Acclaimed folk/pop husband/wife duo Jenny & Tyler return with the very personal “Part of Me” (available now to download/stream), inspired by their two oldest daughters, Jane and Sara. The song was penned by the duo’s Jenny Somers while processing her children’s response to the events and challenges that have marked the past year. In this TCB Exclusive, Jenny & Tyler open up about how witnessing their children’s fears and anxiety inspired the universal and encouraging message of the song. The duo also recall the intention behind crafting the unique “Part Of Me” music video. Finally, Jenny & Tyler share with us their biggest inspirations musically and spiritually.
Congratulations on the recent release of your new single titled “Part of Me”! Can you share the inspiration for this track’s title?
Jenny: My kids needed me this last year like they’ve never needed me before. When normal life stopped in March of 2020, their world changed dramatically. School closed. Dance class became virtual. Our church stopped meeting. They couldn’t hug their grandparents. Their parents’ job disappeared. I sensed their fear and anxiety. I realized that the only way we were going to get through all of it was together. We need each other. We are part of each other.
What was special to you about the writing of this track and the personal connection to you and your daughters, Jane and Sara?
Jenny: “Part of Me” came out of a moment I had with our daughter Sara when she had to begin doing kindergarten virtually. I remember her daily meltdowns when she had to go to ANOTHER Zoom class. I watched her and I wept. I thought, “You are so amazing and this is so wrong.” The pandemic has been hard for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for kids. I wrote this song for Sara and Jane (and Mary and Gabe) because I want them to know that I see them. I see them struggling. I see their fear. I see them persevering. I’m here.
Which lyric within the track do you think the world most needs to hear at this moment?
Jenny: Honestly, it’s the chorus: “You are a part of me and I am a part of you. We’ll see each other through this. I’ll hold your hand and I’ll never let go.” Throughout the pandemic we have found ways to be together, even if we’re not physically together. As humans we NEED each other. We’re meant to live in community for a reason. We can’t get through something like this alone. Find the people who will hold your hand and walk with you through this.
Can you take us back to the day you recorded the music video – is there a moment during the process that stood out to you most?
Jenny: We wanted the video to show what real life looked like during the pandemic. We asked friends and fans to submit clips of their life and we weeded through our phones to find some of our favorite videos of our family. It was filmed over a period of time, but I do remember watching the first rough cut of the video (by Caleb Chamberlain of Veritable Films) and being completely blown away by the teachers. A couple of teachers filmed themselves teaching virtually and at one point one of them was dancing and singing, dressed as Princess Anna, in front of her laptop. This teacher pulled out all the stops to engage her students. She couldn’t be with them physically, but you could see the love she has for them and I imagine those kids could feel it.
Success can mean many things to different people and situations. Have you thought about what success looks like to you for this project?
Tyler: Success for me means working hard and with joy, not taking shortcuts, but finishing when the work is complete.
Jenny: And that’s why we are trying to get this song out to as many people as we can. We could just write it and share it with our friends and family, but it’s special and we believe it should be seen and heard. I want the people who need to hear this message of unity and encouragement to hear it. I want families to watch the video and remember that they’re not alone.
Who, or what, are some of your current biggest inspirations, spiritually and musically?
Jenny: Sitting on my front porch with a cup of coffee in the morning before the house is awake is my favorite part of the day. I watch people walk by, listen to the birds, inspect my flower garden, write. Musically, I can’t get enough of our pals Mission House.
Tyler: I’m currently inspired by Jeremiah (the Old Testament prophet), for telling it like it is, not holding back, not fearing man. Musically, I appreciate the vulnerability and boldness of Sara Groves.
What are you most expectant for in the remainder of 2021?
Jenny: I’m excited for my kids to go back to school and for things to feel a little more normal and less scary. I’m also really looking forward to having a break from four kids at home to work on music again.