Remember When: Jelly Roll Visited American Songwriter for the First Time

Jelly Roll has had a stupendous 2023. His star has been on a meteoric rise. From CMA award wins to Grammy nominations, the world is falling at the rapper-turned-country star’s feet.

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American Songwriter first had the pleasure of chatting with Jelly Roll back in 2021 around the release of his album, Ballads of the Broken. Though it would be a couple more years before he would truly break the big time with Whitsitt Chapel, the same fun-loving charm he’s known for today was still very much accounted for.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Jelly Roll on Grammy Nominations: “I’ve Been Crying all Morning”]

The interview spawned many great soundbites, including “I’m sexy, confident, and sexual,” “The only time I’ve ever had a routine was in jail,” and “I’m a cocaine-over-coffee kind of guy.” A large part of Jelly Roll’s humor lies in his candor. He is never afraid to tell it like it is. Few superstars can boast being as real as he seems to be.

Other revelations included his first concert (No Doubt), his second concert (Lollapalooza with Snoop Dogg in the lineup), and his preferred method for smoking weed (bong).

There were many endearing moments mixed in between the jokes. He told us about his first musical memory, in which his family provided him with a mixed bag of musical influences.

“I just remember hearing those songs, and as I got older, my brothers were heavy into hip-hop,” he says. “My sister was a rock person. That’s what is interesting about the way my music comes out. I think I’m just an accumulation of all the things I ingested as a child.”

In between dishing out great one-liners, he performed “Sober.” Like many of his songs, this track focuses on the singer’s regrets and substance-fueled mistakes.

I woke up this morning a little hungover / It hits different since I got older / Still got this old chip on my shoulder / The stubborn side of me will never get sober, he sang in his distinctive baritone.

Revisit all these moments and more in the American Songwriter exclusive video, below.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ABA

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