"I like to think of myself as a chameleon with a conscience –reinventing myself while exploring the truth of my life and the human condition." So says singer-songwriter Jentry, whose passionate, melodic work combines the lyrical frankness of her observations on life with soaring, Beatlesque rock-pop.
Born in Chicago, Jentry tapped into the transformative power of music as a young child, after her newly-divorced father left his family for good while she was just four. "I used to lock myself in my room and sing, which was a good way of dealing with my pain," she recalls. A shy, sensitive child, Jentry dealt with her sense of abandonment by absorbing seminal influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Carole King, as well as drawing from the rich legacy of Chicago blues.
Moving to Los Angeles at age thirteen, Jentry was soon immersed in a seemingly endless cycle of decadence. As a testament to her inner strength, however, she eventually eschewed her destructive lifestyle and, at eighteen, headed for India "to clear my head and find myself."
Returning home, Jentry worked as an actress before moving to Nashville, where she delved into songwriting with a renewed sense of purpose. She soon collaborated with the cream of Nashville’s rich songwriting crop, including Bobby Braddock (author of country classics like George Jones’ "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and Tammy Wynette’s "D-I-V-O-R-C-E") and Mike Geiger (writer of country hits by Montgomery Gentry, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Ricky Van Shelton). "It was a great learning experience to work with all of these great writers," Jentry enthuses, "but it became a consuming desire to develop my own sound and style, one that drew from my own life experiences and musical sensibilities."
Having done everything from acting (appearing on 16 episodes for a Fox television show) to PR to working at a homeless women’s shelter, Jentry has lived many lives. But "after been interested in and doing so many different things, I discovered that my songs and my music form the core of my identity," Jentry attests.
The artist describes her songs as "stories about what I see in the world. My songs are slices of my life." Having experienced personal struggles and observed them in others informs Jentry’s work with a sense of compassion, gratitude, and purpose. "I believe that my songs are about overcoming obstacles, by not letting my past control my present," Jentry affirms.
This sense of determination and awareness is evident in songs such as "Inside My Head," whereby Jentry declares, "The past can no longer own me/I’ve taken time to get to know me." With wit and transparency on “Cinnamon Blue” she reveals, "I feel the strangest devotion to loose the chains of languished emotion to you." And, on the quirky yet heartfelt "South of Sublime", she acknowledges triumphantly, "Many died but weren’t remembered like Hendrix/They paid tribute to wasted time/I pulled out before the last train received me/I’m still bleeding/But I’m still alive."
Jentry’s work blends haunting, inspired pop rock arrangements and vocal uniqueness with the lyrical substance of one who has experienced life’s peaks and valleys, which she clearly has.