jelly roll been making music for many years now. He started out in hip hop, then turned to rock, and now turns to country music. He stopped The Bobby Bones Show to share some of his story and talk about his ties to Nashville and country music.
Although Jelly Roll is not his legal name, it was the name his mother gave him when he was a young “chubby kid” and it stuck. Jelly Roll currently has the number 1 song on the rock charts with “A Walking Dead Man” which he is very excited about. Lately, however, he’s been focused on crafting a full-fledged country album. He considers himself a singer-songwriter so he doesn’t tend to stick to one genre of music. He writes with Brantley Gilbert and Ernest months, and Ernest was one of the co-writers of Jelly Roll’s new country song “Son of a sinner.” The song is Jelly Roll really leaning into its roots. He’s originally from Antioch, Tennessee, so he always wanted to be a country artist.
Whenever fans attend a Jelly Roll show, they get all types of music, plus a DJ to give it an “old school” vibe. This year, Jelly Roll is heading towards 10 tour dates with Gilbert and 30 dates with Shinedown. When asked how he ended up with Gilbert, Jelly Roll shared that people kept telling them both that they needed to meet, so they finally got through. He also has a friendship with The rock. Turns out The Rock has deep roots in Nashville, and he heard one of Jelly Roll’s songs. He wanted to make a video of it, and ever since that video came out, the two have been friends. The Rock was the first to congratulate Jelly Roll on her Opry debut.
Jelly Roll has a very inspirational story that he likes to share in hopes of connecting with people. He comes from a lower middle class community where he was the youngest child of 4 years old. Her father was a meat salesman for his own family business called DeFord Wholesale Meats, and her mother struggled with addictions and mental health issues. He spent about 12 years in and out of the prison system until he had a moment of awakening sitting in his jail cell. A guard knocked on his cell door to tell him he had a daughter. This moment made Jelly Roll realize that because of the good father he had, he wanted to be a good father to his daughter. After getting out of jail, Jelly Roll admitted he wasn’t qualified to do much more than talk and sing. So he focused on music. Part of her music career was also inspired by her mother as music really changed her life when she was going through all her things. So he wanted to make music that would impact others the way songs impacted his mother.
Now Jelly Roll is married to Bunnie, and they have children together as well as full custody of Jelly Roll’s daughter. He and Bunnie are best friends, and he joked that he couldn’t surprise her with anything. When it comes to parenting, Jelly Roll said he focuses on having an open dialogue and being honest with his kids. His daughter is his “little friend, my road dog”, he likes to keep her close to him and help her grow.
While watching Jelly Roll, fans will see a lot of tattoos, especially on her face. His very first facial tattoo of a cross and a teardrop was done while he was in prison. And her son’s name “Noah” is tattooed above her eyebrow. He is also very fond of alcoholic beverages, especially tequila. That’s why he loves golf so he can drink any time of the day and no one can judge him. He doesn’t like golf for the clothes though, they make him feel very awkward. The only time he’ll wear a nice shirt is to play the Opry.
Jelly Roll will be doing a show in Nashville later this year where 100% of the proceeds will go towards building a music center for the local juvenile detention center. Not only that, he plans to match the product with his own money. He is super passionate about helping young children get out of the cycle of the justice system and is sure to put his money where his mouth is.