James Johnston Shares Adorable Early Release

30 May 2023 | 11:13 am | Mallory Arbour

“So, most people think 'RAISED LIKE THAT' was my first release, but you’d be wrong!!"

James Johnston

James Johnston (Image: Supplied)

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Long before James Johnston was releasing bangers like RAISED LIKE THAT, COUNTRY BOYS and SMALL TOWN, he was releasing country music independently from a young age.

The WE GREW UP ON singer took to social media to share one of his first releases – a burned CD single called That’s What I Do complete with printer paper cover, it was the 90s after all. The cover features a young Johnston in a red, white and black shirt, beige cowboy hat and blue jeans.

Johnston captioned, “So most people think RAISED LIKE THAT was my first release, but you’d be wrong!! Tanya [from] @bassnbluesmusic found this in her cupboard!”

He added, “Pretty sure I wanted to be Garth Brooks with that shirt on!!”

So most people think RAISED LIKE THAT was my first release but you’d be wrong!! 🤠Tanya @bassnbluesmusic found this in her cupboard! Pretty sure I wanted to be GARTH BROOKS with that shirt on!! #countrymusic

Posted by James Johnston on Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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We only hope that Johnston re-releases the track so we can all hear it. Those cluey on YouTube can find some of his earlier pop releases too. So, what you’re waiting for? *wink*

Johnston spent his early years travelling farm-to-farm with his dad, selling and servicing tractors, where he was introduced to artists like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Brooks. 

He performed for the first time at four years of age, singing Friends in Low Places in front of his kindergarten class. Throughout his teens, Johnston busked on the streets of Tamworth and performed in various bands and on many stages.

His rise to the forefront of Australia’s country scene has been a long time coming. Prior to 2021’s RAISED LIKE THAT, Johnston placed third in the 2009 series of Australian Idol, then made the top 24 in the 2014 series of The X Factor Australia.

Thus far in 2023, Johnston has also picked up three prestigious awards. He took home the ‘Country Award’ at this year’s Queensland Music Awards back in March, and in January, walked away with both ‘New Talent of the Year’ and ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’ (the latter alongside Kaylee Bell) at the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards.

Johnston will be playing in Nashville at the 50th CMA Fest in June 2023. Later in the year, he will support Morgan Evans on his Life Upside Down Australian and New Zealand tour.

Keep up to date with James Johnston on his Facebook page here.