Artist to Watch: Jana Kramer, The Quick Riser

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2012 is already turning out to be a big year for new artists. We’ve had a couple of “newbies” climb into the top 30 on the Billboard charts for the first time in their careers as well as a couple who’ve made history. To honor those up-and-comers, ATC is going to highlight a few of them in its Artists to Watch series. I’ll of course be reviewing their current radio single as well as sharing my opinion of why they could have a big year in 2012. First up in the series is the actress-turned-singer Jana Kramer.

Name: Jana Kramer

Current Single: “Why Ya Wanna”

Quick Riser: Kramer shattered the Country Aircheck record for fastest debut song to reach the top 30

Claim to Fame: Jana played Alex Dupre on the CW’s One Tree Hill

Jana Kramer is currently on your radio with her debut single, “Why Ya Wanna.” The song seamlessly tackles the theme of how difficult it is to have that awkward run-in with your ex-flame. Matters are always made worse when you still have feelings for that person. Here, Jana tells the story of that ex flame coming into the same place she is. Even though she tries to hide her feelings, the fact that he’s wearing her favorite old t-shirt, giving her a hug, and telling her she’s “looking good” brings back those old feelings. At the end of the chorus, she pleads “why ya gotta, why ya wanna, make me keep wanting you” proving that she doesn’t want those feelings to return. It’s a difficult situation to be in and this song tells the story perfectly. The production is a fantastic mix of country and pop with a little fiddle, steel guitar, and even a little mandolin that show Kramer’s country roots. Her voice has a fantastic blend of rasp and smoothness that creates one of the more unique voices in country music.

First impressions are always the most important. My opinion has always been the fact that a debut single can make or break your career, which is why choosing that first single can be extremely difficult. Jana is the perfect example of what a new artist should do. She’s recording songs that not only appeal to her, but they also appeal to country listeners. The story of “Why Ya Wanna” is one that can easily be related to which makes it the perfect choice for a debut single. It also has a mainstream production which boosts its chances at radio success which is probably why its broken a few records already. If she continues choosing and recording songs that have that mass appeal, she’ll be able to compete with the women who are on top of the country music world.

Many of you may know Jana from her acting. Her big role came when she starred as Alex Dupre on the CW’s One Tree Hill, but she’s always had a passion for country music. She had several of her songs featured on the show and she just recently had a song on the new ABC series, GCB. Among her influences she cites the legendary Patsy Cline who she remembers listening to with her grandmother.  The singer’s debut album will be released later this year but you can currently download “Why Ya Wanna” as well as a few more singles on iTunes. In the meantime check out the official video for “Why Ya Wanna” below.

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