Jelly Roll is easily one of the most talked-about artists in country music right now.

He had a monster of a year in 2023: He released his debut album, went out on his first headlining country tour and even won the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. But despite his obvious success, there are still critics who claim he doesn't fit the mold of country music.

"To me, country music is three chords and the truth, and I know in my soul that what I do ... is write three chords and the truth," Jelly shares during a chat with the Full Send podcast.

"I know if I don't write nothing else, I write the truth."

Country music has often been associated with a country lifestyle — in other words, country is a way of life, and the music is its natural expression. The "Son of a Sinner" singer sees the two as separate entities.

"There's two different things," he explains. "There's being country and being country music. Because even country music as far as time has been wasn't always just super country rednecks, you know what I mean?"

"It's like country music's always had a wide stroke. Like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wasn't singing about fishing or hunting," Jelly adds, "And they were as authentically country as you could be."

Ultimately, country newcomer swears he has pure country intentions and loves his home in this format.

"So the country thing — long answer Bubba because I've been wanting to talk about this — is to me, it's just my spirit is country music," he sums up.

Who Are Jelly Roll's Country Music Influences?

Growing up just outside of downtown Nashville, Jelly Roll was exposed to the genre by proxy. However, he was introduced to country music within the walls of his childhood home.

"My mother listened to country — real outlaw country, like Waylon and Willie," he says. "You know what I mean? Like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard."

"90s country too," Jelly adds. "Tracy Lawrence, George Strait, Garth Brooks. Dude, I could probably sing more Garth Brooks songs than Garth Brooks can."

Jelly Roll also treated fans to a rocking rendition of Toby Keith's "Should've Been a Cowboy" at every one of his tour stops last year.

What Is Jelly Roll Doing in 2024?

The "Need a Favor" singer spent much of last year writing in between his shows. Overall he was able to craft 80 new songs, some of which he plans on pitching to other artists. He explains that much of his writing is experimental as he tries to figure out what the new sound will be for his music.

He's also set a lofty goal for this year:

"My goal was ... I put out 13 songs in '23. I wanna put out like 30 in '24," Jelly Roll says.

11 Songs that Foreshadowed Jelly Roll's Country Music Career

Jelly Roll has taken the country music world by storm over the past year, and he will release his first full-length country album, Whitsitt Chapel, on June 2. Before he jumps right into the deepend of the genre, let's take a walk down memory lane. There are 11 songs that seemed to foreshadow his country music career.

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