Big Machine
April 05, 2017 at 12:00 PM EDT

Growing up in Hokes Bluff, Ala., Drake White loved the Delta blues — namely collections from Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, who he says shaped his own music. “Those guys made very simple records with a lot of space in them, but you feel them,” White tells EW. “It’s an honest cry, that’s what makes the blues so crucifying.” A similarly emphatic attempt at truth guided his debut collection, Spark, which he released via Scott Borchetta’s Nashville powerhouse Big Machine Records last August. It’s especially evident on standout cut “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” which has taken off with fans, and today, EW is thrilled to premiere the song’s raw and romantic new video.

Speaking of the soulful tune’s inspiration, White remembers a humorous conversation with his father-in-law. “They live on the river and we’re always grilling and drinking out behind their house and [my wife] was sitting there and he was about six beers in, and he was like, ‘Man, she makes you look good!’ I thought that was cool.”

But while its beginnings have roots in laughter, the end product has more weight. “It’s a great way to honor that spirit that she has,” White says of his wife, Alex. “She’s always caring for other people and, especially as an artist, I’m constantly needing something,” he adds. “To have somebody who cares so much and sacrifices so much for a song and for music and for the fans…I’m just so thankful.”

The singer teamed up with director Shaun Silva, who has also helmed clips for Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney, for the shoot. With White’s mantra in mind — “I always say, ‘Keep it weird, keep it cool,'” he says — they came up with a lofty concept inspired by both nature and the grind of a life spent coming and going from tour. “I wanted something real,” he says.

White also admits that he hopes to challenge the stereotype of bland country music reels. “I grew up on MTV and some of the videos still stand out in my mind,” he says. “I remember sitting there, glued to a Prince video like, ‘Holy crap! I can’t believe I’m watching this!'”

“Makin’ Me Look Good Again” is streaming above. White is currently on tour until August — see the full list of dates here.

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