Josh Kelley: Why I Relocated My Family From L.A. to Utah

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Haven't seen Josh Kelley and his wife, Katherine Heigl, around the 'hood lately? Maybe that's because he tells that he recently uprooted his fam (including their adopted daughter, Naleigh, 1) from L.A. to Utah — the same state where they tied the knot in 2007.

But that's not the only new change: Not only are the couple already thinking about new kids and a second home in Nashville but the musician, 30, has gone country! The Georgia native just released a single, "Georgia Clay" (available on iTunes now) and an album is on the way. I rang him up at his rural new digs and here is what he had to say. I just listened to the single and I was blown away. Why didn't you do country music before?

Josh Kelley: I tried to get a country record deal in 2001 when I was 21 and did a showcase for four different labels and got turned down. The next year, I got signed by Hollywood Records.

Us: Country music feels like a natural fit for you — like you've been doing it the whole time. After all, your brother, Charles, is part of the hot country trio Lady Antebellum.

JK: [Country is] all we listened to when we were kids. My dad raised cattle and we would spent every summer up there on the farm brush hogging the land, which basically is a giant lawnmower behind a tractor. Country music has never been far away from my heart. It's just nice to be doing it for a living.

Us: Do you and your brother collaborate on any country tunes?

JK: The two of us wrote what's going to be the first single, "Georgia Clay," together. It's a nostalgic song about our summers [as kids] when we had to drive my dad's Chevy truck. There were a lot of great memories for me and Charles: pulling jet skis behind it to the lake, and all of us had our first dates in it, first time driving to school by ourselves. There was just a lot of nostalgic moments that day when we were thinking about the song.  It wrote itself really.

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Us: Have you ever thought about performing as a duo?

JK: It's always been joked about here and there. We had a band when we were younger called Inside Blue when we were like 14 or 15. There was a record deal offered then, and so we always knew it was possible to do this for a living, and that's all you really need to know. We want to toy with the idea years from now, The Kelley Brothers. That would be funny.

Us: Now that you've gone country, are you going to move to Nashville?

JK: I lived in Nashville before I met Katie. That's how Lady Antebellum kind of started. I bought I house out there in 2005, the first house I ever bought. I told Charles [and his band] they could come live there, so Nashville has been in my heart for years.

Us: Are you in Los Angeles now?

JK: We live up in the mountains in Utah now. Katie rides horses, I do a lot of fishing and golfing, it's a lot of fun.

Us: How did you find Utah?

JK: Just kind of randomly. It was a dream of Katie's for years. We got married out there and I just fell in love with it. It's amazing and one of my favorite places in the world. What we'll probably do is put our time between Nashville and Utah. When we were in L.A., we were never in the scene. We don't really leave the house. I stay in my studio and write music all the time.

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Us: So do you ever miss L.A.?

JK: The only thing I miss about L.A. is the golf course! Other than that, no. I don't miss the traffic, I don't miss the fact that our yard was too small for our animals.

Us: How's married life going?

JK: Katie's making a movie, we're doing great. Naleigh is growing up.

Us: Any milestones for the baby?

JK: She's running! She says a lot of words here and there — hasn't put any sentences together yet — but she's talking.

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Us: What was the first word?

JK: I don’t even remember now; it was so long ago. I think it was 'hi' or 'goodbye.'

Us: Any plans for more kids?

JK: Yes, eventually we are going to give her a little buddy. We're talking all that through right now.

By Ian Drew for To read more of Ian's blog, click here, and don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

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