Jana Kramer‘s 2012 was one that dreams are made of. Her debut single “Why Ya Wanna” — about an ex who turns up just as she’s about to move on — was a track many identified with, made apparent by its sales nearing a million and a half downloads. But the song also helped cement Kramer’s place in the country music world, following an acting career that included roles on One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights and the 90210 reboot.
Kramer attributes the success of “Why You Wanna” to its relatable tone — a quality, she says, defines country music.
“Country music for me — why I wanted to sing it — was because it helped me in so many different ways,” Kramer told Radio.com. “If I was feeling sad I’d listen to the really sad songs to help me get out of it or the really happy, energetic songs when I want to have fun. It helped me and that’s why I wanted to give back. [To] help other people through my songs the way that it helped me.”
Unlike a number of her peers, Kramer says she’ll never sing something she didn’t go through personally. Rather than take every song pitched to her, she said she has to relate to the song firsthand. Case-in-point: her most recent single, “I Hope It Rains,” which she thought was perfect the moment she first heard it.
“I never want to be too mean with my songs but with ‘I Hope It Rains,’ it was definitely somewhere in the middle with being sassy and then also a little class in there as well,” she said. “It was a good blend for me and who I want to be perceived as an artist. With that song, it says everything I want. The guy knows that I want his days to be ruined, but in a nicer way.”
While Kramer wrote two of the tracks on her self-titled 2012 debut album, she says her follow-up will include many more songs penned by her.
“I had to step up and become a better writer and learn from the best,” she said. “Every day I’m still growing but what I know is you write what you know and you write what you feel and you write what you lived and what other people have lived.”
While she’s still working on her second album, Kramer did hint at a few tracks that she promises will be on the release.