Good News Idol Fans: Jena Irene Signs Deal With Detroit Label, Debut Album Coming This Year!

As some of you may know, Jena Irene is probably one of my favorite Idol contestants, mainly because she’s not your typical Idol kid. She didn’t let the American Idol process change her, and even after the show, the 18-year-old singer is not letting the big dreams of Los Angeles guide her career.

After a long year of excitement and confusion, the Michigan native has decided to stay home. The Idol finalist just announced she has signed a long-term recording deal with independent Detroit label Original 1265 Recordings.

She shared the exciting news during an interview last week with the Free Press at Studio A Recording. And while she admits this wasn’t her original plan, she now feels like this was the right decision.

I wanted to move to L.A. for so long. I was so ready to pack up and leave right after I got home. But then I stayed home for awhile and worked on some demos, not knowing what was going to happen. I was kind of scared at that point.

Jena admits to losing a few followers on her social media profiles, “The hype definitely died down.” She admitted. That’s when her mother stepped in and sent an email to Dan Gilbert, the founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. She wanted to know if her daughter could help promote the comeback of downtown Detroit.

A few emails and executives later, the talented musician was connected with the folks at the Original 1265 record label. They watched her “Creep” performance on YouTube and immediately recognized this girl had something special.

The head of the label, Kevin Nixon, told reporters the following…

I thought that’s not your normal ‘American Idol’-type kid. There’s something deep here. This girl’s a proper songwriter.

And that was it. The decision was made. Jena does admit she had a few deals waiting on her in L.A., but she just felt more comfortable back at home with Original 1265.

After I got started working with them, I became addicted. I just felt really comfortable and started expanding and reaching new ground with my writing.

So, what about this new album? We know 11 of the 13 songs were written or co-written by the former Idol contestant. She claims “not many Idol alumni have really done what I’m going to do.”

I am certainly excited to hear her new music. I also think she made the right decision. She probably has a little more freedom with this label.