Artist to Watch: Avery Yerlan McWhorter


UNA Sophomore Avery Yerlan released his Extended Play, “Love’s a Game,” and encourages other to stream it on music platforms.

Lavette Williams, Editor-In-Chief

Avery McWhorter, better known as Avery Yerlan on music platforms, reflects on his journey as a singer and songwriter since releasing his latest Extended Play (EP) “Love’s a Game.”

It was not long ago that he was in the 9th grade, riding the school bus when a friend had shown him the song “Airplanes” by B.o.B, and his life was changed forever.

“After listening to it, I was like, ‘I have to do that,’” said McWhorter, UNA sophomore and Entertainment Industry major. 

Still, years before this discovery, music had been instilled in McWhorter’s life. In 4th and 5th grade, his parents got him to take piano lessons but at that point in his life, he did not appreciate it. Later, in the 7th grade, McWhorter was given the option to play basketball or to march in band, and he chose the musical route.

“I’ve always liked basketball, but I was never good at it,” McWhorter said. “So because I already knew how to read music, I chose to be in band up until my senior year.”

Unknowingly, McWhorter was setting himself up for his musical career. 

“I got really into music through [band],” He said. “It allowed me to get really good at reading and performing [music].”

It was in 2018, McWhorter’s senior year in high school, when he released his first song, “Game Face.” This song was considered rap.

McWhorter said he started off with rap because he did not think he could sing.

“I drew inspiration from Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots, fromTech N9ne, from Eminem, from Watsky,” McWhorter said. “[Rap] is what I’ve been writing for the longest time and I really enjoy it. It’s fun seeing how complicated you can get with [your verses].”

However, McWhorter does not sit long in a genre. He has also written pop songs, rock,  rap and indie/folk songs. 

“It’s hard to sit down in a genre because there’s so much that you can do,” McWhorter said. “Obviously you have to [in order to] get good at the genre, but I feel like coming from outside allows you to see what’s working and experiment further.”

Under the name Rate/Date/tbh (RDT), McWhorter came out with an experimental album titled, “June” in 2020, where he released songs that were lofi hip hop mixed with acoustic indie.   

“[RDT] didn’t fit what I was going for, but I really wanted to put that out there for me,” McWhorter said. 

While RDT will probably never release anything else, the idea of creating the one man band  was to serve as a place to put songs that strayed away from his vision for his primary music.

McWhorter said it is super “out there.”  

“It is amazing the amount of creativity that you can put into music,” McWhorter said. “It’s one of the many reasons why I like music. When I’m able to write [music] it’s a really good way for expressing [my] thoughts, feelings and ideas.” 

His newest EP, “Love’s a Game” is considered bedroom pop, which is pop with electronics. Bedroom pop got its name because it is often recorded at home rather than in a traditional recording space.

On the EP, there are four songs. 

The first song “Over You” is about not being able to get over someone, with the infamous line “Love’s a game and I’m just playing,” which gave the EP its name. “Labyrinth,” the second song, serves as a sequel to “Over You” and is about being trapped in a relationship, and trying to find a way out. A remix of RDT’s song, “Miles Away” is about a long distance relationship. His final song, “Monophobia” is about the fear of being alone and God’s love. 

McWhorter used many outlets to aid him in his writing process – the video games that he plays, the stories that he reads, the TV shows that he watches. But perhaps the greatest influence of them all is his own personal experiences.

UNA sophomore Will Mckenzie met McWhorter in Music Appreciation and since then, he has always  had a great respect for his drive and ambition.

“He’s always making new connections and promoting his music which is fantastic,” Mckenzie said. “Because of that I believe he’ll no doubt be very successful in the industry and life.  His music is also very different from a lot of what’s out there and he’s always finding new ways to push the envelope.”

While McWhorter continues to push to get “Love’s a Game” more streams on music platforms, he is continuously working on something else behind the scenes. 

McWhorter said that he’s got some big ideas coming soon.

“It’s all about starting,” McWhorter said. “I wrote for three years before I ever wrote anything good. So, if you don’t know how to write a song just write something down. It doesn’t have to rhyme, you don’t have to come up with a melody but you have to start.”