Jenna Paulette has always been somewhat of a walking juxtaposition – a mix of laid-back country casual adopted from her time on the family ranch along the Texas/Oklahoma border, and the big city glam she’s picked up in her travels along the way. It was during her time in college she realized she wanted to pursue country music.
After college, she moved to Nashville, and last year she enlisted the help of producers Brad Hill (Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne) and Lee Holland. Her debut single, Coolest Girl in the World, is a prime example of that. Co- written by Jenna, Jordan Reynolds (Keith Urban, “Getting in the Way”; Lauren Alaina, “Three”) and Sydney Cubit, Jenna’s effortless conversational vocal on the up-tempo tune delivers a message everyone can relate to. “You’re either the guy, wanting to make the girl feel like she’s the girl in the song on the radio, or you’re the girl, wishing you were one of the ‘girls they sing about.’”
How did you get started in the music industry?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, but I got the itch to be a songwriter in college. I started looking up who wrote my favorite songs and then studying everything about their writing style. I dove into the way they replicated their craft and applied it to my own. It was so inspiring to me to see people evoke emotion in their audience like they did over and over again.
What inspires your music?
I listen to a lot of pop music, but I also listen to a lot of George Strait and country top 40 (always have). I love pop melodies so they really inspire me as a writer, but the stories in country are what make those melodies mean something. So I combine the two.
How has your music changed throughout the years?
I used to feel like I needed to fit the mold that people in the industry saw me filling, it was when I figured out what made me unique that things actually started clicking. That’s when people started really feeling the songs I was writing and singing. You have to figure out who you are apart from what everyone expects of you or you’ll never be able to replicate what you do. When you are an artist people want you to give them what they like about you over and over…so it’s really important to figure that out.
Tell us about your newest single coming out soon, Coolest Girl in the World.
I had the idea for the song while writing another song that has a similar lyric about a guy making a girl feel like she’s the girl in the songs on the radio. I wanted to write a song that described that emotion. When Coolest Girl in the World was done I was listening to the work tape in my truck. I got the feeling from it that I get from songs that I love on the radio, the ones that makes me want to dance in my front seat. So, I am hoping it will resonate with girls (and guys) like it does with me.
Can you give us a lyric or two from the song?
Yes! here’s the chorus:
“You’re the only one who ever figured out how,
to make me feel like the girls they sing about,
all the sudden I’m the me I want to be,
hanging on every word on this burnt CD,
dancing around my room like a tilt-o-whirl,
like I’m the coolest girl in the world”
You’re all for empowering women. Tell us how you came across Step Up.
I was looking for a way to make “Coolest Girl in the World” bigger than just a song. That’s when I came across Step Up. I loved that they are all about helping young women identify what they want to do with their lives early and equipping them to pursue it. That is what I was taught to do when I was in high school, so I want to help girls have that same opportunity.
What’s a day in your life like?
It depends on what I am doing, it could be a songwriting season where I am preparing for being in the studio. I would love to say I have a typical day but constantly writing, playing shows, and traveling takes away from an average day. However, every day I try to have quiet time, a good workout, and at the very least a new idea for a song (if I don’t already have a songwriting session that day). I love to be creative, whether that be through songwriting or grabbing a few ingredients and seeing what I come up with in the kitchen.
What else can we expect from you in the future?
You can absolutely expect more music from me. I have so many songs that I can’t wait to finally release. I have been in the studio a decent bit lately trying to get everything lined up to have my next song ready not too long after Coolest Girl in the World is released. Since I have just recently teamed up with Step Up, I also plan on going to visit high schools to tell my story and try to empower women to always keep pushing for your dreams. But if people want to keep up with me now, you can find all my information online and be sure to check out my updates on life in the Diary of the New West!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
-FIGURE OUT WHO YOU ARE. Then do music, you will have direction and the ability to always figure out where you are going/what your sound is when you know who you are.
– Read “Steal Like an Artist” and an advertising or branding book (there are many—find one with the best reviews) they will help you figure out how to communicate “who you are” with the world.
– Go to college if you can. There is so much learning that happens there in the classroom and out. I think many times artists get in such a hurry to get “known,” but then they don’t have a grasp on themselves yet, so they can’t sustain a career.
Do you have a final message you’d like to share with your fans?
Go send somebody a song that reminds you of them! It will make their day and make them feel like the “Coolest Girl (or guy!) in the World!”
Be sure to keep up with Jenna on social media. Check out her exclusive live video for Kicked Out Of Walmart!