Future country music star Sally Jane is scoring goals early in 2022.
Her second single from her debut EP, “Kiss You When The Rain Comes”, hit number one in the first weeks of January on the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project charts.
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter was pleasantly surprised at the placement.
“I was really thrilled and surprised to find this out,” Ms Jane said.
“My producer sent me a message and a picture saying I was number one and I was like, wow.”
As an independent artist who usually promotes herself, she decided to change it up with this song, giving it a boost with Country Radio Singles.
They handled distribution, placing the song on as many stations as possible, while promoting it online and on social media.
Despite the surprise of chart-topping success, her career’s upward trajectory makes sense as Ms. Jane cut her career short for most of her young life.
Growing up in Serpentine, she fell into music by happy coincidence after her father, Stuart Pottinger, expressed an interest in learning the guitar.
When she was 12, she and her mother Nerolie Pottinger bought her a guitar for Christmas, but where her enthusiasm quickly faded, the young star blossomed.
“Dad never played it, so I sneakily stole it from him and started learning with the help of YouTube,” Ms Jane said.
Originally a self-proclaimed terrible singer, she used to be sent to the back paddock to pick up sticks with the horses, in order to give her parents a break from her vocal styles.
“At 15 I started looking half decent,” she said.
“Our local, the Serpentine Pub, got me started, landing my first gig at 15.
“Unfortunately the pub has been closed for three years now and the whole town can’t wait for it to reopen.
“They bought me a cheap little PA system and I took it from there.”
Studying in Tamworth, New South Wales at ‘The Academy of Country Music’, she took an intensive music course and graduated from the Senior Academy course in 2020, giving the course credit for helping her career gain momentum.
While the discovery of the guitar was a serendipitous story, his love for country music was ingrained early on as the family took long trips together.
As the radio signal faded, CDs of Kasey Chambers played, along with other country music artists, teaching Sally Jane the art of storytelling and songwriting through musical legends of the genre.
As a result, it’s no wonder Kasey Chambers is an inspiration to the young performer.
“I love his songwriting,” Ms. Jane said.
“I have to duet with her in 2018 and support her at Karratha in 2021, she’s just a really lovely person so she’s definitely my idol.
“I also love Adam Brand, and a couple of upcoming American artists have also been a big inspiration for songwriting.”
Since songwriting is a unique and individual process, Ms. Jane is motivated by crochet when creating her masterpieces.
“Most of the time, I’ll think of a hook, a line, a slogan, or even just an idea,” she said.
“I then come up with a melody that will fit that hook, writing the chorus first and then the rest of the song from there.
“I got more technical and focused on songwriting last year, but before that I just kept working on a song until it sounded good, not really using a system.”
The second single from her debut EP, “Kiss you when the rain comes”, benefited from this more technical approach, as she was moved by farmers affected by drought a few years ago.
“We were in Tamworth a few years ago for the Tamworth Country Music Festival and we were visiting my uncle who has a farm there,” she said.
“It was when the droughts were really bad and there were just some serious bushfires and I saw firsthand the struggle of the farmers and the communities there.
“Seeing the effect of the drought and fires, I wanted to write a tribute to the farmers, lift their spirits and let them know that we are all here to support them at the same time.”
Ms. Jane hopes this song, and all of her songs, are relevant to her listeners and move others, just as she was moved by the effects of the devastating droughts of the time.
A true performer, if she loves to write songs, her greatest joy comes from being on stage.
“When people sing my own songs to me, it’s really amazing,” she said.
“Even though it’s just a cover – I’ve done the Boddington Rodeo many times now and when the audience sings these songs, yells at you, and you’re just a little person on a big stage, it’s really is a cool experience.
“I guess you would say this is my happy place.”
Already a winner, Ms Jane has won the 2020 Western Australian Country Music People’s Choice Award and shows no signs of slowing down for 2022.
“I have a new song available for pre-order at the end of January, which is also on my first EP,” she said.
“Then my EP is coming out later this year, followed by a Murchison, Gascoyne and Pilbara tour, which I’m really excited about.
“I was also performing at the Red Country Music festival around this time.
“I’m just really excited to release my EP and get back on the road.”
As well as touring up north, Ms. Jane is also set to perform at the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival from February 18-20.
Keep your eyes peeled for this rising star, because she’s definitely one to watch.
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