Mel Washington dropped new single recently, but he co-wrote it with friend Olivia Burnette in Nashville, Tenn. back in 2015 — he was homeless at the time. The lyrics tell the story: “I lost my job, my home, my love, and my own self-worth/ I’m trying to sleep, so I can make this life thing work/ But it’s so hard to do when this gets on your mind/ The truth is hard to see when tears are in your eyes.”
Now standing strongly on his own two feet in the Lowcountry, Washington’s “Whiskey River” reflects on the moment he realized that there must be more out there for him.
When did you record the single, and did you record at Truphonic?
We actually recorded a couple different demos of this song, but the album version was recorded earlier this year at Rialto Row with Wolfgang Zimmerman, with additional tracking done at Truphonic in West Ashley.
What is the song about?
It’s a very reflective song. It was the realization that the lifestyle I was living wasn’t really pushing me forward. And I wasn’t capitalizing on moments given to me. That had to change when I turned 30, ya know? To leave a legacy, I’ve got to live a legacy, and that’s really what this song is all about.
What kind of feel were you going for when creating it?
I wanted it to feel conversation and relatable. I wanted people to listen to this song and think, “Mmm, I feel that or ooooh, I’ve felt that.” I wanted it to sonically sound and feel like Charleston. To feel like the South. Not in a contrived way, but it a real, authentic way, ya know?