At first glance, country artist Jocelyn Stout’s petite frame, bright vocal tone, and sweet, gentle disposition leave an impression of naivety and passivity. But don’t be fooled by this West Virginia native’s seemingly mild nature. “I recently shot a 12-point buck while hunting. I now hold the family record for largest buck shot.” That strength and passion, when paired with her kindhearted ways and mesmerizing talents, makes Stout the latest industry sweetheart.
“I’ve loved to sing as long as I can remember.” As a toddler, Stout passed time riding around on 4-wheelers with her grandmother - the woman she attributes her talents to. “She used to sing ‘I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart’ as we rode through the countryside. My grandma had a wonderful voice…” With a backyard rock pile as her stage, Stout began by performing for nature’s elements, until a solo of “Mary Did You Know?” for her church Christmas pageant at age five exposed her natural gift.
Despite her early start as a performer, Stout’s musical talents remained a well-kept secret throughout much of her childhood. “I was a closet singer… I sang in the shower, the car, my room – that’s it. One day I was listening to Carrie Underwood in my room and it hit me: I want to do this.” Shortly thereafter, Stout entered the Blackberry Festival Talent Show. Though she didn’t win, her voice caught the attention of a local radio personality, who encouraged Stout’s parents to consider cultivating her obvious talent. At twelve, Stout began voice lessons.
At the advice of her vocal coach, Stout began performing with fellow West Virginia country artist Braden Stover at area fairs and festivals. She continued honing her skills into high school, working on guitar and performing for talent shows. A performance at her dad’s annual company meeting put Stout in contact with four-time West Virginia state fiddle champion Johnny Cochran. He quickly recognized her talents and added her to the lineup of regular shows at the Orange Blossom Trail Music Hall. Aside from a stacked performance schedule, Stout remains active in her community, participating in her local 4H program. And as the end of her high school career quickly approaches, she has no plans to slow down. “I so look forward to making the move to Nashville and further perfecting my craft. I’m not interested in becoming a one-hit wonder. I plan on making it all the way – and staying there!”