TEMPLE, Texas - A local teenager is getting noticed as an up-and-coming musician.
Jenna McDaniel is getting some airtime on the radio and working with writers and voice coaches in Nashville.
She is just 19-years-old, but if you closed your eyes as she covers Fleetwood Mac’s song Dreams – you’d never know it.
The teenage contemporary country singer from Temple has some of her own dreams.
“I’ve been working very hard to achieve this goal that I have wanted since I was little and there’s really nothing that is going to stop me from trying to achieve that,” McDaniel said.
She has made a name for herself as a musician here in town, but she is also starting to get recognized by more than just Central Texas. Her single, “Train Wreck” made the Top 100 on the Texas Regional Radio Charts.
“There’s letters from fans that say you inspired me to do this or your music touched me and that’s all I ever wanted,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said she started singing shortly after she learned how to walk.
“The karaoke guy would tell my parents that I couldn’t read the screen and my dad would say, ‘Yeah she can’t read yet, but she knows the song,’” McDaniel said.
Not only does McDaniel play the guitar and sing in her own band, but she also writes her own music – and it's that passion that keeps her in tune with her dreams.
“It’s just an easier way for me to express what I am trying to say and what I am feeling. And also with some of these songs, if I go through something and I am thinking there is not a song written about this -- maybe I could share my experience and help someone else,” McDaniel said.
In addition to performing at events around town she has traveled and opened up for well-known bands around Texas and has gone as far as New York to perform.
“Every 3 to 4 weeks we try to perform at home, but my schedule is kind of crazy right now since we perform four nights a week. But I like coming back home and performing for the people that are here supporting me,” McDaniel said.
Her manager, Zac Maloy, said in the music industry the phrase “real-deal” is thrown around all too often. But when it comes to McDaniel, he said she has something that can’t be taught.
Maloy calls McDaniel the “realest-deal” and said he is excited to be along for the ride.
McDaniel received entertainer of the year at this year’s awards ceremony for the Music Association of Central Texas.
“Recently I have had a few people in the community that have said, ‘You make us proud,’ and it makes me proud to be from Temple,” McDaniel said.
Maloy said he is blessed to be working with her.
“She has a no-nonsense, no give-in, no cut-corner mentality,” Maloy said.
This month McDaniel plans to complete her next EP project.
To follow her journey on social media, her personal blog and for a schedule of her upcoming performances you can visit her website at: www.jennamcdaniel.com.