CMT Next Up Now: SJ McDonald Sings Of Cowboys

SJ McDonald's "Break A Cowboy" is out now.

SJ McDonald considers herself an Appalachian cowgirl. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, working on her family’s five-generation cattle and turkey farm.

So, when she sings about cowboys, she does so from experience. 

McDonald’s song and video for her “Break a Cowboy” is out now. 

McDonald wrote the song with Brittany Moore and Alison Elena. She produced the track alongside Brandon Meagher. Jordan Jeck produced and directed the video. 

“From the wide-open spaces to the cowboy always riding on his own - and even the shots of me trying to keep that giant paint horse’s attention – the video brings to life the bittersweet feeling of letting someone go that you know you had no business holding onto in the first place,” she said. “Lord knows I’m no stranger to that.”

McDonald remembers the day they filmed after shooting the horse and cowboy shots on the ranch; they drove to a friend’s farm in search of a sunset. The only directions they had were fields and corrals they were supposed to pass. It took them an hour of traversing hills and hopping fences, but they got there. 

“We finally found the perfect meadow for me to romp around in, with about 30 minutes of light left,” she said. 

When she saw the finished video, McDonald said her jaw dropped at its quality. 

“Wow,” she said. “Jordan Jeck did such an amazing job shooting/directing/editing it, and he really made me feel like I was a pro with the finished product,” she said. “Watching it for the first time made me want to make another!”

She hopes the video makes people want to research her and her music even more. 

“Maybe they’ll catch a show ... and throw on their boots and find a cowboy to play this song for!” she said.

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