When your homie’s going through a tough time and there’s not a damn thing you can do to help, you do basically the only thing you can: listen. Jenna Andrews has been my buddy for years now. As a friend I rooted for her as she geared up for what should have been her debut album on Def Jam Records. She had “Tumbling Down,” her single that she wrote alongside Jeremih in 2010. Label head L.A. Reid was a fan, though left in 2011. Her 2012 Kiss and Run EP—good, but haphazardly released by Def Jam —followed and fell on deaf ears.
And then things got quiet at the office. Without her own strong fanbase and essentially no advocates at Def Jam, our dinners became bummer sessions full of wine and readily expressed worries. Jenna would wonder aloud about when her album would come out (it never did), how the hell she’d get out of her deal, and what her next move would be once she backstroked out of an ocean’s worth of release papers to freedom.
Thankfully, as she sings on her song “Desperado” in my latest profile piece above, she’s a fighter. In 2013 she officially parted ways with Island Def Jam and began her career, in earnest, as a bonafide songwriter. Jenna’s been winning with it so far, thanks to collaborations with R&B vets like Tamia and Marsha Ambrosius, pop stars like Jessie J and newbies like Tori Kelly and Toronto duo Majid Jordan (all links to songs she’s written).
Spending time with Jenna at her TriBeCa home in New York City, it’s clear she’s in better spirits. Positive energy and success do that. Watch the video to find out how she’s come this far and see why country group The Band Perry might make her a go-to songwriter by year’s end. From the looks of how she’s dancing in this here Instagram post, the music’s jammin’.