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Josh Sallee confronts LA celebrity circus in new single “Hollywood Hoax”

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — If you’ve spent any time at all in the creative circles, odds are high that you’ve known someone who has danced on the Midwestern life in favor of seeking fame, fortune, and validation out in sunny The Angels.

And if you know someone who’s tried to break into the game out there, the odds are just as good that you know someone who has failed and had their dreams (and bank accounts) crushed by the Hollywood machine.

That sad scenario is not only the subject of OKC musician/rapper/producer extraordinaire Josh Sallee’s new single “Hollywood Hoax,” it’s also a true-life story from Sallee’s own past.

“I packed a backpack with my laptop, headphones, mic, a coat, and the clothes I was wearing and hopped on a one-way Spirit Airlines flight to LAX,” Sallee says in a press statement released alongside the new video. “I planned on never returning to Oklahoma.”

Like so many other Hollywood hopefuls, Sallee burned through his money, and found himself burning through all the goodwill and idealism that had taken him west, ultimately crashing out of LA completely and returning to Oklahoma, where he’s since established himself firmly as one of the scene’s hottest stars.

Now he’s reliving his entire Californian ordeal and regaling listeners with the existential horrors of Tinseltown on new single “Hollywood Hoax,” dropping everywhere Tuesday, March 1st.

The track covers all of Sallee’s myriad issues with the darkness and soullessness of the Hollywood machine, from fame-seeking wannabes to the insanely high cost of living, all pulsing in time to an intimidatingly sparse and unnerving piano-and-drum beat.

The brand new video dropping along with the single, however, takes the whole wild circus of the LA experience a giant step further.

The clip, designed and directed by renowned creator R3x Wonder, presents a head-spinning carnival of horrors, likening Sallee (in place of any wide-eyed West Coast transplant) to an enslaved circus elephant, a sawn-in-half magician’s assistant, or a tossed-about marionette. These images sprang from Sallee’s own mind and his own lingering resentments about LA, even after returning to OKC and finding a much more welcoming and encouraging creative community.

With “Hollywood Hoax” dropping on streaming services and the video burning up YouTube (racking up over 500 views in just the first 14 hours,) I was able to catch up with Sallee and get his thoughts on the scene of OKC and how dramatically it differs from the Los Angeles music world.

“The two scenes greatly contrast,” Sallee told me. “For one, a lot of artists in Oklahoma are from Oklahoma. So when one is doing well and gaining momentum, people really rally behind them. In LA, there are tons of people doing well. There will always be someone doing more. And most people out there are not from LA, so you sort of lack that identity of home support.”

Sallee admits that while there is at least the appearance of greater opportunity in and around Hollywood, he believes that the odds are stacked against most artists there, and that the more nationally isolated scene of Oklahoma actually fosters a tighter community.

Josh Sallee (provided)

“I would say there is more opportunity to collaborate in LA, just because there are so many people out there who are artists. A numbers game of sorts,” he said. “There are labels, agencies, managers of all sorts in LA. There really isn’t a solid presence of that here, and that makes us all have to rely on each other much more. There’s something special about being able to hang around people you grew up with and make music that gets outside of Oklahoma.”

“Hollywood Hoax” is available now on streaming services, and the video, produced by Salle himself and directed by R3x Wonder, is live right now on YouTube.

For news, music, live announcements, and updates about his upcoming full-length album, follow Josh Sallee at facebook.com/joshsalleemusic and @joshsallee on Instagram and Twitter.

And…this!

Saturday, March 5th, epic indie rockers Manchester Orchestra storm the Criterion stage, supporting last year’s emotionally mammoth album “The Million Masks of God.”

The album is a heart-wrenching, fist-pumping collection of tracks, building a loose concept record around both the daunting adventure of becoming a new parent and the slow-motion tragedy of also losing a parent simultaneously.

“Million Masks” was one of the most affecting and exciting rock albums of 2021, and the songs are guaranteed to carry even more weight and intensity live, propelled by the show-stopping voice of singer/songwriter Andy Hull.

For tickets and information, visit citerionokc.com.

Last Updated March 2, 2022, 9:01 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor

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