Posted On 27 Feb 2019
She recently released her stunning debut EP “Nen”! The 14 year old co-wrote all the tracks and worked alongside Candice Pillay (an esteemed songwriter known for her work with Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Why Don’t We).
On her debut solo EP, singer/songwriter Jenna Raine lights up each track with her infectious energy and insightful lyrics. Also an actress—and a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, guitar, and ukulele—the self-driven 14-year-old matches her magnetic voice with a radiant presence and heartfelt spirit.
Throughout her music, Jenna fuses her thoughtful lyrics with an organic but beat-driven sound inspired by artists as eclectic as Adele, Oasis, and the gospel singers she grew up on. One of the first songs, a bright and shimmering track called “A Letter To Me” finds Jenna turning everyday worries into a powerful message meant to uplift and encourage. “There are times when I overthink or get stressed out over the tiniest things, or try to solve all these problems that aren’t mine to deal with,” says Jenna. “‘A Letter To Me’ is a reminder to myself that I’m still a kid and I still have time to grow.”
Meanwhile, on “Us,” Jenna looks back on friendships that last forever, her bittersweet vocals backed by gentle acoustic guitar, graceful piano, and lush strings. “It’s about a friendship of mine where we thought we were going to be close for our whole lives, but time told a different story and split us apart,” Jenna explains. “The song is my way of saying, ‘I’ll always be here for you, and you can always come back to me if you ever need someone to talk to.’”
Growing up in Westlake, Texas, Jenna first revealed her strength as a singer after taking the stage at a talent show in third grade. “I told my mom I wanted to be in the show and her first question was, ‘Wait, what’s your talent?’” Jenna recalls with a laugh. “She was crying her eyes out before the rehearsals, thinking everyone was going to make fun of me.” But when the show came around, Jenna delivered a crowd-thrilling cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” accompanied by the piano playing she’d developed since starting lessons at age five. “I wasn’t nervous at all onstage,” Jenna says. “I was super-excited to sing for everyone, and I just wanted to keep on doing that.”
Several years later, after a recommendation from a family friend connected to Demi Lovato, Jenna began taking lessons at the famed Septien Entertainment Group (a Dallas-based training facility for musicians and entertainers). She quickly landed her first gig—performing Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” at a live music venue in Dallas—and soon added acting to her repertoire. Jenna joined a girl group called L2M and they sang the theme song for the animated movie Lego Friends: Girlz 4 Life. She later took vocal lessons with Eric Vetro (also a coach for Ariana Grande and Katy Perry), and next scored a starring role in the YouTube Red series Hyperlinked—further showcasing her vocal skills in the music videos featured at the end of each episode.
As her love for singing continued to grow, Jenna started writing her own songs and learned to play guitar and ukulele. Eventually teaming up with Vargas and Pillay to work on her debut solo music, she began crafting her material with a careful attention to lyrics. “I’ve always had a passion for poetry,” she points out. “I love how personal you can be with the words, and how it’s all about rhythm. And now that I’ve learned so much about songwriting, I look at all of life in songs.”
Jenna is now gearing up to tour the UK with British music duo Max & Harvey. “When I’m onstage I want to try to reach out to every person I can,” says Jenna. “It’s important for me to connect with people on a genuine level.” And as shown on her original music, that longing for connection underlies Jenna’s main mission as an artist. “Whenever I listen to a song I always focus on the lyrics, to try to figure out what the singer really wants to get across,” says Jenna.
Connect With Jenna Raine Here:
Learn more about Jenna Raine in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you? Now that 2019 has started, what musical goals do you have for yourself and your music this new year? Did you make any new year’s resolutions? Mine was to read more for fun!
I have been wanting to learn the bass and electric guitar! I got a bass guitar for Christmas so I plan on starting to learn that as soon I have some time! I am busy prepping for tour at the moment. My new years resolution is to work out more. I’ve always been into sports and athletics so working out is really fun for me, but I just get so busy with school and music that working out kind of gets put at the bottom of the “to do” list. Staying fit and healthy is super important to me, so I am determined to make it happen.
Growing up, how important has music been in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make? Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what could you see yourself doing?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up in church listening and singing worship music. I was always drawn to music. I love it. It has always been my dream to be a singer and performer. I made up melodies and lyrics in my head, but I didn’t think much of it when I was younger. By the age of 8, I knew I wanted to be a singer. Before that, I was an athlete. I started playing softball when I was 5 and played until I was 13. Up until age 13 I was pursuing both music and softball, but it became too much to handle and I had to make a choice. My dream before I began my music career was to play college softball and study business. If I wasn’t a musician today, I am sure I would still be playing softball.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
My whole career is a surprise to me! It has always been my dream, but I never imagined it would actually happen. If I could tell my 6 year old self that I would be releasing my own music when I was 15, she’d probably scream her head off! Sometimes I get caught up in it all and I get really stressed out thinking about everything I have to get done. Then I take a deep breath, remember who I am, what my dreams are, and think about why I’m here.
My music has definitely been influenced by my hometown and where I live. I grew up not only listening to the music on the radio, but also to music in church. I love pop music, but my church background inspires me as well. I want to release good, clean music with a pop sound.
Let’s talk about your brand new EP “Nen.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the process? How did you get to work with Candice Pillay? What was it like writing your songs with her?
Putting “Nen” together was a dream come true! I didn’t expect it to turn out as unique as it did. It was my first time in a studio working on my own music project. Being is the studio with Candice was awesome. She and I really bonded. We worked together to come up with the concepts of the songs, the melodies and lyrics. It was absolutely an honor to work with her. She is so talented!
While it’s hard to pick, can you choose a couple favorite songs on “Nen” and talk about the inspiration behind them and how they got to be on this collection?
Nen is definitely my favorite song on the EP. When I’m in LA, sometimes life can get really hard without my family. It’s during those times that I think about home, my family and friends…my safe place. Nen is actually my nickname. When I was little, and couldn’t say my “J’s”, I would introduce myself as Nenna. Then my dad shortened it and started calling me Nen. My close friends and family call me Nen. This song reminds me of my home and loved ones who will always be there for me.
Would you like release a full album of new songs soon? Is that a plan in the near future for you?
My goal is to release as much music as I possibly can. Right now I am working with a writer named Kaydence who actually has some cuts on Ariana Grande’s new album! I’m so excited to be writing with her and see what we amazing music we come up with!
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I love to go live or answer DMs to connect with my fans! It’s so much fun to get to know them and talk about their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Ed Sheeran and Lennon Stella all the way! I would love to work with Ed Sheeran because he is so talented. Working with him would be a dream come true. Lennon Stella is so young and talented I don’t think people even saw her coming.
Where can fans see you perform next? Do you have any kind of a 2019 tour scheduled yet?
I will be going on tour with Max & Harvey in April! We will be going to the UK and Germany! I would love to see all of my fans there if they can make it!!!
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I would travel around the world to the most epic cities in every continent. I would take with my best friends with me and feature huge artists. I’m not quite sure what the concept would be, but we would probably do some crazy stuff like skydiving, surfing, and FLYING!
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
My guitar because it is easy to carry around and comfortable to play! It’s fun to experience new things with the guitar and I would have plenty of time to teach myself on a deserted island.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I would love my music to be featured in any Disney princess movie! I have always loved Disney Princesses. I mean what little girl hasn’t aspired to be a Disney Princess at one point or another!?!?
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope I can make people feel something that they haven’t felt before through my music. Something good, something real, something sincere.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Get ready for more!