Country newcomer Jana Kramer has made quite a splash with her debut single, “Why Ya Wanna.”

The lead single from Jana’s self-titled debut album (which was released this past June), “Why Ya Wanna” has been working its way up the country charts all summer. Just this week, it reached an impressive Number 3 on the country singles chart. And in doing so, the song broke a record previously owned by Taylor Swift.

Talking to CBS Local this week from her home in Nashville, Jana explained exactly what that record-breaking feat was all about.

“Taylor’s first single was ‘Tim McGraw,'” she says. “It went to Number 5 on the Mediabase chart. And that’s the highest that any female has been able to get” with their debut single. “Why Ya Wanna,” though, has made it two notches further–thus breaking the record.

“Of course we’re shooting for Number One,” Jana says, but at the same time, she’s more than thrilled with how well the song has done already. (On top of the chart success, the single has also gone gold.)

“The fact that we got to where we’re at [on the chart] has just been crazy. It just shows that the Warner staff has been great [she is signed to Warner Music Nashville]. And country radio embracing it the way they have, I’m super thankful.”

Another thing that Jana is grateful for is the role she previously held as Alex Dupre on the TV show One Tree Hill. Because the role evolved into that of a singer, One Tree Hill wound up serving as a fantastic launching pad for Jana’s music career–which, after years of acting in TV and movies, she had decided was the career she was most eager to pursue.

At one point, she says, “I told the [One Tree Hill] creator, ‘I’ve been going to Nashville, and I really want to be a singer, so when the show’s over I’m gonna do the music.’ He listened to the songs, and that’s when he turned my character into a singer on the show. And I’m super grateful for that, because it gave me more eyes in Nashville. It helped me out.”

“Why Ya Wanna” was one of three songs that she says were offered for her character to initially sing on the show, but they ultimately went with a song called “Whiskey.” That song–which is also on Jana’s debut album–is now set to be Jana’s next radio single.

“Whiskey” was written by Catt Gravitt, the same songwriter behind “Why Ya Wanna.” (Gravitt has written songs for Jake Owen, Edens Edge, and Kelly Clarkson, among many others.)

“She’s a very dear friend of mine,” Jana says of Catt. “We’d written a bunch of songs together, too. And when I heard [‘Whiskey’] I was like, ‘oh please can I have that.'”

Jana Kramer is currently on tour through early December.

– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local


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