Some things never go out of style: taking pride in a job well done, building upon your family legacy, remaining steadfast in faith, and honoring the past while making room for the future.
Singer-songwriter Jenna Paulette understands all of this and reflects it in her music — a cowgirl who came of age amid the gritty realities of ranch life, introduced to the time-tested genre of Country music as young as she can remember.
The true-to-her-roots hat act is part of Nashville’s growing wave of female artists who are rewriting the rules and charting their own paths. “Ranching alongside my granddad and uncle taught me to rise to the occasion, they always expected me to be able to get the job done,” Paulette says. “In a lot of ways that prepared me to move to Nashville and pursue music where I now expect myself to be able to get the job done regardless, no matter the limitations.”
Her finely calibrated blend of toughness and sensitivity is on full display in tracks like “Country In The Girl” and “Pretty Ugly,” which wraps a gorgeous melody around lyrics reflecting the realization of a relationship gone cold, while current single “Bless Her Heart” unleashes the sass and storytelling that Paulette gleaned from those who precede her: The Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves.
She comes by the grit honestly: the Lewisville, Texas native grew up moving cattle on her family’s ranch in Thackerville, Okla. Paulette found her expressive, crystalline voice singing in church or during long, hot summers spent roaming the ranch’s vast expanses. “I cannot remember a time that we didn’t have country music playing in the kitchen when my mom was cooking dinner,” Paulette says. “My most vivid memories of knowing I wanted to make country music for a living was out moving cattle with my granddad. He had a George Strait Greatest Hits CD in his truck, and those were the songs I sang on the back of a steaming hot four-wheeler.”
Paulette earned a marketing degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and ultimately settled in Nashville, where she struck up a mentorship with Ashley Gorley, a veteran songwriter with 50+ No. 1 tunes under his belt.
After collaborating with songwriters like Will Bundy, Heather Morgan and Parker Welling, as well as opening for Mason Ramsey on his 2019 national tour, Parmalee, John Michael Montgomery and Aaron Watson this year, the savvy performer found herself playing to fans via TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram to continue growing her fan base, ultimately signing a publishing deal with Brad Paisley’s Sea Gayle Music earlier this year.
As Paulette’s star continues to rise ever higher, she hasn’t forgotten what really matters. She understands that what will cement her as one of Nashville’s most exciting artists is something as true now as it was in Music City’s earliest days. “When people listen to my songs, I want them to feel grounded,” Paulette says. “I want them to feel connected to their roots and to the way of life that I represent and love, because I think that way of life is just such a beautiful picture of how it can be.”