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Justice Carradine’s “Okay” Is A Song You Won’t Want To Miss



If you haven’t heard of Justice Carradine yet, you’ve been doing yourself a disservice. Starting out in his teens, the young singer/songwriter built a passionate social media following with covers before writing and releasing his own original material.

Carradine’s most recent track, “Okay,” was released with a music video in May, and you can add Idolator to the list of outlets praising the raw emotion of the track. The introspective song gives listeners a look into his mental health struggles in his teens.

About the effect he ultimately hopes his music will have on people, Carradine says, “I feel like music is healing. When you listen to me, I hope you feel okay. We all go through things. I’ve felt alone many times, and I want to let everyone know they have someone who can relate. Music showed me it’s okay to be vulnerable with myself and others. I’m here for you.”

Check out the music video for “Okay” below and feel free to fall in love with Justice Carradine the same way I have!

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Pusha T Wants To Prove That Age Is Just A Number



Longevity in any career is hard to achieve, and in the world of entertainment, it can be nearly impossible. The keyword, of course, being “nearly.” And the trend is something that 44-year-old rapper Pusha T is hoping to fight back against with his most recent album It’s Always Dry.

Speaking with NME on the eve of his album release, Pusha T talked about old hip hop, and how he hopes that his music finds a way to stand the test of time:

“A lot of our forefathers, the greats, they didn’t stand the test of time,” Pusha says. “As great as they were, I don’t know how much they are [still] appreciated. [I want] to show that rap doesn’t have to age out. When people look at me, they need to understand that I can do this forever.”

It’s Almost Dry is street rap at its most intense and honest, which is the kind of music Pusha T has been making his entire career. Now multiple decades into stardom, he still wears his heart on his sleeve:

“It’s all about creating the best product you can create. That’s just the standard. I want people to look at this street rap narration that I’m painting and understand that this is all I want to make. Don’t ask me for anything else. I’m not entertaining you. I’ve been a realist. I’ve shown you everything. I’ve won the wars. I went through label dramas. I withstood everything. Now is the best time for me to be more creative and fully uplift the genre.”

Pusha T knows that he has his critics, and that’s okay with him, as long as he is staying honest to himself and honoring the roots from where he came.

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David D’Alessio Wants To Embrace A First Summer Without Thinking About The Pandemic And There’s ‘Nowhere Else’ He Wants To Be!



As we approach a Summer where we can at last contemplate all being in a room together listening to music without looking at a sea of masks, all think about hugging strangers and all dream about walking hand in hand on a beach with the person we love, it seems we need an anthem and David D’Alessio has provided us with a song that has quite simply become my go to feel-good song at the moment. If all of that pent up excitement for a return to normality could be bottled up in a song, then this artist has done just that with a song that fills me with the same joy that the classic Don Henley song ‘Boys of Summer’ did all those years ago. 

After David’s last contemplative and introspective EP ‘This Far Apart’, the last thing I honestly expected from the artist was this song and yet it somehow feels like he’s managed to completely sense the feelings that we’ve all had during the last few years; he has understood our anxieties during the pandemic and now he completely understands the euphoria and joy of looking forward instead of backwards. The production encapsulates everything you’d want from a Summer anthem; its Bryan Adams, Don Henley and the Beach Boys thrown in a shaker and mixed up to provide us with a cocktail of positivity.

David was born and raised in Hawaii and lived for many years in Arizona, where he was once hailed as the “Jason Mraz of the Southwest”; all of these influences feel strong in this release which would sit happily blasting out of a boom box on a beach or at a Summer Country music festival. The lyrics read like a checklist of everything you’d want from the perfect Summer but underlying that is a wonderful love song about appreciating what’s right here, right now. It says look around and enjoy what is under your nose, kiss the ones you love, play on the beach with your children, snap those selfies, drink a cold beer but most importantly give thanks that we’ve waited so long to enjoy something that we lost, that we all took for granted but now have back. In short, enjoy the simple things. There’s no mention of possessions, just experiences because if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people and experiences are what make us human, it’s touching and interacting and smiling and loving that make us happiest so let’s grab this Summer, pull it in and hold it in our hearts. The feeling of endless Summer is what we all need and David’s right….there’s ‘Nowhere Else’ any of us would rather be.

David says of the song:

”I feel like ‘Nowhere Else I Wanna Be’ is the natural counterweight and the perfect follow up to the EP. Sometimes, it’s important to reflect on things in your life, but other times, you just want to forget it and be free. This song is my way of saying, hey, I can have fun too! I wrote it first on acoustic guitar and thought it might be an acoustic track. Then I realised, no, we’ve been waiting for this release from the pandemic and a COVID-free summer for a long time- so let’s chant. Let’s celebrate”

The song was born when David was driving back from the Jersey shore on a late Summer day in September 2021 with his wife and seven-year-old daughter when a melody that had long been in his mind suddenly floated into his head. Feeling sunburn and sunspent, with his feet on the dash as his wife was driving, and with the wind in his hair, he started to reflect on the lockdown and the freedom everyone craved and what would be the things that give that forever summer feeling. From there the song almost wrote itself and it was easy to write a song about losing the restrictions the pandemic brought with it and embracing life and the simple things that make us want to smile; the things we’ve been dreaming of for so long. That possibility of being in that Summer feeling forever, that need to tap into our inner energy and be thankful. 

David says of his music:

“Music and I are in a long term relationship that I’m never gonna get out of. ‘Nowhere Else I Wanna Be’ makes me feel that I still have so much to explore as a songwriter and artist. It makes me feel free, not only in the kid-like sense of never leaving the beach in my mind, but also as an artist not attached to any particular sound. The joy of creation for me is like Elsa singing ‘Into The Unknown’ in Frozen 2. That’s a comparative reference only a Dad with a seven-year-old daughter would make!” 

For me David D’Alessio is everything you want your favourite artist to be. He might not feel that he’s locked into any particular genre and that’s great because it’s all essentially pop, whether it’s Indie, Country, Blues or Soul, and we want our artists to be dipping into all of those influences but the one thing that David is locked into is that ability to tap into the myriad of emotions that live inside us and make us tick. Right now, everyone is feeling the joy and hope of a Summer where we can all be together at last and frankly he’s right; there’s ‘Nowhere Else (we) Wanna Be’. 

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Country Music Duo American Young Chat With Us About Their Brilliant Sophomore Album, ‘AYII’.



American Young are made up of Jon Stone and Kristy Osmunson, two artists who collaboratively can already claim song writing credits for hit makers Kenny Chesney, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts and Blake Shelton to name a few. They are songsmiths in every meaning of the word; writing, producing and singing and their long awaited second album dropped at the back end of last year. This weekend, we will get the chance to see their brilliance up close and personal at some great intimate events as they celebrate being able to finally bring their music to a live audience.

American Young - Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker
American Young – Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker

When I caught up with them, Jon had been using his metal detector to explore for relics from the American Civil War and had found a treasure trove of things from the historic event. Collecting things like this is something he and his Father love to do and it seemed to perfectly illustrate why Jon and Kristy make such a formidable pairing musically. These are people that care passionately about where things come from, what makes them special and the evolution of things; particularly they care about protecting those things and this is what makes their music special. The music these artists create is modern Country music with one foot very much in the contemporary but the other firmly planted in what makes Country music great; the storytelling, honesty and harmonies that epitomise the genre. With protagonists like this, the future of Country music is in safe hands and their brilliant album proves this in bundles. I was thrilled to chat with Jon and Kristy and hope you enjoy what they have to say and then go get tickets to see the band live this weekend. If not, I can’t recommend the album highly enough. 

American Young have won the British Country Music Association Touring Award in 2019 after being nominated for three years in a row and can’t wait to bring new music to a live audience.

EP: Since 2013, with your debut single which was favourably compared with The Civil Wars, there seems to have been a move towards a more diverse sound for this album. Still 100% a Country album, but with a diverse approach to each song. Was that a natural direction of travel or was it the influence of the co-writers on this record? 

K: There’s a totally different band, different writers…

J: That was a natural evolution. It was more than just the song writing; it was the studio..

K: Also, we have travelled around the world…and also, babies (laughing); I had two kids with this band. All of my cells are different, that’s a very real thing…over those seven years we’ve changed as humans. We got rid of all our cells and became totally different humans.

J: It was a natural evolution and it’s fun to be able to do that. Sonically, this record grooves. There was really a lack of groove on the first record and this record is moving towards groove and our next record is just gonna groove harder. I want our whole set to do that. To just groove and make people dance and have a good time. All of it, it’s brand new music.

American Young - Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker
American Young – Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker

EP: I felt that! This album feels like a record that’s going to play really well live and I know you’ve won awards for your live performance, so that must be great to achieve that.

J:  Yeah, I can’t wait to play, we’ve never played it. So we’re doing the whole thing in the UK. 

EP: That’ll be fantastic. 

J: There are some songs on there like ‘When the Whisky Don’t Work’; I mean that groove is so hard. I’m looking forward to when it’s all second nature, to when all these songs are second nature live for us and we just haven’t played them yet so it’s gonna take a little while for that to happen. But, you know, when those grooves set in live, it’s just gonna be so great.

EP:  I guess that’s been the thing with the pandemic; a lot of bands have written music over the last two, two and a half years, and have not had the opportunity to kind of try them out with a live crowd so I guess it’s going to be a thrill to see which songs hit the button?

K: When we cut the album, it was really fascinating. We were the first project back in Nashville to actually come back post pandemic and book the session and all of our players were extremely cautious, so we had everybody in separate rooms, which is basically how you have to do it for sound separation anyways, but it was very different because a couple of the guys didn’t want to come into the mix room and listen; they stayed in their room with headphones and they didn’t want to be in the group at all.

That’s okay, and I feel like it worked well, it’s just that from my perspective the spirit in the room happens when everybody is playing together live in front of an audience. That’s when you really find out what the record is made of so it’ll be really exciting. This is the first time I’ve ever in my life gone about making a record where we didn’t start the process by playing live.

We usually write the songs, go play them live and then the album comes after that. With this one we were writing first. ‘Let You Down’, one of my favourite songs, we wrote over Zoom which is crazy.  I was still, like, oh we can never have this happen because there’s a delay; you can’t really play music over Zoom well, but the song came out and it turned out well and that’s my favourite one on the album. 

J: Yeah. I mean that song jams. As producers you learn to make records but writing songs is a completely separate art form than being an artist and that is a completely separate art form than being a producer; it’s a completely different art form.

American Young - Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker
American Young – Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker

EP: Because you guys both have a background in writing for other people and production, does that make it easier or maybe make it more difficult for you guys to write songs? Do you find that you have to change hats from writer to artist to producer?

J: It’s separated in your mind but the hip bone’s connected to the leg bone.

K: I think it’s a real challenge for us to decide. The 11 songs that were on there took five years to decide out of hundreds and hundreds, probably, a thousand songs.

J: But that’s the way it should be. When we talk about the themes of the record, you know, I would be able to point to three or four songs on the new record that are the corner posts to the record and everything kind of orbits around those songs, sonically, subject-wise and melodically, and our next record, you know, it’s going to be the same way. I’m a big fan of musical evolution and planning, but we really care about getting better. Not that we suck right now but if we continually strive to get better, it’s just gonna show in our records and in our writing.

EP: It’s funny that you should say that Jon because for me, as a fan of your music, it feels like you’re more interested in being very good than being very famous which I think comes through in the music. I think that definitely comes through in the second album because it’s very tight. 

 J & K: Oh yeah!

J: I remember the first time we got an 8 by 10 of us, and I remember, I was backstage and I was like ‘Kristy, this is the most egotistical shit on earth, there’s a picture of me!  I feel uncomfortable’

K: It took a long time for Jon to be ok with being an artist (laughing)

J: Yeah, I’m still not okay with it (laughing) because music for me was never ever a thing about fame. I think fame is the ugly side of music to me. Kristy is the best; people want to talk to her, talk about their cats and their dogs and their families and oh my god, that’s great but I just zoom out into a song I’m writing. It’s just like it’s a very, very weird thing; it’s weird to talk to strangers all the time for me.

K: I love it!

EP: (laughing) Tell me about it. So is that why you look so happy in the video for ‘Country Girls’ because you could be someone else?

J: Yeah, that was crazy. I mean that was probably the most I’ve moved in probably the last year. We’re making that video and we had to shoot that thing and we’re dancing and slapping around that mullet wig and it was fine. The thing is that we had a duty to make sure that the visual representation matched the record. When I listen to that record and hear ‘Mississippi Mud Pie’, it’s fun, we needed that.

K:  Yeah, oh my god we need fun after the last two, three years. 

J: Yeah I mean after our last record too. I love the last record but it was very much a singer songwriter record and that’s part of our charm. 

K: And the pandemic just got heavy and there was no live music for a long time other than redneck bars down Nashville (laughing) …

J: Yeah, this record is definitely where we are. We’re having fun doing this. You know, we’ve experienced all these experiences and all these wonderful countries and all these wonderful people and all these venues. So now, it’s like, okay, this is fun shit. That first record was fine and it was a listening one; you know, you sit down in theatres and you listen to it and you go ‘that’s so touching’ but with this one I want people to be like ‘I want to dance to this’. It’s got a groove to it. The first record really had no grooves to it but this record has got some groove to it. 

EP: Well I think this record manages to bring all of that together. ‘Say It to Me Sober’ has that groove, that infectious sing a long chorus and earworm but it still has really meaningful lyrics too. It has a groove and it’s a listening record too if you want it to be.

J: Yeah. And you know what, that’s one of the things that we’re not gonna lose… these things that we picked up as writers and artists. By making these records we’re gonna carry things from those past records on this record.

Our next record is going to have, you know, hints and touches of this one but we’re not going to lose our lyrical integrity, our melodic integrity. We’re just going to add to that. I tell Kristy all the time, they’re just tools in our toolbox that we’ve acquired and you see the greatest bands in the world and their fourth record is the best record they ever made because they carried all these three records and all this learning into say, ‘Hotel California’, or it’s Led Zeppelin IV; it’s a really, really exciting journey and it’s a fun one to be on and we can’t wait to come out there and really see how these audiences respond. Hell, I can’t wait to see how we respond.

We haven’t played any of these songs so especially songs like ‘Say It to Me Sober’ and ‘Let You Down’ and ‘Whiskey Don’t Work’ and ‘Country Girls’, how ‘Seminole Winds’ jams live. There’s some jams on this thing and I just can’t wait. 

EP: That’s something I wanted to ask you about because you guys are involved in the song writing on everything on this record apart from the cover of that John Anderson song. It’s a song that has been covered live by Eric Church when he played Tampa because of what it’s about. Did you include that because it is still a message that needs sending nowadays as much as when it was written? 

J: A lot of things..I think that we’ve always loved that record. John Anderson wrote that song by himself. That song has always touched us.

K:  It says a lot about environmental impact that needs to be said especially for Florida.

J: It talks about extinctions that we’re faced with…

K: … and about Native American culture and that is very, very important and there’s so much that hopefully we’re translating to the next generation and, you know, I have a three-and-a-half-year-old that is so crazy when I play these songs, or play songs in general, and that’s the first time he’s hearing that music and that idea to me is just mind-blowing to me because life is just one song after another, that’s like a continuation. It’s fun to get to introduce the next generation to the music we grew up with. 

American Young - Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker
American Young – Photo Credit: Lexie Rucker

EP: That sums up the record for me because you go from ‘Happy Again’ which is almost hymn-like and beautiful and then you’ve got the message song of Seminole Wind and then you’ve got the kick your heels up ‘Country Girls’ finish. It ticks all the boxes, doesn’t it? Did you feel that when you released it? Do you have any favourite tracks?

J: Well this record was being pressed when we wrote ‘Country Girls’ and we thought ‘Do we stop the press’ and everybody was ‘Yes! We’ve got to put Country Girls on this record’; it was the one song we were really missing as a whole. 

K: (looking at the record listing) Ohhhhh! ‘Falling Star’, I forgot about that one. I love that song. It’s the craziest, amazing song. I was pregnant and about to pop, so full. Close to popping and we had written ‘Falling Star’, I had a voice note of it and I tried to play it to my husband with the voice note of the song on my phone and the craziest thing happens where I hit play and it was my son’s ultrasound audio. 

J: That’s why you love that song ….

K: …and I was like, what in the world? Like, I have no idea how that happened to this day. I have no idea how that was and I still can’t find the original work tape, but I was hearing this little flitter flutter and anyway, so yeah, that’s my favourite. We should have put his heartbeat on the record.

EP: So you guys are coming to London soon… 

K: Yeah, we’ll be there Wednesday. 28th and 29th of May, I think are the gigs? The Buck’n’Bull Saloon at Electrowerkz and then in Putney on Sunday.  

EP: I love those small venues. They really give you a chance to connect with the band as well as dance. Thank you so much for your time. It’s been great talking to you, good luck with the album and the single and everything. And good luck with the tour. I can’t wait to hear these songs live. 

J & K: Thank you. Come along and have a beer!

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