He steeps his sound directly in his soul with a fearlessness to lay out his thoughts and feelings for all to see. True vulnerability has never felt more at home in music than when it comes out of Paul Whitacre’s mouth.
“Find the light,” is one of Paul Whitacre’s most intimate recorded performances, and is the song of his featured on 303 Music Vol. 4. An uplifting message delivered with such care, this track serves as a beacon of hope in a year of darkness. Officially released in 2020, “find the light” has taken on a new form with its “Brilliance Edit” released earlier this year. The rethinking of the song takes what was already a compelling experience and propels it to new heights.
We sat down with Paul Whitacre to learn more about “find the light,” and what it meant for him to be on this vinyl.
303 Magazine: Why is the song you submitted for 303 Music Vol. 4 important to you?
Paul Whitacre: Find the Light is one of the first songs that I wrote after moving to Colorado. While it’s now seen three different variations, the one featured on the 303 vinyl is my favorite. It was born in the earlier stages of the pandemic and provided a sense of calm for me that a lot of my other songs weren’t doing for me. This song really helped shape the direction my music has since taken.
303: Can you tell us about the backstory of this song and how it came to be in its final form?
PW: I worked with a band called The Brilliance to help me produce this song. I discovered lo-fi music for the first time in 2020 and loved to have it on in the background throughout my days at home. I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to find an intersection of lo-fi and folk music and asked The Brilliance to help me find that sound while producing this version of “Find the Light.”
303: What does being on 303 Music Vol. 4 mean to you?
PW: In my opinion, this is one of the greatest honors to a local musician. It’s such a cool way to be introduced to more music fans around Colorado and an honor to be one of very few musicians to be featured on the project. I also think it speaks to how well the Denver music scene is supporting the community.
303: As a musician in Denver, what do you think our musical identity is and how has it changed over time?
PW: Denver seems to have a really diverse musical background. Without being fully immersed in it, it’s easy to assume we only do folk/bluegrass. All it takes is one trip down South Broadway during UMS to see all the different cultures and backgrounds influencing our music scene. It feels like it’s constantly evolving which is really exciting.
303: How has the past year affected your music endeavors and what are your plans for the future?
PW: Pre-Covid I was totally focused on live music. All I wanted to do was play live shows, festivals and events with my friends. That goal was stopped in its tracks in March of 2020, and although there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, I’m just not sure how long it’s actually going to take before we’re back to “normal.” While it was all initially a huge bummer, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time developing a sound that I’m excited about and learning how to grow a digital audience in hopes of one day connecting with them at a show down the line.
To keep up to date with Paul Whitacre, visit his website at paulwhitacremusic.com. To purchase 303 Music vol. 4, visit our local retailers Paradise Found Records, Twist & Shout, I Heart Denver, Love Vinyl Records, Mutiny Cafe or buy online at Vinyl Me Please.