Evan Agostini, AP
"I've always had a niche for entertaining since I was a little girl," Jana explains to CMT. "I was five years old, onstage singing 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' -- a rock version -- and I was always wanting to entertain. But the biggest thing for me is just country music has helped me get through the worst times of my life and the best times of my life. I want to give that back to people."
The Michigan native recently relocated to Nashville in hopes of launching her singing career, but insists country music has always been in her blood.
"My mom wanted to be a country singer, too, so country was always being played," she recalls. "And my girlfriends and I used to go to concerts, like Brad Paisley, in middle school and high school."
Yet, even though she is already familiar to 'One Tree Hill' fans, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll have it any easier selling albums, she acknowledges. In fact, Jana anticipates working even harder than everyone else -- and she isn't about to complain.
"It's really hard for females in this format, and on top of that, I'm an actress," explains the brunette beauty. "So it's like I've already got two strikes against me. When I first came to town, hardly anyone would even take a meeting with me. They think I'm going to try it and then realize that it's actually a lot harder than acting and then take off to go back to Hollywood ... It's been a challenge because everyone's like, 'Oh gosh, another actress coming in, and she's probably gonna leave.'"
The small-screen star was able to incorporate her music into her role as Alex Dupre on 'One Tree Hill,' but ultimately decided to leave her acting gig to focus solely on music.
"I'm authentic, and I'm not gonna go off and do another TV show," Jana maintains. "I know that I have to prove that, but when people get to know me and then listen to the music, they'll become believers."
Jana's debut single, 'Why You Wanna,' was released last month, and quickly became the most-added song by a debut artist since the beginning of the Country Aircheck/Mediabase chart.