Jett Jenkins on Music and Grief

I never really felt understood by my family or my friends. I grieved differently than my mother and sister. I dealt with things differently than my friends and always took things to heart. I’ve communicated and spoken up about my feelings and opinions because I always needed everyone to get my story straight. I needed everyone to know how I felt about their actions or how I felt in a situation. I wrote a story about my life, in the first person, from my view, inside my head, and through my eyes. Because my eyes are different, they see things in a different way than others, they see what others might not, and they might blind themselves from details, so as to protect myself. So I made my own music.

I made music because I found music as an escape. I created a playlist that perfectly envelops how music makes me feel. The playlist I created includes songs I grew up listening to, songs that emotionally connect with me and also destroy me. A few songs on this playlist I put only on solely for specific lines that linked to me. The lines “we spent what was left of our serotonin/ to chew on our cheeks and stare at the moon/ said she knows she’ll live through it to get to this moment” from Graceland Too by Phoebe Bridgers or “People you’ve been before/that you don’t want around anymore/that push and shove and won’t bend to your will” from Between the Bars by Elliot Smith. Just for Today by Clairo impacted me before it was even released. Claire Cotrill posted a small clip of the song months before her album was released or even announced and later deleted the video. The clip she posted included the line “It’s getting late since when did taking time take all my life?/ Mommy, I’m afraid I’ve been talking to the hotline again” which has always stuck with me. Other songs I added just because they make me feel good, it’s straight serotonin, like Heart of Gold by Neil Young and King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 by Neutral Milk Hotel. I knew I had to add a Queen song, no matter what. One of the first songs I remember listening to growing up was Killer Queen. My mom has an extensive record collection that includes every single Queen vinyl. Killer Queen brings nostalgia and tears of excitement when I hear the lyrics. Pearly-Dewdrops Drop by Cocteau Twins is a song I found from one of my favorite films, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, even though I already loved Cocteau Twins I never heard that song. I always think of that film when I hear that song and I can feel the blood rush in my veins. Sleep to Dream by Fiona Apple and Hard Wad Body by Christian Leave are songs that I could go on and on about how they impact me but instead, I’ll include one line from Hard Wad Body “If I’m so small inside/ Then why would I accept the pride you place on me?/ Too much pressure killed the kid/ And now I’m forced to walk around with his body”. Last but definitely not least, I added Just a Girl by No Doubt because well the song encapsulates everything I feel as a girl in society.

I went through my fair share of pain and grief during my continuous adolescence. Music is what helped me get through this paternal grief. I listened, and still listen, to music all the time. Music is cathartic and wonderful and magical and destructive. I cried to and from songs like “Svefn -g- englar” by Sigur Ros to “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. Ultimately listening to music was not enough to completely alter my pain and release it. The release for this pain was found in songwriting and creating my own music. I write out my emotions, whether in a run-on sentence or an incomplete one. All my songs are written by myself and I continue to write all the time. I worked with a family friend to produce and create the tracks for my first five songs. However, the song “Joyride” was originally produced by me on Logic Pro on my computer one night. After sending the demo of the track we worked to create it into something more. I drove out to Denton, Texas and recorded these five in September, and released them as an EP “Through My Eyes”.

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Jett Jenkins is a Texas-based indie-pop artist who layers dreamy, colorful production behind heavy lyricism. With stylings residing somewhere between Billie Eilish and Blondie, this poignant singer-songwriter leaned into her passions after having an inspirational experience at a Clairo concert. Years of playing the guitar and performing in musical theater prepared this emerging artist to dive into her music career; her debut E.P. is described as relatable, emotional, and delivering “lyrics beyond her years.” Alongside her debut in music, Jenkins is preparing to make the transition into young adulthood as she anticipates the move from home to college. This promising powerhouse makes a show-stopping introduction in her first single, “City In Anger,” in which she captivates listeners with passionate vocals, invigorating instrumentation, and lyrics steeped in melancholy. Jett Jenkins, with her spellbinding charisma, is on track to find a home on the playlist of indie-pop lovers for years to come.

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