“Behind the makeup and all the music videos, I’m just a normal girl!”
Tonight Mag got the chance to sit down with rising singer/songstress Jenna Raine and talk all things music, family, and staying true to herself in times of uncertainty:
How has quarantine been for you? Have you picked up any new skills?
“It’s been awesome! It’s been a great opportunity for me to be with my family, who I don’t usually see a lot. I learned a new skill on the microphone and recording in my own house, so I can cut my own vocals.
I’ve also had the time to get really close with my nieces and nephew, and spend time with my siblings. I’ve never really been used to it, so it’s kind of crazy getting to be with the family. We’ve all been playing ‘Pickleball’ together. It’s this new sport that’s a combination of tennis and ping pong. Our club just added the courts and we play every single day! It’s so tiring but it’s so worth it!”
Have you seen any cool ways your fans have connected with your music, especially during a time like this where you can’t see them live?
“I am trying to plan a virtual concert that reminds [fans] of my actual [set] when I go on tour. I was planning on performing at some festivals this summer, along with getting the chance to see my fans and all that jazz, but that completely got cancelled and I had to find another way to perform for them because I know they were dying for a performance in some way.”
She then tells us about an upcoming secret project she has been planning and can’t wait for fans to see what she has in store:
“Before quarantine, I actually committed to a special project that hasn’t happened yet because of quarantine. I can’t say what it is just yet! It has set me back for releasing music, so it sucks because I have something amazing planned that I can’t wait for people to see, but at the same time, I can’t release any music.”
I know your EP came out last year. What song did you relate the most to when it first dropped and what song do you relate the most to now?
“When we were in the studio with Jordan Omley, my dad forced me to play him a song I had written the day before (‘Heart of a Kid’). I had just gotten my heart broken a little bit, and we ended up writing this song in an hour. I wasn’t planning on showing it to Jordan and my dad goes ‘So Jenna wrote this song!’ and threw me under the bus! So I played it for him and he absolutely loved it, and we recorded it right then and there. At the time, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but I really did like that song, it reminds me of Taylor Swift. And that became part of the EP and is very, very special to me still. I could relate to it more then because I was in that space and mind. It’s a song about the confusion of liking and talking to someone. Especially in my generation, it’s hard to tell if you’re dating, if you’re not dating, it just sucks!
Now I would say the song I really relate to is ‘You Can Blame Me’ because this song is about having a blast with your friends and being in the car. After a month of quarantine, my parents finally let me see my closest friends because there are barely any [COVID] cases in our small town. When I finally got to see them, it was so awesome! All the windows were down, we were screaming all the words to old Taylor Swift. It was just insane because I felt like I was living in my song. It’s just all the little moments that are so special to me.”
Who or what do you draw inspiration from when writing your music?
“I draw a lot of inspiration from anything, really! I source a lot of my inspiration from other singers who drive me like Ed Sheeran, Tori Kelly, Taylor Swift, and Lennon Stella.
Last year, I was in the studio with Steven Barns and we wrote these two songs ‘Windows’ and ‘From a Distance’, and they relate to quarantine and 2020 perfectly! Steven just opened the window, and I said ‘What happens when the windows open?’ and that became the hook of the song! Whatever’s around me, I try to take away from because I love lyrics and I try to make anything work.”
What is one thing you want your fans to know/learn about you through your music?
“I want them to learn that I’m the same as they are. I’m just a normal person and I would like to think of myself as one of the realest people you could ever meet! I never like to call myself famous because famous to me is like Taylor Swift status. I never want them to be scared of coming up to me and asking for a picture. Whenever I do post-show meet and greets, the last person there always talks to me for an extra 20 minutes. Within 5 minutes into the conversation, I always get ‘Wow! You’re so normal!’ It happens all the time! Throughout my music, I always try to relate to them and myself as much as I possibly can. Behind the makeup and all the music videos, I’m just a normal girl! I want to stay connected to them and reassure them that I am not a scary human being– I just want to be here, love on you, and make you feel like you’re not alone.”
How do you make sure the music/work you put out is authentic to who you are as an artist?
“A lot of the time in the studio, some songwriters try to take control of the room but the artists are supposed to be the controller and take the lead. And sometimes they’ll say ‘Oh, I really like these lyrics. Why don’t we write a song about this?’ and I can either say yes or no, depending on if I feel my audience and I can or can’t relate. I always have to guide the room and make sure it never goes in the wrong direction. WIth lyrics, sometimes there will be times where the songwriter wants to add a cuss word in, and I have to tell them ‘No. I don’t really want to say that. It’s just not really who I am as a person.’ Sometimes I have to turn down ideas to stay authentic to who I am as an artist, which is sometimes kind of hard. You’re not trying to be rude or act like they don’t have good ideas, but it’s just not who you want to be and it’s not the type of song you want to write. So sometimes, I find it hard to be in a songwriting session and having to turn down a lot of ideas, or saying your ideas and not knowing these songwriters, thinking they won’t like what I have to say. But I always try to stick to who I am because I know exactly who I am and who I want to be, and I’m very grateful that I know that at such a young age.”
What is something you hope to achieve at any point in your career?
“I hope to achieve a [larger] platform at any age or any time: I really don’t mind! Something that’s huge to me is spreading God’s love. I would love for people to get to know him, especially through me, because I know sometimes people don’t always have a source for God, so I love spreading his word out there. Through my music and through my personality, I want to show everyone that you can be happy and stand for the things you believe in and with a [larger] platform it would be so much easier to do that!
Another goal of mine is to go on a world tour. Any time, any day! It would be such a blessing! I would also love to be in a musical movie like ‘La La Land’. It is my ULTIMATE favorite movie and beats everything else! To be in one of those movies would be insane– I don’t care if I’m 80 or if I’m 20! It’d be a dream regardless!”
Anything you would like to add?
“I’ve been working on a lot of music during quarantine! I’ve also been doing a lot of songwriting sessions with Steven Barns, the same person I wrote with last year, and it’s been crazy. I have a lot of songs ready to go and I’m not quite sure yet if I’m going to do a debut album or an EP. I’ve also been spending the extra time to improve my skill in songwriting!”