Local Teen Country Singer Paulina Jayne Could Be Headed for Big Things

By  Karolina Powalka

Paulina Jayne has made a big impact on the local music scene over the past year.

The 18-year-old country singer recently graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School with a 4.0 GPA, auditioned for NBC’s, “The Voice” (a decision is pending), and following a summer packed with shows locally and around the state, will be heading down to Nashville to study music business at Belmont University.

Jayne who calls music a “universal language that everyone knows” describes her music style as the female version of country star, Eric Church. 

In talking with Jayne and seeing her perform, she left me impressed with her maturity, stage presence and ability to entertain a crowd. I wouldn't be surprised if she was the next Detroit artist to burst onto the national scene.

DD: How did you fall into writing country music?

Jayne: I just started writing music and was told it was country. Then, I fell in love with other emerging country stars followed by getting into the southern rock kind of country like Blackberry Smoke and Eric Church. I love that gritty sound.

DD: Has coming from Detroit influenced your sound?

Jayne: I think that it’s definitely made my country music more funky. I have a few songs that are super funky and probably should not be included in the country genre. I also try to write with more soul which is what Detroit music is all about.

DD: You give a lot of credit for your success to your faith. Do you see yourself branching out into Christian music in the future?

Jayne: I always try to sit down songs about God and what I believe, but sometimes it’s hardest to write about the things that you feel the most passionate about because you can’t always put words to it. That’s my main struggle but I’d love to do it down the road.

DD: You’ve been recording and working in Nashville for quite a few years now. Is it intimidating being so young and working with world-class musicians in such a popular country music city?

Jayne: The Nashville people are pretty accepting and welcoming.  As intimidating as it is, there’s still some sort of comfort. I was reading an interview by a songwriter who lives in LA and it’s interesting because the LA songwriting experience is so different from the experience in Nashville. In LA, you have a bunch of producers and songwriters in a room and they bring in the singer. Then, they tailor the song to that singer. In Nashville, you’re sitting in someone’s kitchen with an award-winning producer; and you just write because you love songwriting.

DD: Speaking of award-winning producers – you work with Trey Bruce who has worked with some pretty big names. How did you two connect?

Jayne: It’s a funny story. I decided that I was going to find people on Twitter and we reached out saying, “Hey, I would love to meet with you in Nashville. Here are some of my songs.”  He messaged me back the same day and said, “I’ll be in town on this date and would love to meet you.”  So, we met and I played him a few songs. A month later we were recording and writing together.

DD: Aside from Trey Bruce, you’ve worked with some successful musicians. What’s the best advice you’ve received from them?

Jayne: Just to enjoy every minute of it. In Nashville there are so many people fighting for the same position. You never really know when you are no longer going to be able to be working with those incredible people.

DD: You’ve already opened for some huge country names. If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Jayne: This is going to sound really crazy but I would love to open for Beyonce. Her stage performance is amazing. If I could sit backstage with her and ask her how she does it, that’d be incredible. 

DD: In March, you headlined a very successful show at St. Andrew’s Hall as part of the Road to Faster Horses Series. Tell me about that.

Jayne: The show at St. Andrews Hall was certainly one to remember. A mixture of Hollywood glam with a red carpet, VIP balcony and Detroit's true grit made for an unusual, rocking special night. This event was most definitely one of my favorites so far. I had an awesome time mingling with  industry people, meeting newcomers and playing to a packed crowd of people. My band and I were bouncing off of each other's energy the entire evening. I sure hope everyone had as much fun as we did!

DD: You’re obviously talented and already have a solid fan base. What made you pursue a degree at Belmont University versus focusing solely on your performance career?

Jayne: You always have to have a fallback plan. If I want to be in music for the rest of my life, I might as well go to the music city hub of Nashville. So, I’ll integrate myself into that society and study music business. If my performing career doesn’t pan out, maybe I can help somebody else’s.

DD: What is your ultimate goal?

Jayne: My ultimate goal would be to write and hopefully perform for the rest of my life and not really have to do much else to afford my living. I just enjoy being around people, so if I could continue to connect with people that’d be pretty awesome, too.

Along with playing several shows around Michigan this summer, Paulina Jayne performs at the Faster Horses Music Festival July 18 in Brooklyn, Mich. Find more information on her Facebook and Twitter pages.

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