Well, damn. For someone to be as beautiful as Jana, to possess such magnetic on-screen appeal, and be at the top of the Billboard Country charts—she must be in some way depraved, right? Wrong. Not even close. In fact the polar opposite. Jana Kramer is the rare kind of girl who is both talented and grounded, whose laugh is genuine and whose seemingly down-to-earth appearance is actually just that. The former One Tree Hill star is just a really cool chick you want to hang with. Newly nominated as the Teen Choice Awards' Choice Female Country Artist, with a hit single just released, Jana stopped by Marie Claire to chat "Love," life and other passions.
Marie Claire: So tell me about the inspiration behind "Love"?
Jana Kramer: I went through a break-up and my dear friend Catt Gravitt—who wrote my first big hit "Why Ya Wanna"—we were having this conversation and I was just like, "You know I'm having a really hard time just believing in love. I'm over it. I'm probably just going to raise kids by myself." Just totally hating on love. And she called me the next day and goes, "I wrote you your song. I don't care what you do with it. But I want you to listen to it and I want you to believe it because I know deep down you still believe in love."
JK: Immediately I was like, "I want this song to be on my album." And now it's the first single off my new album.
MC: What's surprising and awesome about "Love," especially post break-up, is that it's not about the guy at all.
JK: I wanted not to focus on just relationships because I'm looking around and I'm like, "Theress so much more love that's greater than just a relationship or a breakup." And because I don't want to keep being tied to the relationship that had just broken up, it's not about that anymore. Maybe at first it was but it's not anymore.
MC: For sure. And the video is so darling! You actually shot it in Honduras?
JK: Yes. I asked my manager, Kathryn, I said, "You might hate this idea but I'm really passionate about this: I don't want to do a music video and get all glammed up and have the hot model dude. I want to find a small charity—I work with a bunch of charities but they're big and I wanted to make a bigger impact with a smaller charity—and I want to go there." So Kathryn found this amazing charity through her church, Hearts2Honduras, and we went to Honduras: me, Kathryn, the camera guy and a guy from the label.
MC: That's it?
JK: Yup. Went there and we met these beautiful children. And the girl that's actually in the video, Angela, I sponsor her now.
MC: That's awesome! So "Love" is the first single off your new album, which is out early this fall. Is charitable love and paying it forward the overall theme of the album?
JK: That's what I wanted my first impact song to be. My next few songs are—one is called "Boomerang." So it's like you can throw me in the trash, you can come back around, but I'm not coming back around. I'm not your boomerang.
MC: Ah, it's the f**k you song!
JK: It's a f**k you song. So the whole theme, yes love, but there are definitely some go f**k yourself songs. The "still hate you, always going to hate you."
MC: Love it! That is so rocker. And you'll be going on tour with the new album? I feel like your tours are the kind that make someone want to be a country musician on the road—just fun.
JK: So much fun! And before we go on stage too I have my little fun zone outside my bus. We have a ping-pong table, we have cornhole, we have life-size jenga. And we have a little bar. Because I just want everyone to have fun. And because I like to play games. Game night and wine is like my ideal night.
MC: Ours too.