I had the chance to sit down with Jana Kramer in the Warner Nashville offices on my birthday during CRS week in February. It became obvious fast how deep her love for country music really is from the 20 minutes I spent with the singer and actress. I was let in on a little secret at the time – that Jana will be making her Opry debut – although they didn’t yet have a date at the time of the interview. Jana’s Opry debut will be on Friday, April 13th, and we discuss what it means to the singer to be stepping into the circle and how much of a dream it is for her.
Find out what Jana’s reaction was to hearing herself on the radio for the first time, what song she wish she wrote, and how excited she was to finally be able to release her music video. Read our exclusive catch-up interview with Jana below:
So you’re going to be making your Opry debut pretty soon, right?
I know! I haven’t heard the official date yet, but [her label] e-mailed me and told me about it and I’m so excited! It’s kind of one of those things that you always dream about, and the fact that it’s becoming a reality is pretty surreal.
You just released your music video. How is that to finally have out?
I love that, that you said “finally out” (laughs). It feels great. We filmed it in August, and it was the dead heat of Summer. It was really, really hot… it was actually the hottest day ever recorded in Nashville. So, it was very sticky and sweaty but it was a great time. The crew was fantastic and the guy I was rolling around with was fun (laughs).It was just one of those kind of surreal moments when you go “wow.” I just kind of always imagined filming my own, so it was pretty exciting to finally get to do that.
Is there a song out on the radio that you wish you recorded?
The last one that I wish I had wrote was “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert. That song is just – every time I hear it I just go oh, gosh. I have the same emotions every time I hear it. It’s just such an amazingly written song, it’s awesome.
How has the reception been for your own single so far?
So far radio loves it, the fans love it which is also extremely important. People are relating to it which is what you want when you write a song, or record a song. You know, it’s really cool. I heard it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was so cool and I’m so proud of the song because the writers did a really good job on the song, and I’m just so happy to be a part of it.
What was your reaction when you heard it for the first time?
I was humming along to it and then – “oh my God! It’s me!”. That’s when I called everyone I know with “I’m on the radio!!”. It was so neat!
Are you nervous about the change from television to radio?
No. I knew it was going to be hard because I was always typecast as “oh, you’re just another actress.” Music has always been my heart, my passion, and I want to be able to blend the two. You know, I think it’s been fun and they’ve realized that this is really who I am and what I want to do. The PD in San Jose said it like “you’re a country singer who can act,” and I thought that was the coolest compliment. He saw that I really am a singer, and that this is really what I was supposed to be doing.
Are there any tour plans in the near future for you?
I actually just finished my radio tour, but I’m going to go see a few stations that I haven’t met yet. There’s also a few radio station shows and commitments coming up for listener events. I’ll have new tour plans soon.
So if you could tour with any artist, dead or alive…
Ooh, dead or alive? Dead would be Johnny Cash because I just think he’s the sexiest man in country (laughs). Just his songs, his voice, everything about him is just fantastic. Now, living? I think Jason Aldean is pretty awesome. Jason Aldean or Tim McGraw would be really fun.
You could say Jason and Tim.
Or Jason, Tim, and Kenny. All three would be fun (laughs).
I know you’re really great at interacting with your fans, so there must be a few good stories from your radio tour..
To be honest with you, I literally have the coolest fans in the world. They’re so sweet, they’re so nice. This one girl recently, her name is Natalie, and she wrote this really beautiful song about my character and her life. They’re so supportive and so behind everything I do. It’s awesome. Their excitement just gets me more excited.
I think it’s so important to be involved with them on Twitter or Facebook. You know, if I was younger and we had a Twitter I would have loved if people were actually talking to me. It really is me every time on the account, and I do listen to everything they have to say. I appreciate it all, and I think you should take the time to talk to them.
If there was one artist you could record with, who would it be?
Adam Levine! I think he’s got a really cool stylistic voice and I think our voices would be really good together.
So I guess you’re a pretty big fan of The Voice then?
I love The Voice! I was actually watching it while I was getting ready this morning. It’s so good. Adam’s great and I think it would be really cool to do a little duet.