Whitley was born with it, a set of vocal chords capable of bringing forth satiny smooth, “blue-eyed soul” resonance, perfectly suited to his musical genre of choice. A self-trained vocalist. Whitley began his performing career playing drums with various bands while further refining his vocal stylings at Hilton Head Island’s Jazz Corner, perennially voted a one of the world’s best jazz clubs in the world. “That really helped me develop my skills as a vocalist because it was the first gig I had that I didn’t have to play an instrument. I could just stand there and sing. I loved it.”
Although he kept with the drums for about 15 years, Deputy did not go into music as a full-time occupation right away. After graduating he took a job in real estate for about 11 years, but when the market went south in the late-2000s he decided it was time to find a better way to earn a living so he turned his focus to music. It was fate. He decided that it made more sense to play guitar if he was going to pursue music full-time. So he picked up a six-string and taught himself how to play. Deputy will tell you that the transition was wasn’t terribly difficult. “I already had the ear being a drummer. I already knew what I wanted it to sound like. I just had to get my fingers to do what I hear in my head.” Getting caught up in the moment, in the song is a regular occurrence for Whitley. “It’s not what it sounds like… It’s what it feels like.” says Whitley. And man, does it ever feel good.