NYCS Swag Spotlight: Josh Kelley
I love being a dad. I just love it. Family is extremely important, it’s everything. It’s just a feeling, it’s something, I love to grow these babies up, to spend time with them and nurture them, something about building a family.”
In honor of Father’s Day this upcoming weekend, we are highlighting dad of three and singer, songwriter, and producer, Josh Kelley. Growing up in Augusta, Georgia, he and his younger brother, Charles Kelley (frontman of Lady A) were surrounded by music. The hometown of legend, James Brown, they were influenced by a diverse range of music growing up including Luther Vandross and the Doobie Brothers when with their mother, classic country music with their father or Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin when driving around with their older brother. “When I started teaching myself to play guitar, I think I was 11 or 12 and I remember getting really good,” Kelley tells us. ” I became a blues guitarist, and James Brown’s band had a side project called First Born and I would sit in and play guitar with them, I was 16-17 and they taught me so much, it was like going to soul-funk camp.”
While in college he wrote and recorded a song called “Amazing” that had a ton of traction on college radio and eventually landed a record deal thanks to the very first streaming platform, Napster. ” When I figured out my little clever angle as to how I was going to make it happen, I remember knowing that it was going to happen,” he recalls. Staying authentic and always writing what he knows, Kelley has produced and recorded the majority of his latest music in a barn turned studio in his home which he shares with his wife, movie, and television star Katherine Heigl.
He and Katherine live in Park City, Utah tucked away in the mountains and are raising a beautiful family, teaching them to appreciate the simple things in life and have really taken to this quarantined time together. “Busy Making Memories” is a touching tribute to slowing down life and taking in the small joyous moments. The video edited by Katherine and Josh features their three children and plays out like an intimate home movie. “It was a little revelation I had, I needed to make sure that, just because I am still a dream chaser, I want my career to grow and get bigger and better and play for more people but I don’t want to do it at the expense of my family,” he tells us. “There is a sweet spot I’ve been trying to find for years and I think I found it.”
He even admits that the next song he is getting ready to release was inspired by his children after watching the movie Trolls together and hearing one of the characters sing in autotune. They all went into Kelley’s at home studio, put on headphones, and started recorded sounds and he was instantly inspired. “I put a groove to it to make it fun and the next thing you know, it started becoming a song,” he laughs.
This new song he tells us has an islandy, summertime vibe, and it is apparent that he continues to push himself into different directions sonically. “It 100% would not be fun for me to write the same kind of music for the rest of my life. I like to produce different kinds of music, I don’t stay in a lane production wise but there is a consistency with my lyrics,” Kelley tells us. “I just love music, I love it to death I typically don’t like putting things in different drawers and compartmentalization.”
During the pandemic, the innovative creator has found a way to involve his fans in his process virtually by hosting “Fan Jam” on FaceBook live. Instead of just playing music, he has given fans the chance to send in lyrics in the comments as he produces a song from start to finish. Check out the finished song from his most recent live below.
Having the ability to create and produce his music in his home, he tells us that his upcoming record is just about finished and he looks ahead to the fall to releasing it. Fans that have followed Kelley’s career since the start or if you are just discovering his music now, you can always count on hearing genuine lyrics, with a fresh new sound each time.
To keep up with Josh Kelley follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION
The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.
Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!
Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!
+ Follow our country music adventures on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook: