March 24, 2023
At just 17 years old, Jordana Bryant already is making waves in the country music world. Her songs have been played millions of times on YouTube and TikTok and her debut EP is due out later this spring.
On Friday, the emerging country-pop singer and Bryn Mawr native dropped the lead single, "Penniless & Broke," from her self-titled EP.
The song, released with an accompanying video, is an upbeat, empowering anthem about the importance of moving on after a breakup and finding someone better. It explores a series of often laughable excuses for a breakup, decrying lapses in relationship etiquette like breaking up over the phone, being too vague about ending things or not making any effort to reconcile.
"I wrote 'Penniless & Broke' about someone being broken up with using those cliche breakup lines, like 'you deserve better' and 'it's not you, it's me' or 'I need to work on myself right now,'" Bryant said. "When someone says something like that, chances are they're right and you do deserve someone better than them, but it can still hurt when you care so much for them. I wanted to write something for anyone who has been broken up with like that to show them that they deserve someone awesome and anyone who can't see that isn't worth their time."
Bryant got her start by posting acoustic covers of pop and country songs on her YouTube channel before beginning to share her original music on social media.
Some of her earliest songs, like "Not Sayin'," found a 15-year-old Bryant waxing poetic about taking polaroids and wandering through her hometown with her first boyfriend. On "Guilty," she delved into the power of infatuation. "New Friends" examined growing up and drifting away from loved ones.
Bryant released a trio of holiday songs in December before dropping "Can I Get It Back" in January. The song, about wanting to take back all of the time wasted in a past relationship, was remixed by Dutch-Moroccan DJ R3HAB. It garnered 250,000 streams in one day.
With her EP, Bryant said she hopes to showcase who she is as a person and a musician.
i'm so excited to announce i'm releasing my DEBUT EP on april 21st, and the first song off of it, penniless & broke, is out now! i'm excited to share these 6 songs. I feel like they really showcase who I am as a person and as an artist. I can't wait for you to hear this project! pic.twitter.com/jDFj1Vik1F— Jordana Bryant (@JordanaBryant) March 24, 2023
"There are a bunch of different songs about a bunch of different things (on the EP), but what I think ties them together is that each of them has a little bit of hopefulness and positivity and that's something that's a big part of who I am, both as a person and an artist," Bryant said. "I always think it's important to look for the positives, and so even the breakup songs are more anthemic and empowered. There are also a few songs that aren't about relationships, because I think there are plenty of important and fulfilling experiences that have nothing to do with relationships."
Bryant grew up listening to country music and her dad playing his guitar. Though she spent much of her childhood making up lyrics and melodies, it wasn't until she learned to play the guitar at 10 that her dreams began to take off.
By the time she started high school, Bryant was thinking about moving to Nashville to kickstart a country music career. She started taking extra classes and completed her high school requirements a full year early so she could follow her dreams.
After making the move, Bryant signed a record deal with Rise House last April, and began releasing music under the company's umbrella shortly afterward.
Bryant credits her father as one of her biggest musical influence. He introduced her to some of her favorite artists in country and country-pop, including icons like Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and, of course, Taylor Swift.
Swift, a Berks County native, moved to Tennessee when she was 13 years old so that she could focus on making music. As an up-and-coming artist in country and pop, Bryant has been compared the superstar, and drew inspiration from Swift on her song "Romeo."
"I'm such a huge fan of Taylor Swift's work and her songwriting, and really the most incredible thing about her is that her writing and her songs make you feel like every lyric was written about your own life," Bryant said. "I think that's so powerful because when you write a song that people can really resonate with, they can feel heard and it can make them feel less alone because they know someone else has gotten through it."
"Penniless & Broke" is out now and can be purchased or streamed using this link. Bryant's first EP, "Jordana Bryant," will be released on all platforms on Friday, April 21. Check out the music video for her latest single below.