NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Even though I am a bit older and have a certain style of music that I gravitate towards when a young artist blows up, I am smart enough to pay attention. The younger set are the biggest consumers of digital music, and what they think and like often drives what radio stations play and record labels pay attention to.
Jordana Bryant is not quite 18 and has more than 250K social media followers and more than 20 million online views/streams. Her viral song, “New Friends” has had more than 4 million streams. The song strikes a note with her teenage fans and subscribers.
The singer/songwriter grew up in Pennsylvania where her father was a regular in local country rock bands. She recalled, “My father would be playing chords and I would just start singing along and making up my own words and melodies.”
Bryant said, “It’s funny listening back to them. I feel like I sounded so much younger. But at the time I had such a blast getting to record and put some music out and share it with the world.”
And being the gifted lyricist that she is, fans relate to the themes and words of her music.
She said, “Songwriting is such a therapeutic process and it helps you really express what you’re feeling and it’s so special and fun to get to share that with people because I think whatever you’re feeling, the experience might be unique, but the feeling is very universal and songwriting is such a great way to share those universal feelings and to show people that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone and a bunch of other people are feeling the same thing.”
Several of the young artists I have interviewed have been compared to a young Taylor Swift, but in my humble opinion, Bryant is the closest thing I have seen. She gets what young people are thinking.
I wanted to know if all her songs were autobiographical. The songwriter said, “Sometimes it’s a personal experience. Other times it’s things that people close to me are going through, whether that’s friends or family. And then it can just be something that you saw in a movie or TV show or read in a book. I feel like books and movies can be a great inspiration and so [the idea for a song] can kind of come from a few different places.”
Her family realized that with her talent, they needed to move to Nashville. Her first trip to Nashville was two weeks before the COVID shutdown. She met up with a producer and recorded a couple of songs, and then the pandemic hit and threw a wrench in her plans.
But, like with so many, there was a silver lining.
“It was a blessing in disguise because I started going live on Instagram for an hour or two every night and just trying to share music and hopefully create a community where people could have something to look forward to in the day and express how they were feeling we could talk about what we were feeling and hopefully use my music to add a little positivity,” the singer said. “It started with just three people and two were my parents and grew to hundreds then thousands joining every night. It was a great opportunity to share my music with the world.”
Bryant’s family recently relocated to Nashville. She lives with her mom full-time, and her dad travels back and forth to Pennsylvania.
“I’m grateful to have them here,” she stated.
Jordana graduated from high school a year early and has spent the past year making new music. She signed with Riser House Records and her highly anticipated debut self-titled EP came out this past April, with her hit single “Penniless and Broke” easily surpassing a million streams.
She explores the theme of the excuse, “You’re better off without me” that so many have heard from exes in the poignant song. Her song “Wholly” is about someone loving you despite your scars. Her songs run the gamut of emotions, and you will find songs that hit home.
My favorite song on her EP is “Breathe.” It’s words When you feel like you’re surrounded/ And you’re drowning in an ocean/ And you think you see a lifeline/ Try to reach, but you can’t hold it/ Don’t you dare lose your faith/ It’ll all be ok But, in the meantime, close your eyes/ And just breathe/ Just breathe are a message that we all should heed.
Besides her debut EP and other popular singles, Jordana has even more content available on her YouTube channel. One song that she uses to describe herself is, “Little Ol’ Me” a bluegrass tune that has had nearly 80,000 views on YouTube alone.
A songwriter first and foremost, Bryant has written for several other artists because, as she confirmed, “Not every song you write is going to be right for you to release.”
She continued, “I love all aspects of the music business. I love touring, I love performing, and meeting fans, I would say that songwriting is definitely one of my favorite parts of it. I feel like as a songwriter, you kind of get to choose what message you put out into the world.”
Bryant said she loves to play the writers’ rounds in Nashville, and you can see her in venues like the Grindhouse, Live Oak, Listening Room, and the Bluebird Café.
This summer, she will be opening for NBC’s The Voice Season 21 winners, “Girl Named Tom.”
Later this year, Bryant will be releasing several new songs, including Christmas songs, with even more new music slated to be released in 2024. Keep your eye on Bryant. She is just getting started.
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