Country Music Singer-Songwriter
Jenna Paulette proudly brings the ideals of the West to the vibrant music scene of Nashville. Hailing from Thackerville, OK, Jenna's upbringing revolved around a cow-calf operation on the Oklahoma-Texas border. While she has achieved noteworthy accolades like being part of CMT's New Women of Country Class of 2022, her true dedication lies in preserving the authenticity of country music.
Music has been ingrained in the Paulette family for as long as Jenna can remember. It filled the kitchen with melodies and accompanied her while tending to the cattle in the pasture. Jenna fondly reminisces about listening to Don Williams, Eddy Arnold, and George Strait cassettes with her granddad in his weathered ranch vehicle. These lyrics painted a vivid picture of the life she lived and filled her with a sense of pride.
As one of four children, Jenna understood that a full-ride scholarship was essential to pursue a college education. During her senior year of high school, her performance in a national musical caught the attention of the Savannah College of Art & Design, which was establishing a six-member ensemble. Although art school wasn't initially her plan, she gratefully accepted the scholarship as an answer to her prayers.
Jenna stumbled upon an article about Kenny Chesney, who had a marketing degree, and she admired how he owned his slice of the music industry. Inspired by his path, she pursued a degree in Visual Communications, encompassing advertising, graphic design, and marketing. Jenna shared her aspirations of becoming a country music singer with her professors, who helped her apply her studies to her desired career path. This deepened her understanding of the intricacies of defining her brand and effectively communicating it through visuals and songs.
During her senior year, Jenna was fortunate to be mentored by Ashley Gorley, a remarkable songwriter who showed her that songwriting could be a viable profession. He taught her the qualities of a good song and, more importantly, how to transform good songs into great ones. One day, Ashley encouraged Jenna to sit alone and articulate what she wanted to express, how she wanted to express it, why it mattered, and why people should listen to her. This guidance brought her immense clarity and direction in her career, laying the foundation for her to create meaningful bodies of work instead of just focusing on individual singles.
Jenna attributes much of her career success to the resilience and adaptability she learned while growing up on her family's cattle operation. When a cow lost its calf, she wasn't simply told what to do—she was expected to rise to the challenge, find a solution, and reunite the pair. Her granddad and uncle served as exceptional role models, emphasizing the importance of responsible stewardship of the land. They considered themselves "grass farmers" rather than cattle farmers, prioritizing the restoration of native grasses through the Noble Research Institute. Their belief was that a healthy grassland would result in a healthy herd.
Even now, Jenna continues to expand her knowledge about running a successful cow-calf operation by devouring books and podcasts on the subject. Whether it's her cattle or her music career, she understands that progress is best achieved by taking it slow. As she puts it, "stick-to-it-ness brings heart and character to my music and gives people something to hold onto."
Jenna purposefully weaves the threads of the western lifestyle into the fabric of her songs. Her music effortlessly blends carefree and liberating vibes with deep introspection. Regardless of the tone, there is always an underlying cowgirl theme that embodies resilience, character, and responsibility. Jenna hopes that her music helps people feel connected to their roots and encourages them to embrace a fresh perspective on traditional ways of life.
Being a cowgirl in a city like Nashville, where many aspire to be one, thrusts Jenna into the spotlight. She relishes the opportunity to shed light on the authentic aspects of the cowgirl lifestyle, dispel stereotypes, and invite others to experience what it truly means to be a cowgirl.
So, how does she juggle her dual roles, with one foot in the ranch and the other in the city? It all stems from her unwavering passion for country music and the unwavering support of her family, who are just a phone call away. When Jenna is on the road, she brings a candle that carries the scent of home and eagerly seeks out opportunities to work on ranches. There's something about seeing the dirt wash off her hands after a long day that keeps her connected to her true self. To Jenna, it all comes down to making time and staying committed.
Jenna's persistence is paying off, as she released her debut album in the spring of 2023. Centered around the song "The Girl I Was," which came to Jenna while driving down a two-lane road, reminiscing about her younger self with freckles and pigtails, perched on the fence with an Orange Gatorade in hand, helping her granddad move cattle. This cohesive body of work speaks to the hearts of those who grew up in small towns. As Jenna describes it, it encapsulates the essence of life—its heart, grit, soul, love, and tears, encompassing both its beauty and challenges.
However, this is just the beginning for this extraordinary artist. When her grandfather passed away in 2020, Jenna inherited the family's brand, even though they chose to sell the land. After the deal closed, she wrote a letter to the new owner, sharing the rich history of the soil, the generosity it was built upon, and the stories of those who had lived there. The kind-hearted gentleman responded by telling Jenna to keep her keys, as she was welcome to visit anytime, and expressing his willingness to sell the land back to her someday.
Jenna knows that all her hard work will eventually pay off when she reacquires the family ranch and carries on its legacy. Once she achieves this ambitious goal, she plans to extend a helping hand to others striving to preserve their family ranches.
When it comes to embodying grit, integrity, and wearing her heart on her sleeve, Jenna Paulette serves as an exceptional example. To learn more about her, visit her website at www.jennapaulette.com.