Justyna Kelley
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Justyna Kelley

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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It’s a cold, December night in L.A., but you wouldn’t know it inside Hotel Café, thanks in part to the sunny disposition of L.A. transplant and Nashville darling, Justyna Kelley. Kelley, a rare artist, with music pedigree, is the daughter of singer/songwriter Irene Kelley.

Tonight, Kelley mesmerizes the room with opening songs like “Once in A While” and “ The Taker”, a gentle reflection of the tumultuous journey of love and relationships. By the time she performs a sweet, stripped-down version of “ Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, you can’t help but feel the surge of sing-a-long adrenaline in the room. “Sorry”, a lamenting, lullaby style ballad, muses a lesson in forgiveness and showcases Kelley’s range as an emotional songwriter with serious longevity. Although it wasn’t in her December 1st show, one of my favorite songs on the record is “ Pushover”, a catchy, elevated tune that soars and sends a clear message that this petite songwriter, with California girl looks, is a force to be reckoned with.

Fresh off her select European dates, Kelley’s debut album, Over The Moon, was released earlier this month in the US, and will be available in August 2011 in Europe. The album, a folk-pop rock gem with smooth melodies and powerful chords, is reminiscent of other transmissible songwriters like early Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and the great Joni Mitchell. The release, produced by Kevin Killen (U2, Shawn Colvin) and David Kershenbaum (Tracy Chapman), features collaborations with Diane Warren, Paul Freeman (Arista), Kyler England of The Rescues (Universal/Republic), among other standouts.

If you’re in Nashville for the holidays, Justyna Kelley performs at The Nolensville Mill Dec 18th, and has future tour dates planned in France, Netherlands and Germany for spring 2011.
–Aishah Roberts
- The Sentimentalist


Every once in a while an artist comes down the turnpike that merits serious attention not only from fans of popular music, but from music critics alike. Justyna Kelley’s stunning debut recording, “Over The Moon,” instantly establishes Kelley as a major contender for Best New Artist honors and the top of the Pop and Country cross-over music charts.

Justyna Kelley is a 24 year-old Nashville-born singer/songwriter best described as lying comfortably along the Sheryl Crow and Colbie Callait continuum. She manages to reach beyond her good looks with hooks that deliver the goods across a broad range of radio formats, including: Pop, Country, Americana and Adult Contemporary music. The daughter of songwriter/recording artist, Irene Kelley (Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood), Kelley has crafted an "old school" album that harkens back to the 70’s heyday of Joni Mitchell at her finest, circa “Blue” and “Court and Spark.”

Produced by David Kershenbaum (Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson) in Los Angeles and Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Shawn Colvin) in New York, Kelley's production team, augmented by her manager and co-producer, Guy Eckstine, delivers a well thought out debut, with songs that are easy on the ears and pull heavily on the heart.

The multi-format album features both solo songwriting and collaborations between Kelley and a host of hit-making songwriters from Los Angeles, Nashville and NYC, including: Diane Warren, Rand Bishop, Phil Galdston and Irene Kelley, among others. Newly signed artists, Paul Freeman (Arista) and Kyler England of The Rescues (Universal/Republic), are guest vocalists and co-writers on the record, along with a host of session luminaries from both coasts including: Omar Hakim (Madonna, David Bowie) and Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel).

Highlighted by pop gems, “Over The Moon," “Once In A While” and the Diane Warren penned, “Life’s Like That," Kelley soars above the tracks with lush vocal harmonies surrounded by rich sonic textures, which all fit nicely into the contemporary pop music realm. Kelley is not one to compete with the nondescript stylings that inhabit the orbit of the American Idol star-making machinery. She goes much deeper than that with themes of love gone wrong on the mountainous “Stay,” featuring Paul Freeman, and the whimsical “Shoulda Known,” featuring Kyler England. Not afraid to display her Nashville roots, Kelley rocks out on the aggressive “Pushover," sends you soaring on the irresistible "The One I Love," and ventures uptown on the Motown-inspired groove of “Have You Seen Him?”

The delicate balance between artistic depth and pop success is a tightrope act that Kelley navigates quite nicely. Two of the album's standout tracks, “Sorry” and “Emily,” were recorded in an acoustic setting with strings, acoustic bass and percussion. It is on these tracks that Kelley shows her maturity as an artist beyond her years. “Sorry” reveals Kelley in a contrite state of mind, lamenting over broken promises, misunderstanding and, ultimately, forgiveness. The album closes with “Emily,” a haunting vocal refrain about the “other” woman, who Kelley cannot seem to get out of her dreams nor her “worried mind.” Guest violinist Jerry Goodman conjures up a stirring vision of “Emily,” dancing the night away without a care in the world.

Interestingly enough, Justyna Kelley’s debut, “Over The Moon,” manages to cross generational lines without pandering to any. Male and female fans of Joni Mitchell, John Mayer or Jewel will all find something enjoyable on this record, more than likely finding themselves humming along to her melodies and even trying out a harmony or two. Thoroughly enjoyable!

-Drake Palmer-James - Seattle Intelligencer


I don't have one yet - Justyna Kelley


Discography

"Over the Moon"
"The One I Love"
"Sorry"
"Pushover" and
"Shoulda Known"
-released on iTunes

"Have You Seen Him"
"The One I Love" and
"If You Want To"
-released to US radio

Photos

Bio

"Every once in a while an artist comes down the ‘pike that merits serious attention from fans of popular music. American singer/songwriter, Justyna Kelley, is one such artist whose radio friendly folk-influenced pop fits comfortably along the lines of Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat." --Drake Palmer-James

Justyna was born and raised in Nashville, TN, as the daughter of renowned songwriter and recording artist, Irene Kelley (Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood). While growing up in Music City, musical visitors and impromptu jam sessions were the norm at the Kelley household, and such resources ensured that music would come naturally for Justyna. She has been singing for as long as she can remember and writing songs since she was 5 years old. After touring around the world with her mother and opening for such luminaries as: Jackson Browne and Emmy Lou Harris during her more formative years, she moved to Los Angeles to carve out her own career in the pop music world.

In 2007, she signed her first publishing/development deal with indie company, Huge American Music (HAM), and has since been working towards her debut recording, “Over The Moon.” The record is due this fall, and features solo-songwriting and collaborations between Kelley and a host of hit making songwriters and world class musicians. Legendary record producers Kevin Killen (U2, Shawn Colvin) and David Kershenbaum (Tracy Chapman) lend their extraordinary talents to the newly finished project.

With personal icons Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin and Sheryl Crowe as inspiration, Justyna continues to write, record and perform her music all over the world. Recently returned to her hometown of Nashville after touring the US west coast, mid-west and Europe, Justyna is in rehearsals with her band for upcoming showcases and tours. Listen for Justyna's music to be featured in Planet Green's original series "Shareen Vintage" this Fall. Also look for her in State of Mind Film's feature film, "Mr. Breakup" as the seductive "Annie" and as the face and voice of the new Ovation Television Network.