Meet Jenna, country music's next star in the making. If you’re from Texas, you should know her. If you are not from Texas, you should know her. If you like country music, you should DEFINITELY know her.
A proud Texan, you can’t question her country roots. Raised by a cattle-ranching family, she knows the meaning behind hard-work and reaping the fruit of your labor. Her grand-father and uncles didn’t go easy on her for being a girl, which rendered her a great sense of determination and intangible work ethic that is almost a prerequisite for life, navigating the complexities of being a recording artist and keeping the dream alive. “I love the mindset of Texans and the way I was raised exposed to wide open spaces and cattle. It makes you tough. It makes you gritty. It made me believe I could play with and belong competing with the big boys. I love everything about the western way of life and the mental space it puts you in to succeed at whatever you choose to put your hand to no matter the stakes.”
We share a deep appreciation for what a tried and true “cowboy” represents stemming from our grandfathers — for us it is “Daddy Tom” whose spirit is alive throughout our brand. “My grandad was the toughest man I know, he wore wranglers, he honored life, he never quit, he smiled while he worked...there was just this “cowboy” essence to him. It always made me proud when I went to the sale barn with him and the auctioneer would say ‘these are Pete Jones calves’ and they went for around 7-10 cents more per pound because of his name. He was just a good man. My whole heart would smile hearing people talk to him and meeting his friends when I was little. He was proud of me and very proud of what he built. I try to channel what that heritage, our ranch, and his legacy mean to me in my music.”
Her sound? Viral. An undertone of pop, an overtone of “cowgirl”. She blends traditional and contemporary influences in her music, part of a “new west” sound positioned for the modern cowgirl. “The modern cowgirl is someone who represents the West in modern times, who carries its ideologies and traditions into today. I want people to take away those ideals from my music and to bring the western sounds (pedal steel, fiddle, mandolin) back into the forefront of country music.”
Her newly released song “Pretty Ugly" (a play-on-repeat track), which CMT describes as “a slow-burning rock-country breakup song” is fun and relatable. “It’s funny because when we wrote it, Jeb [Gipson], one of the co-writers, had thrown the idea out to me three times before so I almost passed on it again, but Parker Welling spit out ‘what if it is “heartbreak makes Pretty Ugly”’, and it was game over. The song took about an hour and a half to write and we know it was special."
You can listen to the track below and sing along to the lyrics below (we won’t blame you if you play it 5x in a row!). Stay tuned for the premiere of the official music video on People.
We caught up with Jenna this week on all things #APATHWORNWELL, family values, music and what’s next for her as an artist — read on for our conversation with her.
Jenna is shot wearing Ranch Road Boots by her friend and photographer Katrina Brooks.
RRB: What is the most “Texas” thing about you that would be a dead giveaway that you’re from the Lone Star state?
JP: The fact that I will call myself a Texan no matter how long I live in Tennessee and that I tell everyone I meet that I will most definitely live back in Texas with cattle again as soon as I possibly can LOL. Born a Texan, ALWAYS a Texan.
Jenna wears Ranch Road Boots: Scarlett Firebird. Image c/o Katrina Brooks
RRB : Favorite “cowgirl” accessory:
JP: My Buckle with my family’s “WA” brand on it.
RRB: Favorite way to rock your cowboy(girl) boots?
JP: With light wash super long Wrangler Women’s Cowboy Cut jeans cuffed at the bottom, a mens snap off the shoulder, white cropped or tucked tank and stacked flat chain necklaces with my buckle, and small gold hoops.
Image c/o Katrina Brooks
RRB: Your superpower is:
JP: Being able to go with the flow and make it work when things go wrong.
RRB: Something you live by:
JP: Be stubborn about what you know you’re supposed to do with your life. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Don’t care what people think. Find your lane and stay in it. DO GREAT WORK.
Image c/o Katrina Brooks
RRB: How has quarantined life been for you? Did you find or learn anything new about yourself as an artist over that time, especially while we all missed physical interactions with music.
JP: Honestly, it was kinda hard for me. My favorite part of my job is playing shows and meeting new people. I remember coming off the stage in January after opening my first show back in Florida and just crying backstage, calling my husband and saying “THIS is why I chose this career, THIS is what I love to do!!!” I made the most of it by connecting with fans in new ways in 2020, (TikTok) but it definitely took some creativity.
RRB: Talk a little bit about your process as an artist. How does a song form from a thought to a lyric to a beat/sound? What’s that exploration like? What do you ingest for inspiration?
JP: My process varies from song to song, but usually if it’s an idea that comes to me with both lyric and melody I will hash it out as much as I can and then bring it into the room with people I know can land the idea. I get a lot of my inspiration from listening to people talk or reading books or even my favorite posts from Instagram accounts that I love from friends that are living on the ranch on a daily basis.
RRB: What are some of your greatest musical influences? How do they inspire you to carve your own path in music?
JP: I grew up listening to the Dixie Chicks, George Strait and Shania Twain. They have each influenced my music in a huge way. George because he made my heart feel something and represented the men I admire and the life I love. He made me want to represent the west the way that I do in country music. The Dixie Chicks made me want to create records that tell a story and cut songs that are extremely well written that create a great album. Shania influenced the kind of energy I want to have on stage in my track listing AND she is a cowgirl/horse girl herself!
RRB: Does fashion play a role in your artistry as a musician? Would you say that your style choices are an important part of how you channel music?
JP: Yesssss. I love fashion and I love western fashion even more! It’s so fun to communicate the feel of something and do it in a “cowboy way”. I have a lot of vintage snaps, farm and ranch/ feed store truckers from my grandad and mix that with a feminine modern little house on the prairie vibes. I have so much fun with clothes, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job!
RRB: What is your most proud accomplishment in your career thus far? Also, what are some lessons you’ve learned about “making it” in the music industry? Are there any barriers you wish to “break” with your music/journey as an artist?
JP: My most proud moment so far happened last night when I found out I was going to be on national radio [as part of] SiriusXM The Highway “On the Horizon” Artist of the Week. I was crying like a baby when I found out, I didn’t see it coming and I feel so blessed. A lesson I have learned about “making it” is that you ARE making it when your music is resonating and being shared with people. I have found my audience so I am successful, now I just want to keep growing it. I would love to have a number one at radio, that would be cool, but more than anything I want to grow this thing and be consistently touring and selling tickets. Whatever happens outside of that is a bonus as far as accolades and awards. I mean sure I would LOVE to win a grammy, but a lasting career is what I am focused on at the moment.
RRB: Any dream music collaborations?
JP: A collaboration with George Strait, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert or Kacey Musgraves would rock my ever loving world.
RRB: What’s next for Jenna? What should we be looking out for? Will you be doing any shows or going on tour soon? Any new EPs?
JP: Yes, working towards an album, lots of touring and MUCH more new music coming your way soon! Be sure to follow me on Spotify & Apple Music, Youtube, etc, so you don’t miss it: https://linktr.ee/jennapaulette
RRB: What does #APATHWORNWELL mean to you?
JP: #APATHWORNWELL means that it’s a path that has been forged by someone and then tread on over and over by others because it’s been marked as a good way to go, a solid map to use when you might not even recognize where you are—I would love to be that for girls that grew up like me as they are finding their way in country music or whatever other career they find themselves in.