Josh Kelley co-wrote the theme song to the popular new CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, which is just one of many of his compositions featured in TV shows and movies.
Josh, named by The Tennessean as one of “11 Artists to Watch in 2011,” will release his debut country album, Georgia Clay, on March 22. Georgia Clay is Josh’s most autobiographical album to date and powerfully describes the most important moments of his life, including his marriage to actress Katherine Heigl, their adoption of daughter Naleigh and the family’s move to Utah.
Josh co-wrote “I See Love” with Keb’ Mo’, who sings the song in the version selected as the Mike & Molly theme.
“The Mike & Molly theme song came around sort of randomly,” Josh says. “In 2004, I called up Keb’ Mo’ and said, ‘I’d really love to write a song with you.’ He called me back and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ I drove up to his house and we sat around for a while and we wrote this song called ‘I See Love.’ He put it on his album.”
“Probably six months ago, he called me and said, ‘There’s a TV show called Mike and Molly that wants to use the song because they came to my live show and heard it. The creators of the show loved it.’ I didn’t think much about it.”
“The next thing you know, he’s calling me and saying that they took it. It’s funny because now I’m a really big fan of the show and every time I watch it, I get to hear this cool song.”
He is considering recording a country version of “I See Love” on his next album. “The lyrics tell a story and I think they are country lyrics. I definitely think it can be a country song for sure.”
“It’s like the guy has been around the world and done all of these little things and it’s in his journey that he learns how to actually see love for what it is,” he says of the song. “It’s traveling that makes it possible for his brain to see love the way he should be seeing it and love that has been right in front of his face his whole life.”
Josh’s music has been a steady presence in TV and films over the last few years. He is known for the Top 5 hit “Amazing,” and his music has been featured in MTV’s The Hills, ABC’s Brothers and Sisters and What About Brian and the CW’s Smallville, as well as movies including Sweet Home Alabama and The Prince and Me.
“A fulfilling part of my life is being able to write songs for film and television and also write songs for other artists,” he says.
“Georgia Clay,” the debut single from his upcoming album, is a Top 25 hit and climbing. He co-wrote the song with his brother, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, and his producer Clint Lagerberg.
Lady Antebellum recently recorded his song “Like I Do” for possible inclusion on their upcoming album, and Warner Bros. artist Jason Jones is releasing Kelley’s song “Ferris Wheel” as his first single. “It’s a good time,” Josh says. “I feel like I’m still at the bottom of the ladder but climbing up steady-eddy for sure right now. I’ve got a long way to go, but I love the journey.”
Josh is always thrilled when he learns that one of his songs has been chosen by a director or music supervisor, but sometimes he is surprised by which song was selected.
“They always pick the songs that I think could never be in film and television,” he says. “The ones that I try to write for film and TV never get picked because I think it comes down to the cliché of trying too hard. When you are just doing it because you love it and aren’t trying hard, it seems like everything falls into place.”
“I love that all of the songs they’ve picked happened to be the ones that I wrote because I love writing. I understood that years ago, and it’s helped me in the way I approached this album, and it’s the reason that this album is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s because I approached it in a very calm, chilled manner. I’m fortunate to be here. This is the most fun job ever.”
His music has also been featured in movies starring his wife. For instance, “Tidal Wave” was in Life As We Know It, “Unfair” was in 27 Dresses and “Under the Covers” was in The Ugly Truth. But Kelley says being married to the film’s star didn’t give him an advantage in getting his songs chosen for the movie.
“I thought I would,” he says with a laugh. “I thought I would have a really good ‘in’ there, but it comes down to the music supervisors and whether they like it or not. That would be nice if they would just throw me a bone! It’s a good testament to the quality of the music and just getting better over the years.”