Nashville By Way of Texas with Jenna Paulette

Cowgirl and Country Music Singer-Songwriter Jenna Paulette grew up in a ranching family on the Texas-Oklahoma line. Helping her grandfather and uncle work cattle on their family’s ranch molded her into the person she is today and inspired her to become a country singer—to share her love of the western lifestyle in a way that people could actually feel through music. So she moved to Nashville with her husband, intent on representing the beauty of the western world.

How does your western heritage influence you as a country artist? “The overall vibe of my music really comes from the western world and watching my grandfather and uncle work on the ranch. It’s the fiber of who I am and the way that I embody the country and western lifestyle. I get really inspired by songs like ‘Automatic’ by Miranda Lambert, because you can only record or write songs like that if you come from people like that.”

When did you realize you wanted to become a country music artist? “When I would help my grandfather check cows, I was always singing. Dixie Chicks songs would play in my head on repeat. One day, I was waiting for my grandfather to bring the cattle through to a pasture across the public road that runs through the ranch, making sure none of the cows got past me. I was singing ‘Wide Open Spaces’ at the top of my lungs when it dawned on me—I want to sing music that helps people feel the way this song makes me feel in this exact moment.”

As a cowgirl, what was it like when you first moved to Nashville to pursue music? “Initially, I was afraid to be myself. Because in Nashville, people associate ‘cowgirl’ with old school, super traditional, and they assume we don’t listen to mainstream music at all. But in actuality, we listen to all kinds of music, and you don’t have to sound a certain way to be authentic. So once I let myself be who I am, people started to really respond to my music.”

What type of message do you strive to convey in your music? “I want to represent the heritage of western culture in a new way, show what it can look like to be a cowgirl in today’s age, and have people from all walks of life connect with and admire this world and its traditions. There are so many beautiful aspects of the way the western world operates that are important, and I want to represent that to the best of my ability to today's country music listener. I can sing about love all day long, but the backbone of my music comes from the way I was raised. I love that this is the world I come from and the world I get to sing about.”

Showing western culture in a new way, is that where your personal style comes from, fashion wise? “I love taking the practical aspects of ranching, what my grandfather and uncle wore to work every day, and making them a little bit more edgy and modern while still keeping that traditional aesthetic. By doing that, I feel like I’m honoring where I came from while still pushing my style into the fashion world.”

What is your personal connection with music? “My whole life I have lived my highest and lowest emotions through songs. And I think music is the most beautiful gift in the world because it helps us access those feelings like nothing else can.”

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