Passengers flying from Dallas to Nashville on Monday morning (Feb. 20) were in for a surprise when Drake White stepped up to a microphone and performed several songs for unassuming flyers.
“Sorry if y’all wanted to sleep on this flight,” Drake apologized. “It’s not gonna happen.”
Drake’s set was in partnership with Southwest Airlines and Live in the Vineyard’s Live at 35, a series where artists perform 35,000 feet in the air. It was a unique experience for both Drake and his band as well as passengers on board. While Drake has previously toured with Zac Brown Band at baseball stadiums and is now headlining his own Spark Tour, he admitted there was no way to prepare for this performance.
“We’ve played so much and so many different places,” Drake told Nash Country Daily after his performance as the Southwest flight made its descent into Nashville. “Everything from Domino’s Pizza to Fenway Park. You just accept it. You just get on up and let your heart do the talking.”
Accompanied by his guitarist and another band member playing washboard, Drake began his set at the front of the plane with “Story” as passengers looked on, snapped photos and filmed video. He then segued into his current single, “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” which he wrote about his wife.
As Drake recalled, he walked out one day with his wife on his arm and his father-in-law said, “Man, she makes you look good.” That comment stuck with Drake when he met up with Monty Criswell and Shane Minor for a writing session.
“This lifestyle we live is so rough. It’s as rough as you make it,” said Drake. “Being in a van for all those years and schlepping on the road, trying to stay in cheap motels and make ends meet . . . I would come in and my clothes would be dirty, I’d need a shave. That’s where that song came from. She comes in, she makes me look good, she makes me feel good and recharges those batteries. She’s such a nurturer and great person to be around. She makes me better. That’s what the song is.”
Drake then recalled advice his own father gave him: “The less you make life about yourself the better it gets.” Drake said the reason he wrote the song is for the people all over the world who put others first.
The singer put many young passengers first throughout his performance Monday morning as he made his way to the back of the plane, pointing out a young girl with headphones on and picking up a baby as he sang and freestyled. It was an experience Drake said he’d gladly do again.
“Flying is pretty nerve-wracking,” he admits. “It was really cool to get back there to see little kids standing up on the tray tables and making up songs about them and just brighten up everybody’s day. If I can brighten up somebody’s day for a little while, it’s worth it,” he concedes.
— Nash Country Daily (@NashCntryDaily) February 20, 2017
photos by Annie Reuter