Nashville-based singer songwriter Jenn Bostic recently released 'Take My Hand Part 1'. Louder Than The Music caught up with her to find out more about this new six song EP, plus her thoughts on the music industry and plans for the future.
Tell us about your latest release Take My Hand ?
Take My Hand Part 1 is part of a project I have been working on for the last year and a half with my dear friend and mentor, Lauren Christy. While the music I create has always had a thread of faith, this project dives deeper into my spiritual journey and is a true expression of the deepest parts of my soul. Working with Lauren brought a fresh wind of freedom and peace to the process. The growth I experienced while creating this music, both artistically and personally, have left me changed.
Which is you favourite track off this new album ?
This question is a little like asking a parent which is his or her favourite child. Each song connects in a different way and represents a different part of my journey. As a song is written, recorded, and eventually shared with the world, it takes on new life. Take My Hand for example didn’t truly come to life for me until after it was recorded, while Wrestling felt powerful before the verses were even written. Over the last month I’ve been on a Christmas tour, and Tell Me Again (Immanuel) has sparked the most emotional connection, and I often find it hard to make it through the song without getting choked up. As we step into the Christmas season, there’s something so beautiful and pure about putting yourself at the scene of the very first Christmas.
Was there a reason behind releasing it in parts?
While releasing a project in the Christian/Gospel genre won’t come as a surprise to my listeners, it is a new space for me. Lauren and I finished this project at the end of 2018 and have been praying about the next steps forward. Releasing the music in parts hopefully allows the listener quality time with this first batch of songs to unpack the messages and heart behind them.
In your opinion how has the music industry changed over the years?
Technology continues to make music more accessible in every way. This has produced an influx of new artists, which for me, has somehow forced my focus on what makes me unique, genuinely drawing my creativity from within, rather than creating specifically for what the radio might play. With this in mind, I believe there’s a fresh authenticity to my music, knowing the goal is not to become better than another artist, but to become more excellent than the artist I was yesterday. The more we, the artists, can lean into this, the better I think music will be as a whole.
Does it get harder writing fresh new songs?
There are seasons when songwriting comes easier than others, but generally speaking, songwriting is a therapy for me, it’s the way I have learned to express myself. Life is constantly changing, and songwriting is the way I process through that change.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Lauren Christy, who I collaborated with to create Take My Hand Part 1, is an incredibly successful songwriter. She is co-creator of The Matrix, responsible for writing and producing Avril Lavigne’s debut album Let Go, including Complicated, Sk8er Boi, and I’m With You. Christy has also written and produced hits for Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, Kelly Clarkson, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, The Struts, Bebe Rexha and many more. She is one of only seven women to ever be nominated for “Producer of the Year” at the Grammys.
I am incredibly grateful to be working with Lauren, and even luckier to have her as a friend. As a songwriter, I’ve learned that you find the people you have the best synergy with, and the songs flow out of you. That’s the experience I have working with Lauren. While I always look forward to new collaborations, I am truly excited about the next song the two of us will write.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
The music I have created over the years has covered a wide range of genre, but “inspirational” is an adjective that has been used to describe each project. While this new collection of songs is listed as Christian/Gospel, I do believe it can be enjoyed by listeners of all backgrounds and beliefs.
You put loads of content on Instagram of you gigging lots, do you enjoy touring and playing in so many different places?
There is something indescribable about connecting with people through music. Most of the songs I write come from personal experience. There have been so many times in life when I’ve felt that no one could possibly understand what I’m going through, and those moments weave their way into the music. Singing these songs on stage feels like home. It is my hope that as I vulnerably share my heart, it might bring a little comfort, a little hope, a little joy, to the listener. Having the chance to connect with people after a show as they share their personal stories of connection to a particular song or lyric is something so much bigger than me. Getting to see so much of the world while doing this is the icing on the cake.
How would you define success in your career?
Success in my career is something I constantly redefine. As I graduated college, I told myself that if someday I could pay my bills creating and performing music full time, that would be success. A few years later, performing at the Grand Ole Opry was the picture of success. Each time I reached these different levels, a new dream was birthed. While I still have so much I would like to accomplish, I’m learning to reflect on how far I’ve come.
What is your favourite album of all time?
I am a lover of so many musical styles. From musical theater soundtracks like Aida and Wicked, to Bonnie Raitt’s Souls Alike album to Marc Broussard’s Carencro record, to the All Sons and Daughters Live Album, the music I listen to has shaped the artist and person I have become.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Psychologically I would choose something positive and spiritual to stay hopeful of getting off said island, so I’m going to say Waymaker which has been my favorite worship song of late.
What does the next year hold for you Jenn?
The timeline is still in the works, but I will be releasing the second batch of songs associated with Take My Hand Part 1. A UK tour will be announced next week, along with a few dates across the US to follow. Incredibly grateful to continue sharing this new music around the world.