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Jamie Lynn Spears on Sharing Her ‘Boy’ With Jana Kramer

“It scratched this itch,” the actress-musician says of having another artist record a song she wrote

Jamie Lynn Spears

Jamie Lynn Spears co-wrote Jana Kramer's newest single, "I Got the Boy."

John Weast/Getty Images

Nashville has long been known as a songwriter’s town, and Jamie Lynn Spears is now reaping the rewards of immersing herself in it. The actress turned singer-songwriter officially has her first single by another artist, as she’s one of the writers behind Jana Kramer’s new hit, “I Got the Boy.”

“It’s amazing, writing with the kind of writers I’ve been able to write with. They’re all pretty awesome,” Spears says of collaborating with Rivers Rutherford, Chris Tompkins, Liz Rose, Lisa Carver, Tyler Hayes and Corey Crowder, among many others. She co-wrote “I Got the Boy” with Tim Nichols and Connie Harrington about four years ago.

“When you get your writing focus, sometimes you forget some of the other songs you have in your locker,” says Spears. “This one came back up when I saw Jana at the softball game that we played together in Nashville, and she said, ‘Hey, I’ve recorded ‘I Got the Boy’ and I heard that you wrote on that.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, yes! Please send it to me.'”

Spears was thrilled with Kramer’s take on the song and honored to have someone else record one of her tunes. “It kind of scratched this itch, this urge that I’ve had to have another artist sing one of the songs I’ve written and release it as a single,” she says. “It’s a compliment that I was really flattered by. It’s a different process for me, but it’s really cool to hear someone else singing the song that you wrote.”

Kramer told Rolling Stone Country she immediately connected with the song because it reminded her of her high school boyfriend, Matthew. The relationship ended when she left her Michigan home to pursue her acting career, but she and Matthew remained friends. “My producer knew my story with Matthew and he called me to the office and said, ‘You have to listen to this song,”” Kramer recalls. “I heard it and I started bawling and I said, ‘Oh my gosh! It’s Matthew!’ I ended up sending it to him.”

“That’s what’s amazing about songwriting,” Spears reflects. “You can write a story that everyone connects to.”

Though “I Got the Boy” has fairly universal appeal, Spears admits the inspiration came from a personal place. “When I wrote the song, I was living in Nashville and writing every day. I was kind of using my writing sessions as therapy, which is maybe the wrong way to go about it,” she says with a laugh. “[During the writing session] I went in there and I was just telling the story about a guy that was my high school boyfriend. We were young and in love, but it was an immature thing. Now he’s grown up, and he found a girl who has really brought out the best in him. That’s where the story came from.”

Though the song didn’t make it on The Journey, the EP Spears released last year, she has high hopes for Kramer’s version. When asked how she decides what song to keep and which to record herself, the 24-year-old singer says, “That’s a really hard question because I would like to hold all my songs forever, but you can’t do that. You want to have different avenues, and I love writing as well as performing. It’s about deciding what makes sense for you at that time. It’s great to hear other artists doing your songs. Jana recording this song was the biggest compliment to me.”

Spears admits she was nervous when she first began co-writing in Nashville, but has learned a lot from her collaborators. “It’s crazy because you feel intimidated when you walk in and see them,” she says. “You know their work. You know how talented they are. They just want to tell a beautiful story. The thing I learned from them is there’s no wrong way to tell your story. They taught me to really embrace my story, and to tell it.”

Spears began her career as an actress but always wanted to make music. As she began writing and recording, country music was a natural home. “Growing up in Louisiana had influence on me as well, but when I got into writing, this genre seemed like the best place to let me tell my story. It was organic. It wasn’t something that I chose. It was just within me all along.”

Spears is now living in Louisiana with her seven-year-old daughter Maddie and husband, Jamie Watson, whom she married March 14th, 2014. “My husband is in Louisiana for his businesses. That’s where I was born and raised and that’s where I want to raise my family,” she says. “Being in Nashville was an important time because I worked and focused on my music and raising my little girl, but when it came time to really chase the dream, you need that support system, and my support system is with him.”

Spears is working on a full length album and will perform select shows this summer. “I have a few dates here and there, because it’s important. I love to perform,” she says. “But really my main focus this summer is making good music.”

In This Article: Jamie Lynn Spears

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