When you hear “I Got the Boy,” Jana Kramer‘s latest single, one thing she wants people to know is that it’s a song she has lived first-hand.
“It’s a very true and honest song about my high school sweetheart Matthew. It’s one of those that is as true as it can get,” she told Billboard.
Has Matthew heard the song — which is about watching as someone else gets the person who wasn’t ready for a relationship? “He has,” she says. “I sent it to him. I told him I was probably going to be saying his name, FYI.”
Kramer says there are no hard feelings on either side now. “He loves it. It’s like the lyrics say: I got the boy. He’s married to a lovely girl now, and they have two kids, so she got the man. Back in the day, it stung a little bit. But I’ve got someone else’s ‘boy’ now, so all’s well that ends well.”
The song was one the songstress had been wanting to write for years, but the words just wouldn’t come. “I had been trying to write a song about Matthew for years, and it wasn’t that I couldn’t come up with anything good, it was just that it wasn’t ‘it.’ Scott Hendricks knew the story, and he called me into his office and said, ‘You’ve got to listen to this song. I think you will relate to it.’ I started bawling. That’s the story. Those are the words that I couldn’t write. It was 100 percent true. I’m very fortunate that the song came about. It’s my life. That’s why I love country music. It tells good stories, and I feel like a lot of people can relate to the song — even if you’re a guy. On my Twitter, people are saying things like, ‘I got the girl, not the woman.’ It goes both ways, for sure.”
The single is a preview of her upcoming sophomore Warner Bros. album, which she hopes fans will get to hear very soon. “The album is done. We’re just waiting on the progress of the single. It’s scary, because I put a lot of love and work into this album. I wrote a lot of the songs, and it’s a very personal album for me. Some of the songs are so personal for me, it’s kind of hard. I’m real excited that people can relate to them.”
Since she broke onto the scene in 2013 with “Why Ya Wanna,” Kramer has become a viral sensation, which she stresses can have its pros and cons. “Fans follow me on places like Twitter, and I can tell them, ‘Hey, I’m in town playing here tonight.’ They can come on and send in pictures, and that has been really cool, but it’s what people sometimes say behind the computer. You’re able to hide your identity, and people can be really mean. I read all the comments, and it’s hurtful. Everyone has the right to their opinion, I guess. I don’t like how ugly some people can be with their words.”
But there is a bright side to connecting with fans online. “The best story from social media has been meeting my fiancée,” she says of NFL player Michael Caussin. “We met on Twitter. It’s the new Match.com, I guess.”
Another positive aspect of Kramer’s success is the fact that she is able to use her celebrity for good. Her last video, “Love,” was filmed in El Progreso, Honduras, a place very close to her heart. “I wanted to do something different for that video, and I chose to shoot it in Honduras. I partnered up with a small charity there and have gone back a few times because I sponsored a little girl named Angela. Actually, a lot of my fans on Instagram commented that they have always wanted to do mission trips and wanted to go. So I opened up the trip to 34 fans. We went this past January, and it was the best trip ever. We built a community center, went to the orphanage and then to the village to work on some homes there. Everybody that went was not there because of me; I was just their vessel to get to be on a mission trip. They were fantastic. I’m going to make it an annual trip. Besides that mission, I’ll go every few months to visit the little girl that I sponsor,” she says, adding that giving back is something that gives her a great deal of pleasure. “The fact that I’m able to have that platform and can be a voice for some that might not be able to is very rewarding.”