“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa
One year ago, in August 2019, country music artist Drake White’s life changed. He was on stage, performing when he collapsed – a hemorrhagic stroke brought on by a dangerous web of arteries and veins in his brain.
Everything came to a screeching halt. Performances were canceled and plans were set aside. After months of demanding physiotherapy and a series of surgeries to mend the Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his brain, Drake slowly recovered the use of the left side of his body.
Throughout the ordeal, Drake prompted himself to savor each second – take nothing for granted.
Drake explains the sensation, “There was a revival in my heart and my soul. I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude towards my maker, my life, and the simple things. A paradigm shift happened. I stopped worrying about the things I couldn’t control. I kept writing music and running with that Huckleberry Finn mentality I’ve always had. I kept on swimming, kept on rafting, and kept on rocking. People are going to hear that in my new music. They’re going to see it in my shows. The excitement never left me; it’s just greater now. I walk onstage these days and feel so thankful to be there — to be able to do what I love to do.”
Prior to his collapse, he enjoyed life. Now, he revels in being present in each and every moment.
While growing up in Alabama, Drake sang in the youth choir at the First Baptist Church, watching his preacher grandfather encourage the congregation. Later, he became one of country music’s stars – four Top 40 hits, numerous tours across the U.S., and legions of fans.
In a sense, he followed in his grandfather’s steps. Instead of preaching the Word of God, he and his band, The Big Fire, conduct the audience on a musical journey to ecstatic listening euphoria as they pump out delicious, invigorating music.
Drake’s latest endeavor – with the help of his wife, Alex, who wears a multitude of hats, including artisan chef, event planner, and businesswoman – is the opening of Whitewood Hollow, an event hall constructed in a barn set in the Tennessee hills near Nashville. Six-years in the making, Whitewood Hollow opened in February this year.
According to Drake, the barn motif is what he’s comfortable with. “It’s a culture thing; it’s what I grew up with. I grew up with lots of barns. It represents hard work. It represents comfort for me. I’ve had some of the greatest moments of my life in a barn.”
Living-in-the-now is Drake White’s new passion. As Drake says, “There’s a Huckleberry Finn-type freedom to everything we do. Whether I’m onstage, in the recording studio, or outdoors, it’s all about absorbing inspiration and giving it back.”