From 2009 to 2015, the quarterly literary magazine the Oxford American (which is “dedicated to featuring the very best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South”) released an annual music issue featuring a different southern state.
After breaking the trend last year to publish an issue dedicated to the blues, it’s Kentucky’s turn. And it was announced Monday that a familiar, local face is featured on the cover: James Lindsey.
Lindsey, who formerly recorded under the name Jalin Roze, says his music blends a few different influences.
“Since I can’t sing, and I’m African-American, nine times out of 10 I’m put in the box of rap music,” Lindseysays. “But I think I touch a lot of different genres. I usually list myself with a lot of cool singers, a lot of cool production — so my records could sometimes sound trap, sometimes R&B, sometimes house, acoustic.”
Lindsey, who also just found out Monday that he would be on the cover, says it’s exciting to potentially challenge what people think of when they hear the phrase “Kentucky music.”
“Kentucky’s always been marketed as ‘bluegrass and kind of country,’” Lindsey says. “But Louisville is a city inside of Kentucky — it’s almost like an island at times. And I’m definitely glad to expand or be one of the many people who are expanding people’s viewpoint on what music from Kentucky sounds like.”
The Kentucky Music Issue, which will be on newsstands Nov. 21, will come packaged with a CD of songs, including liner notes, in the magazine.