“Alumna Alex White Bridges the Music-Business Gap,” DePaul Business Exchange

Francis White and Alex White (BUS ’07)

Using the skills she learned as an undergraduate DePaul student, Miss Alex White has turned her band, White Mystery, into a sustainable music business through which she and her brother, Francis White (left), produce outdoor festivals, consult for artists and mentor music business students.

“As industry leaders, it’s our responsibility to learn all of the Vincentian, ethical lessons that I feel DePaul does a really good job at emphasizing in the MBA program—that people in money decisions aren’t just data.”

— Miss Alex White (BUS ’07)

In 2008, Miss Alex White (BUS ’07) made a pact with her brother, Francis White, to commit full-time to their newly formed punk band, White Mystery, for the next 10 years.

Throughout the next decade, the sibling rock duo fulfilled that pact by living and breathing music 24 hours a day. To date, White Mystery has played more than 1,000 shows on three continents with music icons including Iggy Pop, Garbage, Mavis Staples, Patti Smith and even Sir Richard Branson; appeared in a national Levi’s Jeans ad campaign; performed live on the NBC late night TV show, “Last Call with Carson Daly”; and self-released 10 records – all without a manager or publicist. White partly credits her band’s success to lessons she learned in the DePaul class, Effective Business Communications, that she took as an undergraduate business student with Associate Professor of Marketing Joel Whalen — lessons that include how to properly introduce yourself and market your business to others.

“I use the lessons from Dr. Joel Whalen’s class every day,” White says. “So many times you’ll receive an email from somebody and it’s just a too-long-to-read autobiography about the person’s experience and the reality is that a lot of business people in music and beyond receive dozens and dozens of emails every day.”

Using these skills, White has turned White Mystery into a sustainable music business through which she and her brother produce outdoor festivals, consult for artists and mentor music business students.

Now, White has returned to DePaul to earn her MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance & Investment. She juggles school with a full-time job as the senior market and experience manager for Do312, a virtual Chicago network that helps people discover happenings in Chicago, and side gigs that consist of spinning records for clubs and parties, writing a column for High Times magazine and working on freelance consulting projects that have been featured in Forbes magazine.

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Situation Chicago- Basement Magazine

As music fans across Chicago and beyond mourn the loss of live music, the industry has been left wondering what comes next.  In our 8th month of the Pandemic, everyone from musicians, to fans, to venue workers have felt the devastating effects of these unprecedented times.  Though the network of live music has come to a halt, the community of caring, generous, motivated Chicago creatives continues to uplift and support one another.  situationchicago, created by Trey Elder of the Quiet Pterodactyl non-profit, has become a shining example of the resilience of the music community.  Featuring 25 Chicago musicians, this project is a massive collaboration of creative energy aiming to support local venues struggling during the Pandemic.  “The situationchicago project was a direct response to the pandemic and the unknown closure times of our venues. 2020 was originally supposed to be events-driven for Quiet Pterodactyl, so when those events were cancelled, it just felt right to brainstorm to see what else we could do to help the music community in it’s time of need. “First to close, last to open” is a phrase that summarizes the current state of music venues, theaters…anywhere people gather indoors to enjoy the arts…and it’s not looking good that they will be able to re-open anywhere close to functioning capacity soon.”

Available via Bandcamp, situationchicago has created a 25 track vinyl record with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the venues needing it the most.  From Jeff Tweedy, to Rick Wilson, to OK Go, this record supports a meaningful cause on top of being an awesome compilation of the city’s music.  “We wanted to represent different music styles and parts of the city, as well as a variety of “bigger name” and local, up and coming, amazing talent that Chicago has to offer. Some we already had personal connections with, some were recommended by the music venues that are also a part of the project, and others were just artists we had appreciated from afar. All of the artists were excited to be able to give back to these venues they all know and play (have played) in. Smaller, local venues are the lifeblood of where artists develop their craft, and many of Chicago’s venues have been supporting the diverse scene here for decades.”


Upon speaking with featured artists Girl K, Rich Jones, and Miss Alex White of White Mystery, it seems these artists were equally as passionate about the mission as Trey was when he created situationchicago.  Rich Jones speaks to situationchicago saying that “It resonates because it’s us using our music as a way to sustain many of the venues that have hosted us over the years. Also pretty cool to have a collection of songs featuring multiple generations of artists, many of whom myself and others are indebted to in regard to the groundwork they laid for us to have what we enjoy today.”

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“Curated and produced by Miss Alex White,” Pitchfork

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“The comp features songs from White Mystery,” Im Plurt

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“Curated and produced by Miss Alex White of White Mystery,” Rolling Stone

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“LG teamed up with Miss Alex White of White Mystery,” SPIN

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“An amalgamation of female artists,” Live For Live Music

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“Hands Off! is a new cassette compilation,” Pitchfork

Hands Off! Compilation was featured in Pitchfork! Click here to check it out. 👀

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“Miss Alex White of White Mystery, May McDonough of Psychedelic Cherry,” NME

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“Produced by Miss Alex White of White Mystery,” MXDWN

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