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Hashtag This: Westchester Singer Starts #NYDoesCountry Movement

White Plains Country Singer J. Antonette. Photo Credit: Evan J. Wolfe
White Plains Country Singer J. Antonette. Photo Credit: Submitted

Who says New York isn't a little bit country?

White Plains native Jessica Antonette, a songwriter and recording artist who has toured as a background singer for Grammy Award winner Melissa Etheridge, Jerry Wonda’s Platinum Sound Band, and others, has started a movement called #NYDoesCountry in an effort to rally support around fellow New York-based musicians and country music lovers. 

The hashtag  -- just two weeks old -- grew out of the frustrations and stereotypes Antonette encountered putting together her latest EP, "Paper Trail."

"#NYDoesCountry is a movement to battle the stereotype that country music can only come from the South or Western areas," she said. 

"There is no 'one type' of country music or way to express it. While I was working on my upcoming EP, I found there was this misconception that in order to be a country singer or listen to country, you had to come from a place like Nashville or Texas, wear flannel or cowboy boots and have/sing with a southern drawl."

While she admits she loves those things, she said New York State is large and offers plenty of country areas. 

"There is no 'one type' of anything," stressed Antonette. "We are all free to love and sing or be whatever we want. After all, 'country' music, is for the whole country."

So far, she's gotten a lot of support. In fact, she's gotten a lot of validation.

"Many other New York-based artists have reached out to me about facing similar struggles," she said. 

"It’s been great to feel a sense of community and be able to bond and grow with my fellow artists. In a very short amount of time, the hashtag has really started to take off."

“Somewhere In The Middle,” the first single from "Paper Trail," is set to release in the next few weeks. It is the first of six songs from her EP which will debut in late November.

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