Jenn Bostic is one of our favourite artists here at Belles and Gals, an artist from the US who has truly embraced the UK scene. Jenn is embarking on a UK tour at the end of this month, so this week Emily J Weall (twitter.com/emilyj_weall) caught up with Jenn for a chat!
Hi Jenn, first things first – on a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for the world to hear Revival?
11! I have been working on this album for over a year. It’s the record my soul has been longing to make. It’s a fusion of blues, gospel, country, and pop. I have never had more fun putting a project together, and touring it with a band is truly a dream come true!
You’re about to embark on a UK tour which includes a visit to the fantastic Bush Hall – what is your most and least favourite part of being on the road?
I am thrilled to be touring the UK with a full band! Bush Hall is a venue I have been longing to play for a few years now. I love connecting with people on the road, whether on or off stage. The energy of the band and the audience is something I can’t quite explain, and hearing the personal stories of how my songs speak to people around the world is such a gift.
Out of the many venues you have played over the years, which is your absolute favourite?
I have had the honor of performing as part of The Grand Ole Opry show on both the Opry House and Ryman Auditorium stages. Ever since I started singing country music, those were the stages I dreamt of singing on. The night of my debut, I kept pinching myself. The whole evening was so surreal. If you had told me one year earlier that I would sing “Jealous of the Angels,” at the grand piano on the Opry stage and receive a standing ovation I wouldn’t have believed you, but then there I was. It was an unforgettable moment that continues to give me hope throughout this challenging, yet beautiful journey.
When did you realise that you wanted to be a musician?
I suppose I’ve always known, but after losing my dad in a car accident at age 10, songwriting became the therapy that got me through that terrible time. He was the first person to encourage me to play music, and it continues to feel like the one way I can connect with him. There is so much power in music and I am humbled and so very grateful to have the opportunity to use my gifts to encourage and inspire people around the world.
If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self some advice, what would you say to her?
Don’t worry about what everybody else thinks. Make music love, be good to everyone, and believe that when something doesn’t workout the way you planned it that something even better is on its way.
Talk us through your songwriting process – what comes first the music or lyrics?
Each song is different. A lot of my inspiration comes from life, whether personal experiences or stories I’m told. Sometimes just the way someone phrases something can inspire a song idea. I get a lot of song ideas driving from gig to gig. I would say most of the time, the concept for an idea, or a hook line comes first, followed by the music, and then the final lyric.
As a creative person, what do you do when you hit writer’s block yet have deadlines to meet?
Write through it. Sometimes you have to write some mediocre songs to get to the gems. I have a few dozen songs the world will never hear. If I get really stuck, sometimes I’ll just write a silly song to remind myself how much joy it brings me. Other times I’ll go for a run or watch a great film to find inspiration.
If you could collaborate with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My dad. He passed away over 20 years ago, and absolutely loved music. I think it would be incredible to sit down and write a song together after all these years.
Which artists do you immediately add to your playlists at the moment?
Bonnie Raitt, Tedeschi Trucks, ZZ Ward, Sara Bareilles, Marc Broussard, Carly Pearce, and so many more.
And finally, what have you got lined up for the rest of 2018 – After the release of Revival?
I am thrilled for the full band tour of “Revival,” in the UK! Once I return from that I’ll be celebrating my husband’s birthday, touring in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, performing a big CD release party in my hometown of Waconia, Minnesota, and heading back across the pond for the Buckle and Boots Festival in June. There are also a few surprises in the works, but those are TBA…
Thanks for taking the time to interview me! :o) Grateful for your support.