Yesterday I had the chance to catch up with Jamie Lynn Spears and see how things are going for her right now in country music…
GCO: I hear you’ve been quite the busy lady- you performed at CMA Fest, opened for Alan Jackson, and debuted at the Grand Ole Opry- tell me a little bit about those experiences.
JLS: “Well each of these experiences are really different, but they were each big moments for me. CMAFest was amazing because it was the first time I was really able to connect with my fans on a personal level and get out there and just really have that intimate time with them. Then Alan Jackson is a legend that I’ve looked up to my whole life. That was just an honor to stand on the same stage as him. Of Course Grand Ole Opry as you can imagine is something you dream about, to actually be able to stand up there and sing- its a moment I’ll never forget.”
GCO: How was the radio tour?
JLS: “The radio tour was a fun experience, it was like I didn’t know what to expect, it was my first one to ever do. So it’s really cool to get out there and meet all the people who ultimately decide whether they like your song enough to put it on the radio. They’re kind of the ones that decide your success in this business.”
GCO: How do you feel about opening for Alabama this weekend?
JLS: “I’m very very excited about that.”
GCO: Was Alabama one of the groups you grew up listening to?
JLS: “Yeah, but when I think Alabama, I think even if you didn’t grow up listening to them you know their songs. I think that’s when you know you’ve really crossed over into that throng as being a legendary band when people who don’t even know you know you. Of course growing up I loved them, and it was one of those things that you’d never think you’d ever be coupled into the same sentence as their name but somehow I was lucky enough, one way of the other, to do a show tonight [last night].”
GCO: Growing up in Louisiana and listening to country music, who would you say were your musical influences?
JLS: “Dolly Parton, I love Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks and I love that he’s coming back right now and I’m in love with that. It’s kind of a plethora of people, you know there’s just something really honest about country music, so really anybody out at that time that I liked their stuff when I was growing up.”
GCO: Having already been in the public eye for your acting career, would you say already having that exposure has been an advantage or a handicap to your fan base as a country artist?
JLS: “I think for my fan base it’s been a definite plus because you know I had a fan base that has been really loyal to me, but in this particular music business its maybe been a bit of a handicap because people look at my last name and just assume I don’t know anything about country music, so in that sense it’s been a handicap but it gives me the motivation to get my story out there and once people hear my songs they tend to think differently. I don’t look as either one as a bad thing, I think everyone has their good and their bad no matter where you come from.”
GCO: As a songwriter, can you share with us how much your EP “The Journey” meant to you as being your debut into country music?
JLS: “I don’t know if you know, but I lived in Nashville for a while, and I’ve been a songwriter for the past 6 years. That’s kind of where it all started for me in country music and in that world I really fell in love with the writing process so I had a whole bunch of songs to choose from when it came down to choosing songs for my EP. Each of them meant a lot to me because they are stories of things I’ve been through or going through and I think that it was hard for me to choose them but I think that I did a really good job of choosing something that is only 5 songs so just a couple insights to the artist I believe I am.”
GCO: How do you feel about women in country music and making a stand for themselves a part from the bro country that’s invaded the genre?
JLS: “I think us sticking together is the biggest thing and supporting each other is a really big thing and I think that there’s a lot of exciting things happening country music right now but I think there’s some really talented women out there as well. I’m excited to see what this next step has for me. The last award show look at Kacey Musgraves, I think that was a really cool moment for country music was seeing her win an award and perform with Loretta Lynn. That was just one of those things that you kind of, for me, gives me hope that there’s still that door open for us women in country music. Its an exciting time I think- I don’t look at it as a bad thing, I think that there’s some talented women and that’ll shine through.”
GCO: What are we to expect from you going into 2015 in terms of touring and a full length album?
JLS: “My deal is as the holidays are approaching, things kind of slow down, I’m a mom, so you know I’ve got to be around for the holidays. I think that gives me time to reevaluate and set some goals for 2015. Hopefully there will be a lot more new and exciting things going on. I can’t name for sure exactly what they’ll be, but it’ll definitely be a year of some news for me.”
GCO: What is something the fans might not know about you?
JLS: “I’m a homebody- I don’t like to leave my house unless it’s like to go get Maddie from school or to do something fun with Maddie. I love doing projects around the house and going to the movies with Maddie, that kind of stuff and big social things make me wanna bite my fingernails off.”
Jamie Lynn to the fans: “First off, thank you to them for putting me where I am. I’m independent, I don’t have a label, so any type of recognition I get is strictly because of them believing in me. Their support means a lot to me.”