Singer/songwriter Jenn Bostic has been performing ever since she was a child. Drawing major influence from personal experiences, she is able to resonate with a wide range of audiences that have all found solace in her songs. With the release of her “favorite song [she’s] ever written,” “Faint of Heart” and the upcoming release of her new album Revival, Bostic shares a deeper side of her music career, as well as her work with popular charity, Whole Planet.
MiLLENNiAL met up with Jenn to learn about her current projects.
Where do you draw inspiration for your music and how do you feel it has influenced your writing?
Life. I draw from personal experiences, stories I’m told, films that really resonate with me. I strive to keep my musical content honest and hopeful. Songwriting is my therapy, I process and reflect in the songs I write, often encouraging myself through whatever I’m facing in the writing process.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. My parents always encouraged my brother and I to play a musical instrument. We had family sing-a-longs, and there was a wide range of musical genres being played in our home. At ten years old, my father was unfortunately killed in a car accident, and songwriting became the therapy that got me through that. It took a long time to process through those emotions, but about six years ago, I wrote a song called “Jealous of the Angels” with two great friends of mine, Zach Runquist and Jimmy Fortune. It was a song of healing for all of us, and God had some pretty amazing plans for it.
I released a very simple music video for the song on YouTube and someone over in the UK found it. They sent the song to a radio station called Smooth Radio, and to my surprise they started playing the song on the air and I found out on twitter! Before I knew it BBC Radio 2 had playlisted the song, I performed it on BBC Breakfast, it went #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and I had the opportunity to perform it at the Grand Ole Opry. More importantly, the song continues to allow me to connect with people in an incredible way. I’m honored to say this song has been used at countless funerals, covered by various artists and remains my most requested song. While it doesn’t define me, it has taught me so much about vulnerability and the importance of connecting with an audience.
What has been the most defining moment in your career?
The story above is probably the most defining moment for me, however recently I received the award for the 2017 “International Touring Artist of the Year at the British Country Music Association Awards. It was unexpected, and means so much to me. I’ve been touring in the UK as an independent artist for the last six years, and that has come with so many beautiful and challenging moments. This award was a timely encouragement as I walk into releasing my new album “Revival” this year.
Who do you feel your music attracts most? How do you plan to expand your reach with Revival?
My songs seem to connect with a wide range of audience members. I’ve done various songwriting workshops with high schools and middle schools across the US, and the kids really resonate with the songs with positive encouragements to chase their dreams. As I write from personal experience, song of my songs are specific and hit home for both men and women in my age group. However, with “Jealous of the Angels” being my most well-known song, I see so many people from different age groups and walks of life coming together at my shows.
Tell us about ‘Faint of Heart’ and Revival in general. What are the messages you’re hoping to convey to your fans?
“Faint of Heart” is my favorite song I’ve ever written. It’s vulnerable, honest and oh so personal. This song is autobiographical, and speaks to the challenges I have faced as an independent artist and songwriter. I believe I was put on this earth to create and play music. I believe I’m called to reach as many people as possible with the songs God has given me. However, committing to a calling can come with challenges and heartbreak. There are so many goals I have set and have yet to achieve. In a way, songwriting can be a bit like putting your heart out into the world not knowing if people will pick it up and resonate with it or stomp all over it. Either way, I’ll continue to circle this mountain in front of me.
Tell us about SXSW and what made you decide to get involved with Whole Planet? What does your role as Artist Ambassador entail?
I am thrilled to be heading to Austin, Texas! I am so passionate about the work Whole Planet Foundation is doing. They are investing in a future free from poverty by granting microcredit loans to entrepreneurs around the world, 88% of them being women. I’ve been an independent artist and entrepreneur for the last decade, and I know the challenges and struggles that these dream chasers face. “Faint of Heart” seems to be somewhat of an anthem for this, and I’m really excited to be giving 50% of the proceeds from each download to Whole Planet Foundation.
As Artist Ambassador, I’ll be representing the foundation at Southwest Invasion, by raising awareness of the amazing work that they do. This will include sharing facts and stories on stage, introducing each band, doing various instagram takeovers at the event, and of course performing “Faint of Heart” each day of the festival. It’s truly an honor to be the Artist Ambassador for such an amazing event!