Jelly Roll Opens Music Studio in Juvenile Detention Center in Nashville

Jelly Roll

The 'Whitsitt Chapel' artist founded the studio for aspiring artists who have had trouble with the law.

Jelly Roll is looking to give other aspiring musicians the same chance he had when he was at his lowest point.

The Whitsitt Chapel artist -- who himself served time behind bars before turning his life around through music -- recently helped open a music studio inside the Nashville Juvenile Detention Center.

The singer helped fund the studio with a portion of the proceeds from his Bridgestone Arena headlining show last December, and attended the "Redemption Songs" Event earlier this year, hosted by Beat of Life Organization. 

Jelly Roll -- who spend time in the same Nashville Juvenile Detention Center -- performed at the opening event, alongside fellow artist and Nashville native ERNEST, to a crowd made up of incarcerated youth, as well as other members of the music community who are working with the organization.

Jelly Roll performs at the 'Redemption Songs' Event at the Nashville Juvenile Detention Center in 2024. - Beat of Life Organization

According to a press release announcing the studio, "This collaboration, featuring music luminaries Jeffrey Steele and ERNEST, alongside 35 pro/hit songwriters who helped kick off the program launch, embodies the belief in music's role in personal growth and redemption, showcasing the journey from juvenile detention to success."

Jelly Roll spoke with ET back in June 2023, and explained the importance music has played in his life.

"I think at some point in life, everything in life has let me down. But music was always my constant," he shared. "Like, when I had nothing else, I had a boombox. When I was incarcerated, I had a set of headphones and a little radio."

Jelly Roll has lived a textured life -- from addiction and life on the streets as a thief to time behind bars -- and it's not something he's shied away from. He buries his emotions in his music.

"In the darkest moments of my life, at my father's funeral, it was music that helped me cope," he recalled. "Music was always there to give me a hug. So I just want to do that for people."

"I'm constantly writing songs to show people that it's okay to be a work in progress. It's okay to still meet yourself in the middle," Jelly Roll said of his approach to songwriting. "But I also wanted to make sure this time that I added the hopefulness to it and the tempo. I had some tempo changes. I wanted to be more uplifting, more major keys."

For Jelly Roll, connecting with his audience and making a difference for people is the ultimate reward.

"There's no amount of celebrity or money that will ever mean more than the lady I just saw in the parking lot that's from Antioch, Tennessee, and asking if she takes a picture and just told me her brief piece of her story and what she's overcome in life and how I inspired that," he shared. "You could throw billions of dollars at me, it'll never have the effect that I get, that feeling, when fans tell me the music helped them."