Jenn Bostic’s career as a singer and songwriter began when she was 10 years old, in the back seat of her father’s car with her older brother on the way to school. A horrific crash that killed her dad, a musician who taught her folk songs like “Sunny Side of the Street,” and turned her on to Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt, changed the 28-year-old’s life forever.
“God must need another angel/Around the throne tonight,” she sings on “Jealous of the Angels,” a song on her new album, Jealous, on the Absolute label. “Your love lives on inside of me/And I will hold on tight.”
The song, produced by Barrett Yeretsian, the writer/producer of the hit “Jar of Hearts” for Christina Perri, was discovered by noted U.K. DJ Simon Bates, who played it on his popular morning show on Smooth Radio, where the song immediately jumped into the station's Top 10 Most Played for the week. The song was soon playlisted on BBC Radio 2, and after a live performance on BBC Breakfast the song went #1 in the United Kingdom. It now has over 1.7 million views on YouTube.
Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Waconia, Minnesota, a small town 30 miles west of Minneapolis, Jenn grew up singing with her family around the piano.
“The first time I sat down at the piano after the accident, I shut my eyes and honestly felt my dad's presence next to me,” she explains. “I poured my heart into those first few songs. The only way I could connect with him was when I played music. I still feel that way.”
Jenn went on to perform wherever she could, sitting in with a local roots band, Traveled Ground, that consisted of teachers from her middle and high school, and once included her father on accordion. She went east to attend the famed Berklee School of Music, where she honed her performance skills while studying music education, a field still vitally important to her. After graduation, she relocated to Nashville, where she fell in with the local community, taking part in writers’ rounds and performing on a regular basis.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned as an artist is to stop worrying about what I think everybody else wants and to write music that I love,” she says. “When I started to focus on touching lives, that’s when things started happening, and that’s what makes me happy.”
Working with producer Barrett Yeretsian, Bostic’s Jealous is a superb showcase for her talents as both a singer and writer. Jenn recently won five 2012 Independent Country Music Association Awards, including Overall Winner, Best Female Country Artist, Best Musician, Best Songwriter and Country Music Song of the Year for “Jealous of the Angels.” She has completed numerous North American tours, with sold-out shows at the Hotel Café in L.A. and Rockwood Music Hall in N.Y., as well as opening for artists such as The Band Perry, Christian Kane and Randy Travis.
“I’m a big dreamer,” she admits. “Winning a Grammy is the ultimate goal. I’ve visualized it happening; next step is making that dream a reality.”
With a little help from someone who continues watching over her shoulder.
“When I play ‘Angels,’ and people come up to me and tell me a story about losing a loved one, how the song touched them and helped them heal, that means more to me than anything.”