Your twenties is a decade of your life when you face a lot of uncertainty while living it up with your friends and struggling to pay the rent. Austin songstress Jane Ellen Bryant gets it. “Twenties,” the title track of her upcoming 3-song EP, will hook your attention and you’ll sing along to the lyrics because it’s just so relatable.
Interview questions by ChinLin Pan
Jane Ellen Bryant’s EP “Twenties” releases on Friday July 8, with the official party at Lambert’s. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.
How did you get your start in music?
Jane: I’ve always wanted to be a singer and performer. I didn’t know what my career would look like until I started writing songs in high school.
Did you ever take lessons when you were young?
Jane: I did–I took them at Austin School of Music. Outside of private lessons, they had this rock band camp you could do over the summer. I think I did that for the first time when I was 11 or so. I remember thinking, this was the most fun I’ve ever had. I have to do this. This is what makes me feel so alive. That was a good taste of what the future could be like. Once I went to college for music in Nashville, that was when I said [to myself], this is for real.
Nashville is also a big music city. What made you come back to Austin instead of staying in Nashville?
Jane: Mainly, I was broke. I needed to move in with my parents. Also, everyone had always told me that my sound was so “Austin.” I was more invested in the Austin scene than the Nashville scene. I felt I had more of an organic fan-base in Austin than in Nashville. Nashville is great and I learned so much, but it’s also oversaturated with everyone kind of trying to do the same thing. Going back to Austin and honing in on my roots was really good for me. I’m glad I came back.
How would you describe your “sound”?
Jane: It’s always a hard question. Generally terms never do it justice I guess. My sound definitely has the rock and roll, folk, Americana, and blues influences. Lyrically, it’s very honest, singer-songwriter, and country. A little bit of everything. It doesn’t fall in one specific genre. It’s very me.
What’s it like working with Chris “Frenchie” Smith?
Jane: Frenchie and I met back in the fall when he saw me perform with Ian Moore and Max Frost at the ALL ATX show. I happened to be looking for a producer at the time. Once I met with him, it was so clear he got it. I trusted my gut and I chose him. I’m so glad I did. We work incredibly well together in the studio, and he’s been a huge supporter ever since. I now fully understand why he is such a rock and roll legend here in town.
Which bands or singer-songwriters inspire you?
Jane: Sheryl Crow. Growing up, I would fall asleep hearing my dad play her greatest hits downstairs. I would not be able to sleep. I love her production. I love her vibe. Bonnie Raitt was also a huge influence.
Let’s talk about that “Twenties” music video. What was the inspiration behind the song? Was your demographic always Millennials?
Jane: Actually, it wasn’t. I feel like, before this song, my music related to an older audience, which I appreciated and liked. But I also wanted to relate to people my own age. I wrote this song when my mom and I were talking about how shitty this time of life was. She said “you should write a song about that.” Basically, I had moved back home with my parents, been through a terrible breakup, [and had] no job. I was looking around at everyone else: they were either jumping into stability or they were in sheer panic of being alone. Everyone was either making no decisions or big decisions all of a sudden. It turned out that I’m not the only one who thought that way.
What was your favorite part or experience in making the music video?
Jane: I loved that I got to play so many different parts: office girl, drunk bridesmaid… The Velcro wall was very painful. That suit was so scratchy. It was so hard to get myself onto that wall. I had two guys trying to throw me up on that. It was so hot and sweaty. I got so bruised afterward. It’s not as fun as it looks, which is symbolic of your twenties.
Do you have any upcoming projects after the EP?
Jane: I have all the material I want to record. I just need to do it. I also want to work with Frenchie again. We’re hoping to get back into the studio for a full-length record. Definitely more to come!
What songs are currently on your Spotify playlist?
Jane: There’s this girl out of Nashville—Marin Morris— who just released a record. My roommate and I have been jamming to it nonstop. It’s supposedly country but it’s more pop than anything else. Also, because I teach students, I listen to a lot of pop. I love what Meghan Trainor is doing right now.
Jane’s “Twenties” music video released on June 22. Check it out below!
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