Jana Kramer Talks 'Love,' Songwriting and a New Album This Summer

Jana Kramer

Two years ago, Jana Kramer was enjoying her initial run up Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with "Why Ya Wanna." A couple of weeks later, the Elektra Nashville recording artist released the first single from her upcoming sophomore project, "Love," which is sitting at No. 47 on the chart this week. She tells The 615 that she’s happy to have new music out. "I have been waiting a while. I am so happy that 'Love’ is finally out. I really do 'love’ this song, no pun intended."

She says that the song can have many different meanings – as evidenced by her new video for the song – which goes in a different direction than one might think. "People heard the song before the video, and might have been expecting the stereotypical video with me and a dude, but I wanted to show a different side of things and what true love was like. I partnered with a charity called Heart To Honduras, and I went there and filmed the video," she tells Billboard. 

Kramer is absolutely ready for her fan base to hear all of the new music. "It’s been two years. I’m completely ready for them to hear new songs. I’m excited because I’m proud of the stuff that is going to be on this next album. We’ve been playing some of it out there, and the fans really helped me choose what wound up making the album. If they didn’t like it, we’d scratch it, and try another. It’s going to be coming out in August or September."

Look for more of a contribution from the songstress as a tunesmith this time around, as well. "I’ve had some time to get better as a songwriter, and pick the songs that were 100% me. Scott Hendricks and I worked together on it, and there were definitely some no-brainers. There’s a song called 'I Got The Boy,' which reminded me of my high school sweetheart. I knew it had to be on the album. It’s my life in eleven songs – from childhood to now."

She laughs when discussing her growth as a songwriter, recalling that "When I first came to town, I was so scared. There are so many great songwriters in Nashville, so I would sit there and be quiet. Now, I feel like I have something to say as my confidence level has gotten a little better."

She gives credit to her growth as a writer to Catt Gravitt, her writing mentor – who co-wrote both "Why Ya Wanna" and "Whiskey," her first two radio singles. "Catt is 100% my role model. She’s my sister. We’re connected on so much more than the music. I wrote one of my first songs with her about something I experienced in my early 20s, that I’m still not ready to put out. From day one, we got each other. She’s helped me so much, and I owe so much to her."

When asked about the differences between her debut disc, and the new album, she says one of the biggest ones was she was able to take a little more time. "I think with album number one, I was in such a hurry to get it out. But, with album number two, I had more of a say. If I didn’t want a song on there, I could say it. I could fight for things a little bit more and have more of a voice. Album number one was a little more rushed for me because we needed to get it out there. It’s not that I’m not proud of it, as we had some great songs on it, but album number two feels more like my baby."

And, Kramer is aware that fans might be looking into the lyrics of the new project a little deeper – looking for some inside scoop on the singer and her life. "I want people to relate to my songs. I know that the stuff I’ve been through in the past year – or the past thirty years people can relate to. I’m not alone in that stuff, so I know that someone’s going to be able to relate to heartbreak, love, or wanting to go out and have a good time. The reason I wanted to do country music was the stories that other artists have told helped me through a lot. I wanted to give that back."

And, when fans sing back the words to those songs to her? She says that’s priceless. "To think that every night, people will sing back 'Why Ya Wanna,’ It will never get old. That is the coolest feeling ever. It makes you realize you’re doing the right thing. People do like me, and I can keep doing this."