At a young age, Jena Rose started writing songs that instantly brought both passion and purpose to her music. “I was extremely shy as a kid and always felt like other people’s songs explained my life to me, it gave me a voice that I didn’t have,” says the Dallas-based singer, songwriter and pianist. In each of her songs, Jena shows a natural grasp of melody that’s closely tied to her innate understanding of music.
Raised in Plano, Texas, she took up classical piano at the early age of five and quickly began to master the instrument, but despite her love of piano, Jena eventually grew restless with the classical approach. By the time she was nine, Jena had moved on to contemporary piano, and immediately found her love for piano reignited. “When I was able to play songs that I grew up listening to, it was so freeing to me and so much more in line with what I was feeling musically,” she says.
At nine years old, Jena had a major breakthrough, her piano teacher introduced her to the art of improvisation. “I was tired of doing covers, so I learned to experiment with different chords and make my own music,” she says. One night, she sat down at her piano and attempted her first song. A few hours later, she’d created a carefully arranged pop number complete with full verses, a chorus, and a bridge. “I played it for my voice teacher the next day and she said to me, ‘Wow—this is a real song!’ That really gave me the confidence to keep writing, and not be afraid to say what I feel with my music,” says Jena. Naming artists like Sara Bareilles among her key influences, she channeled a soulful sensibility into her songs, and soon forged a path as a self-driven creative force with a musical depth well beyond her years. “I’ve always wanted to share a big part of myself with everything I put out, and going through the creative process is what makes me feel really connected to each song,” she explains.
With the past seven years spent honing her artistry, Jena has now dreamed up a sublime breed of indie-pop that’s daringly honest, but irresistibly melodic. Her past single “Sweet Love” combines Jena’s signature indie pop/singer-songwriter style with entrancing EDM elements. In the song, Jena, backed by her intricate and hypnotic vocals, blissfully tells the story of a broken relationship that leaves her wanting one single thing: a sweet, simple love. The track is Jena’s most successful hit to date, having reached #18 on the Billboard Dance Chart, surrounded by artists like Rihanna, Demi Lovato and Marshmello.
Her indie-pop dynamic can also be heard on tracks like “Loved,” a seductive slow burner laced with subtle EDM details, as well as “Lost At Sea,” a delicate piano ballad dedicated to her late grandmother. Jena’s debut EP Reasons is a collection of songs written entirely by Jena on her piano. She recruited Grammy nominated writer and producer Druski (Tori Kelly, Zendaya) to elevate her songs even further, and the result is a sparkling, eclectic mix of piano-driven indie infused with pop.
Having toured with pop band Why Don’t We, as well as AJR, MAX, R5, Sabrina Carpenter, and Plain White T's, Jena constantly looks to the world around her for songwriting inspiration. “Because I’m so young and there’s a lot I haven’t been through, I sometimes take from other people’s experience to write songs,” she says. But whether she’s writing straight from her own life or playing with perspective, Jena brings an undeniably genuine spirit to each song.
“One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is to stay true to myself and what I want to do with my music,” she says. “I do whatever I can to open up and be as honest as possible. If you don’t share yourself that way, the song isn’t going to be the best it can be. You have to put all of your heart and soul into every single song.”
Jena opened for Echosmith on their “Inside a Dream” tour in April/May 2018 hitting 25 cities across North America.