“It’s Your Move,” the brand-new video from Josh Kelley, professionally reunites the singer-songwriter with Katherine Heigl, whom he first worked with back in 2005 for “Only You” — though the two have certainly been in touch over the last decade. In December 2007, the Grey’s Anatomy actress became Mrs. Josh Kelley after the two met on set.
He tells Billboard that it was an instant attraction.
“I remember the day we met: May 24, 2005,” Kelley says. “I had just bought a house here in Nashville. The day after I signed the papers, I had to fly back to L.A. to do this music video. I remember telling [brother and Lady Antebellum singer] Charles, ‘Dude, I’ll be right back after we get this video done.’ I showed up that day, we started doing our scenes together, and we just hit it off. We’ve been together ever since that day. It’s very full-circle to have met on a video and to have this video coming out on a song that was about a fight. It was so emotional, but life is crazy like that. It’s pretty cool.”
In addition to appearing in the video, Heigl also served as director for “It’s Your Move,” a role Kelley says she was the perfect fit for — especially considering that the song was inspired by one of the couple’s first disagreements.
“We kind of tried to go back to that moment of our first fight. It’s hard to go back to that,” Kelley admitted. “Well, she can. She’s a badass actress. She came up with the whole treatment. I told her that the label wanted ‘It’s Your Move’ to be the first single and they want to do a video on it. She said, ‘Oh my God, I have such a great idea for this video.’ She was giving me the idea for whoever was going to direct it, and then the label asked if she’d be interested in directing it. She said yes, and then it was her idea to star in it. Who better to be in it than the people who were in the original moment? It was great. She was so prepared and had this whole book put together with all the looks and [what] all the transitions would be like. Nobody on the set had to wonder what they were supposed to do. She’s probably going to have to do more of these after people see it because she’s really good at it.”
“It’s Your Move” is the first release from New Lane Road, Kelley’s upcoming album, due April 22. Kelley says his family relationships are reflected throughout the entire album, even beyond “It’s Your Move.”
“I think this is definitely the most honest album I’ve ever done,” Kelley says. “I’m finally at a place that I have compiled enough experiences into traveling to actually have some real substance to write about. It’s all about the land that we live in now. My family and I live out in Utah out in the middle of nowhere. It’s basically Mayberry. We live a lot of our lives off this land, and there’s something very special about it. The whole album is rooted from there conceptually about that place. It took me three years to make the album, and everybody tells me it’s really good, but I think I’m too close to it. I hope it is.”
In addition to his wife and children, his father, John, is featured on the title track — though Kelley’s dad has no idea.
“In the middle of the song, you hear this speech. That’s my dad. He has no idea he’s in the song. He didn’t know that I was recording it. I was thinking about the song, and thought about interviewing some people in the town that we live in, some of the older people I know that are still farming. I thought, ‘Wait a minute. My dad grew up like this in the Georgia mountains with a rough life raising cattle and farming.’ So I called him — just to talk — [and] I asked him to tell me about his lifestyle growing up, and the whole time I was recording him off of the speaker phone. I knew he was going to say some great stuff, but I had no idea he was going to give me that. It gave me chills. At the end of it, he said, ‘Remember, if you’re going to till the soil, you’ve got to give something back.’ It’s such an amazing quote, and can be carried on in any aspect of life.’ I hope he likes it. Hopefully, he won’t say something like, ‘You should have said something to me, son,’” Kelley adds with a laugh.
Next up, Josh heads out on tour with his brother Charles, who just released his solo debut album while on hiatus from Lady Antebellum. Josh says it’s been fun to see his sibling leap into solo work.
“I’ve been waiting on him to do that for a while. When I bought the house in 2005, I made him move in with me. He was living in Winston-Salem [North Carolina]. I made him quit his job and move because he said he wanted to do music. We did his first solo record out there in Franklin [Tennessee], and that got the ball rolling. [Lady A’s] Dave Haywood was in a jazz band with me in high school, and he came in from Atlanta. It was like a fraternity. I think he discovered his voice with Lady Antebellum, and it’s been really cool to see him showcase his sweet spot on every song. I love that.”
According to Josh, there may even be some guest appearances on tour — including one from Charles’ newborn son, Ward. “I’m sure the baby will be coming out on the road. [Katherine and I] did that a lot too. Just put a pack-and-play at the end of the bed, and let’s go.”