Rising star Jordan Rainer has a bit of a different story to tell about moving to Nashville. Most who take the career plunge come to Music City to chase the artist dream, only to be told that they need to hone their songwriting skills. With Rainer, it was just the opposite. The Oklahoma native had every intention of becoming a full-time songwriter, or “fantastic lyric crafter” as she puts it, penning hits for other artists. But with a little encouragement, Rainer decided to sing the songs as well as write them. And she’s digging the double duty.
“My husband and I moved here four years ago,” Rainer begins, visiting with Sports & Entertainment Nashville during Country Radio Seminar. “We didn’t know a soul in Nashville, so we had nothing to lose. But I really moved to Nashville to be a songwriter. I didn’t have the artist thing in mind. I never fancied myself a singer. But my songwriter friends really encouraged me and here we are,” she adds with a hearty laugh. “Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Since settling in Nashville, Rainer has collaborated with some songwriter heavyweights, including Jeff Hyde and Lance Carpenter. Her vocal talents are in full force on her current single “I’m Good,” co-written by Rainer, Kevin Brandt and Bobby Terry. The song is a jaunty ode to the simple pleasures of life, summed up in the lines, “I’m good to go/Got all I need/ Shirt on my back/And all the air I can breathe.” Rainer praises it as a fun tune that takes the listener in a different direction. “Melodically, the chorus has this really cool thing going,” she smiles. “I’m Good” is the lead track to her upcoming EP, scheduled for release soon.
The EP project marks a significant breakthrough for the young singer. Since making the move to Nashville, Rainer has paid the usual Music City dues. “I have done demo work for other writers,” she explains. “Those help pay the bills. You have to be proficient in a number of things when you first get to Nashville. You have to find ways to make yourself useful.” Helping her cause even further—she plays virtually every instrument under the sun, including guitar, keyboards, saxophone and mandolin.
Of course, you wouldn’t be a dues-paying newcomer without those all-essential club dates, some in venues that could hardly be described as “elegant.” And tough gigs? She can tell you all about it, and in a most entertaining way. There was the time, for instance, when the headlining act she was opening for apparently was not enthused about her presence. “This gentleman was very rude and abrasive,” she recalls, not exactly fondly. “He actually turned the speakers off when I got on the stage. That was a good lesson for me, to always be kind to your opening act.”
And how about her first Nashville gig? “That was about four years ago at a club, and I was so excited,” she begins. The timing wasn’t exactly ideal, however, as it happened to be the night of the CMA Awards show. On top of that, as Rainer goes on to explain, “It was the show where Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake debuted ‘Tennessee Whiskey.’ So, everybody in the bar has moved over to the TV to watch them. There’s nobody in the chairs.”
Talk about some stiff competition. But as time passes, she considers it a learning experience. “Those are the gigs you have to go through if you’re going to be a performer,” Rainer says matter-of-factly. “I had to keep playing because the show must go on, as they say. That builds character.”
Four years later, she can even laugh and fire off a self-deprecating quip about that show. “I think one or two people in the place had pity on me and came over and listened,” Rainer recalls with a smile. “So, if you were one of those – thank you!”
Jordan Rainer’s single “I’m Good” is available now. For more on Jordan, visit her facebook page and follow her on social media.