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Joseph Ignatius Greenwell Jr.
August 26, 1988
Joseph Ignatius Greenwell Jr. (born August 26, 1988), known professionally as Josey Greenwell, is an American musician, model, and social media influencer. He is also a personal trainer in New York City at Barry's (company).
Greenwell grew up in Bardstown, Kentucky. He grew up on a horse farm and competed in American Quarter Horse Association horse shows until he was 13. While attending Bethlehem Catholic High School, Greenwell joined choir, quoted saying that “one of the reasons I began singing was because I was dating the choir director's daughter at the time, and she kind of forced me into singing with them.” While Greenwell was previously focused on athletics, his family encouraged him to enter singing competitions and participate in local events in Kentucky. Greenwell won first place in the Colgate Country Showdown for his renditions of "Hicktown" by Jason Aldean and "Tonight, I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban.
Upon graduating high school in 2007, Josey was awarded a scholarship to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, whe He later transferred to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After college, Greenwell moved to Nashville, Tennessee to try to get discovered in a larger market.
After a few years in Nashville, Greenwell struggled to land a major record deal. As an openly gay musician, various country music executives gave feedback that it would be a challenge to promote his music in a genre with a base of conservative listeners. Although initially discouraged, especially when a few promising deals fell through, Greenwell continued to work on his craft as a songwriter and musician. Greenwell later recorded thirteen self-written tracks at OmniSound Studios and Sound Emporium Studios. He then independently released his debut album titled ‘My Life on the Radio’ via CD Baby.
Greenwell marketed the album on Myspace where he had begun to build a large following. Shortly after its release, he entered and won a fan-voted contest  to be the opening act for Little Big Town during their 2009 tour around their A Place to Land (Little Big Town album). His performance on the road combined with moderate radio activity, soon led to additional opportunities to open for Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, and Steve Holy. As his profile as an artist continued to grow, Greenwell was also selected to host and perform at various LGBT events in Tennessee and across the nation.
Despite gaining some momentum, Greenwell realized that it was becoming increasingly difficult to advance his career with no record label, management, or financial support. He applied for jobs as a bartender and as a fitness model to bring in additional income. However, Greenwell continued to struggle to progress, and decided to move to Miami for a change of scenery. In a new environment, Greenwell also experimented with new sounds, collaborating with Enrico Carducci and Cosme Liccardo of Circo Massimo Entertainment for more pop-oriented tracks.
In 2012, Greenwell independently released the single “Stuck in My Head” via TuneCore. He then self-funded a small European tour, performing in 200-300 capacity dance clubs in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France. With a new creative direction and his first official tour completed, Greenwell began to revisit shopping his music and brand for a record deal.
Nate Green Controversy
Greenwell continued to face rejection from record labels while pitching his music in Nashville. During these meetings, music professionals continued to question if an openly gay country musician had any market viability. One executive in particular asked Greenwell if he would be open to rebranding his image to appear “more masculine” and “leave all questions of sexuality up to the listener”. Greenwell was certain that his sexuality would continue to hinder any form of commercial success, and chose to take on the stage name of ‘’’Nate Green’’ an adaptation of his middle name “Ignatius” and his last name. Greenwell then relocated back to Nashville to start production on a new project.
Greenwell - now performing as Nate Green - signed with GMV Nashville, the digital imprint of entertainment marketing firm AristoMedia Group. However, the company executives were not aware of Greenwell’s past music and struggles with his sexuality. Greenwell released country-pop single “Wild and Free”, a track blending his previous country roots with newly inspired dance-pop production. Throughout the music video, Greenwell wields guns, playfully caresses a woman in a bed, and commits robberies in a Bonnie and Clyde-esque adventure of sex, love and crime. As the song began to gain popularity, it wasn’t long before listeners and viewers made connections to Greenwell’s past as gay artist, resulting in public backlash from blogs, influencers, and various members of the LGBT community.
In the midst of the fallout, Greenwell was frustrated with his internal struggle with his sexuality and even more upset that he suppressed it externally to attempt to further his prospects as a recording artist. He soon cancelled all singles, videos, and promotional efforts around his upcoming release and decided to call his music career quits.
Move to NYC + Barry’s Bootcamp
In 2016, Greenwell moved to New York City. He joined Barry's (company), a boutique fitness operator that pioneered the indoor high-intensity interval training. Within a few years, Greenwell had embraced personal wellness as a new passion and built a reputation as one of the most prominent fitness instructors in the city.
Greenwell was featured on an episode of Good Morning America where he showcased a variety of fall fitness exercises promoting Barry's Boot Camp. He was also featured on the cover of American Health & Fitness in July of 2016. In 2018, Greenwell was also featured in a Men's Fashion section piece on Esquire (magazine)|Esquire Magazine.
Return from Music Hiatus
In 2019, Greenwell met music industry professional Morgan Katz through mutual friends. As Greenwell began to consider writing and recording music again, Katz signed on as his manager and helped him complete a new project and secure a deal with Breakfast In Bed, an independent record label and creative agency.
In 2019 - as Josey Greenwell once more - Greenwell released a single titled “Where We Going”, the lead track from his upcoming album ‘City Games’. The song was co-written with Joakim Olovsson and Pär Westerlund of FMLY STHLM and recorded in Stockholm, Sweden. Greenwell has described this new album as “super slick production, fueled with city inspiration and same-sex relationships” - no longer afraid to be confident in his sexuality or musicianship. In tandem with additional singles, Greenwell began releasing a Docuseries titled “The Road to Me”, in which he details his journey in an effort to help other LGBT youth realize that they do not need to feel shame for who they are. Greenwell donated the proceeds of “Where We Going” to New York LGBT Community Center.
Greenwell is set to release City Games in November 2020 via Breakfast In Bed and The Orchard.
- My Life on the Radio (2009)
- Road Map [As Nate Green] (2015)
- City Games (2020)
- "Josey Greenwell | Barry's Bootcamp".
- "My Life On the Radio - Josey Greenwell | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via www.allmusic.com.
- "Little Big Town's Fans Select Show Openers". 5 March 2009.
- "Sexy And Talented Josey Greenwell". 14 August 2011.
- MLive.com, Jessica Nunez | (29 March 2010). "Uncle Kracker, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley headline 2010 Detroit Downtown Hoedown lineup". mlive.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Inciarte, Gustavo (3 April 2012). "Josey Greenwell Releases "Stuck In My Head" Single".
- America, Good Morning. "How to do a festive, full-body pumpkin workout". Good Morning America.
- Dolgin, Rebecca (11 May 2018). "How to Shop Without Ever Stepping Foot in a Store". Esquire.
- "Josey Greenwell Releases New Single "102" Featuring Philup Banks". UnHinged Magazine. 14 May 2020.
- Productions, Caney Fork. "Singer-Songwriter Josey Greenwell Announces Proceeds From Debut Track Will Support LGBTQ Youth At NYC's Center". www.prnewswire.com.
- "Nate Green to release debut EP, Road Map, in 2015". 22 November 2014.
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