Jenna Paulette: Under the Cowboy Hat

Jenna Paulette
Photo courtesy Jenna Paulette

Jenna Paulette has always been a cowgirl.

“I grew up in a ranching family on a cow/calf operation on the Oklahoma/Texas line, and I fell in love with cattle from a very young age,” Paulette shares. “I love agriculture. Everything about it fascinates me.”

Although the Nashville-based artist is now chasing a career as a country music singer, she hasn’t forgotten the way she was raised. When she’s not on the road playing shows, Paulette makes time to find her roots on the back of a horse.

“I day work with my boyfriend or anybody that will have me on their ranch when I’m not singing,” she reveals. “I do it as much as I sing about it. I think it’s an honor and a lot to live up to. I’m a cowgirl. I love everything that comes along with the job, and I try and try and try to get better at it every day.”

Jenna Paulette
Photo courtesy Jenna Paulette
Jenna Paulette
Photo courtesy Jenna Paulette

Cowboy Tradition

Whether she’s on stage, tearing up the dance floor, or out on the ranch, Paulette is almost always sporting a cowboy hat. For her, it’s a thing of pride—a lasting cowboy tradition.

“The cowboy hat is something you wear for work,” Paulette explains. “It’s a big responsibility to get to wear this thing on my head, and I take it very seriously. There’s a lot of work that goes into getting to wear this hat and the reasons behind it. I hope I can help people respect this way of life and show them the heart behind it, because I think it is one of the most beautiful ways to get to live your life.”

That beauty shines through not only in Paulette’s music, but also in her willingness to share the roots of her lifestyle with fans and friends alike.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing when people want to learn about our way of life,” she shares. “I take it as a compliment when somebody wants to wear a cowboy hat or a buckle or anything like that.” 

Jenna Paulette
Photo by Jessie Marie Photo, Courtesy Jenna Paulette

Now, the singer/songwriter uses the stage as an opportunity to showcase the Western lifestyle and educate newcomers on the roots of cowboy tradition.

“It’s an honor to get to represent it and to show people that are wearing [a cowboy hat] as a fashion statement what it really means,” Paulette continues. “My prayer is that through my music, my career, and my storytelling, that people will see the reality of the history of it and be able to connect it with the reason why they would be proud to wear a cowboy hat or proud to wear a buckle.”

The Girl I Was

Paulette’s upcoming album, “The Girl I Was,” showcases the cowboy lifestyle and how it has shaped Paulette throughout her life. For her, it’s more than just a collection of songs—it’s a story.

“I’m so excited about this record,” Paulette says. “I want it to be a representation of the lifestyle and the people that I’m singing about.”

The album’s title track tells Paulette’s story of finding her way back to herself after a breakup. With stirring lyrics and deeply emotional vocals, the song is sure to resonate with cowgirls everywhere who’ve endured heartbreak and came back stronger.

Jenna Paulette in the studio
Photo by Jessie Marie Photo, Courtesy Jenna Paulette

Although she equates picking a favorite track to choosing between children, Paulette names one song in particular that holds a special place in her heart.

“I think one of my favorite songs on the record is called ‘Make the World a Small Town,’” Paulette reveals. “It’s everything I love about small town, rural America, and what makes life so good.”

‘Make the World a Small Town’ started as a poem Paulette wrote while on a plane, developing into a full song during a later writing session.

“It just ended up just falling out so easily and completing the heart side of the record,” Paulette says.

The album also includes previously released singles like “Slow Drawl” and “Pretty Ugly,” plus several original tracks fit for dancin’ and a few that highlight the emotional side of Paulette’s writing style.  

More To Come for Jenna Paulette

As she anticipates the release of “The Girl I Was” on March 31, Paulette is already busy making 2023 a year to remember. 

“We’ve got a lot of dates on the books right now, and I cannot wait to get out and play,” she concludes.

Jenna Paulette
Photo courtesy Jenna Paulette

Follow along with Jenna Paulette’s adventures on Instagram and stream “The Girl I Was” anywhere you listen to music starting March 31. Pre-save the album HERE.

This article about Jenna Paulette is an online exclusive for Western Life Today. Click to subscribe for more!

Kaycie Will

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