Jenna Paulette isn’t your typical country music star. She’s a mix of country and city, with a sound that is all her own. After spending time growing up on her families ranch and in the Dallas area, the newcomer manages to balance both ends of the spectrum in her unique sound.
She refers to her sound as New West. What is that?
“It’s a combination of old and new, keeping tradition but being a part of the modern world,” she says. “It’s a representation of the two worlds I grew up in – a balance of the two. My mom’s side is ranching; my dad’s side is the big city sales-type. In everything I do, the way I dress, write, perform, even cook – my entire self is the New West.”
We wanted to know more about the star. Read our exclusive interview below.
Tell us a little bit about your music.
It’s a balance between what I grew up loving, experiencing and admiring (the cowboy, ranching, wide open spaces) and a modern array of sounds that give it a progressive feel. Both elements have to be present and equally represented.
What is the most important thing that you learned about yourself from song writing?
How to be honest and how to process through hard things. It forces you to put your feelings into words and that is a really tough thing to do—especially for someone like me who doesn’t like being vulnerable (I’m an enneagram type 8–if you know what that is! Haha)
What inspires you the most?
1) listening to music.
2) working on our family ranch
3) looking at magazines—they are full of interesting things people say
Why country music? What about the genre speaks to you the most?
It’s the music that is closest to reality while still painting things truthfully and beautifully at the same time. I love that it portrays the things I admire most (love, family, work, friends, real life, wide open spaces).
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I LOVE watching historical documentaries—totally nerd out over them. History fascinates me!
ho are your musical inspirations?
George Strait, he represents the men in my life that I grew up admiring. He’s the romance of the cowboy. The Dixie Chicks, they sang about the places I knew and feelings I had—“Wide Open Spaces” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” seem somewhat biographical to me. I experienced those songs in real life and they gave me all the feels because of it. Then I also listened to pop music and LOVE the progressiveness of it, the fact that it’s always going somewhere and feels so dang fresh. I want that to be how my music evolves while still having the roots of tradition.
Tell us why you are involved with Step Up? What should people know about the organization?
Step Up is an organization that helps young girls in under resourced communities become career minded and college bound. I got involved because I am passionate about what they stand for. I want to see young girls have direction for their life and know they can do whatever they set their minds too. I had the privilege of parents who knew how to help me in that way, not everyone has that privilege. So I will be that for them!
What advice would you give girls wanting to break into music?
Figure out who you are, boil it down and then have everything you do/record point to that. Listen to to constructive criticism. Figure out how to be as marketable/commercial as possible (if that’s your goal). Be REAL. Write or find the right songs. Do everything high quality. Then don’t stop until you get where you want to be!
Who or what do you fangirl over?
GEORGE STRAIT and songwriter Hillary Lindsey. Haha George because… DUH. He’s the King and Hillary because she is goals—so brilliant. She puts feelings into words and melodies like nobody else.