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Singer IDALEE Interviewed in NY Post, as 'Starting Now' EP is Released; May 8th Concert at Medium Security Reentry Prison in Colorado Springs is Confirmed, in Conjunction with 'Heal' Video/Documentary
(Published: March 17, 2016)

For Immediate Release                                                                                                
March 16, 2016

"This Musician's Coke Habit Led Him to Redemption"
Singer IDALEE Interviewed in NY Post, as EP is Released

May 8th Concert at Medium Security Reentry Prison in Colorado Springs is Confirmed

In a recent interview with The NY POST, singer Idalee shared details of his struggle with drug addiction, and his current efforts on behalf of prison reform. His new EP ‘Starting Now' was just released, and on May 8th, he'll perform at the Cheyenne Mountain Re-entry Center in Colorado Springs, a medium security prison.
Read Hardeep Phull's NY Post interview, here: http://nypost.com/2016/03/03/this-musicians-coke-habit-led-him-to-redemption/

Idalee filmed his music video/documentary for the song ‘Heal' in a Texas prison, in late 2015. The clip premiered via Huffington Post and received over 50K views in its first week online. Watch it here:
The song is available now as a free download via idalee.com/heal, as part of a partnership with non-profit organization Prison Fellowship.

Idalee's music video for EP title track ‘Starting Now' has been featured via multiple outlets, including this favorable posting via Rust Magazine:

By Hardeep Phull 3/3/16
This musician's coke habit led him to redemption
After a close call with the law, singer-songwriter Topher Hall kicked his drug habit and began work on a new collection of pop tunes.
When it comes to wake-up calls, few speak louder than regaining consciousness in a hospital and finding yourself under arrest.
That's what happened to Topher Hall in December 2010. Hooked on cocaine and booze, the aspiring singer-songwriter had arranged to meet his dealer in a Cheesecake Factory in Leesburg, Va. While waiting, Hall knocked back several vodkas and, realizing his dealer wasn't showing up, got in his car and tried to make the 10-mile journey home.
He almost made it, but ended up crashing into a parked government vehicle just yards from his driveway. His head hit the windshield - thankfully, no one else was hurt.
"While I was in the hospital, I talked to myself, I talked to God," Hall tells The Post. "I knew the next time, I'd be dead."
Since then, he's kept his drug intake to just nicotine and black coffee, and his new, upbeat mindset is reflected in the alternative-pop of his new solo EP "Starting Now" (out Friday), which Hall is releasing under the name Idalee (after Ida Lee Park in Leesburg.)).
It's the second shot at success the 30-year-old thought he would never get, after his first attempt disappeared in a cycle of drug abuse. During the mid-aughts, his first band, Nothing Special, was recording demos in LA for Geffen Records. But just as a breakthrough was looming, Hall's addictions got in the way.
"I remember one time being up for five days on cocaine and crystal meth, hallucinating," he says. "Those were the bottom-of-the-barrel days."
During these benders, bottles of Naked Juice were the only form of nutrition Hall and his circle of fellow drug users would take.
Friends - like Hollywood character actor Leslie Jordan (famous for his role in "Will & Grace") - tried to turn Hall around, encouraging him to go to rehab. But to no avail; Hall moved back to Virginia, with no intention of kicking his habit.
Hall narrowly avoided jail following the accident (a 60-day sentence was commuted) and eventually kicked his habits with the help of a 12-week outpatient rehab program.
After his brush with the law, Hall began volunteering with the Prison Fellowship program, which helps prisoners get retrained with skills to help them adapt more easily to life on the outside. He works on the program's video productions, documenting felons who are hoping for another chance to live a normal life - like the one Hall was lucky enough to get.
"I live in Phoenix now, and the attitude is very much ‘lock them up, and throw away the key,' " he says. "The stat that really strikes me is that around 95 percent of prisoners return home to our communities. So the stuff that happens behind the walls matters."
But with the music industry now regrouping around his songwriting talents, Hall is hopeful he can launch his career for real.
"I've got tons of songs ready to go. I'd love to share the stage with the Taylor Swifts and Ed Sheerans of the world, but I'm realistic. Just living off music would be great."

Singer Topher Hall is the embodiment of second chances, and he has reimagined himself as performer Idalee. It started with Hall drunk and high on cocaine, his head through the windshield, as he plowed his car into a parked government vehicle. His battle with addiction has evolved into a riveting tale of redemption, as Idalee advocates for prison reform and delivers an intense music video/documentary that highlights his song ‘Heal' and reveals striking footage of inmates at a prison in Houston, Texas (who joined him on camera for interviews and a live performance of the song).

Idalee's alt/folk/rock debut EP ‘Starting Now' was released March 4th. It's a meaty, lyrically dense collection that includes such highlights as ‘Barbarian', ‘Some Day', ‘Home' and ‘Tree Got Rain'. Influences include Nirvana, Elvis Costello, Weezer, Imagine Dragons, as well as Cage The Elephant, Ben Folds and Beck. The EP was produced by Ethan Kauffman (Ryan Cabrera) and mixed by Will Brierre (The Killers' Grammy-nominated Hot Fuss, Imagine Dragons' Nightvisions).  Learn more about the story of Idalee, here: http://idalee.com/about/
Focus track ‘Heal', mentioned above, is where Idalee's advocacy for criminal justice reform takes flight, as he partners with non-profit Prison Fellowship to raise awareness via a collaborative Music Video/Documentary project - more details will be announced soon.  Free download here - http://idalee.com/heal
Huffington Post Exclusively Premiered the ‘Heal' video:
2/12/16 By Mike Ragogna
Direct link to video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R8qoeRZnyA

Idalee provided this commentary to HuffPost:
"What does a second chance sound like? That's what I wanted to know when I started scratching out the lyrics for 'Heal.' Five years earlier, I had put my head through a windshield while deep into substance abuse. I woke up in the hospital and under arrest. Though I'd had a demo deal with Geffen Records and a great team by my side, my addiction torpedoed my music career and nearly cost me my life. But my accident turned out to be grace in disguise. After a period of self-reflection, I returned to why I loved music in the first place-it can move people, and it can heal people. I started going into prison with Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest outreach to incarcerated people and their families. I met guys who were no different than me. I heard their stories, their regrets, and their hopes. I asked myself, Is it really best just to lock people up forever? Is there a point where the debt's been paid and their potential can be reborn? All those thoughts eventually poured out into 'Heal.' Recently, I had an extraordinary chance to film 'Heal' behind bars with a Texas prisoner band for this video. It was an experience I will remember as long as I live. So, yes, 'Heal' is a song about those guys and the millions of incarcerated people they represent. But it's also about all of us. We all fall. We all fail. We all cry out for unexpected moments of amazing grace to come and help us start again. I think if we're honest with ourselves, anyone can relate to that struggle, and I hope 'Heal' gives people hope that their worst moment doesn't have to define them.
Check out http://idalee.com/heal http://idalee.com/heal to get the song for free."

Elmore Magazine Exclusively Premiered the title track, here:
2/5/16 - http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2016/02/music-news/listen-to-starting-now-title-track-off-idalees-upcoming-ep

AXS / EXAMINER - Exclusive Q&A: Idalee's music has the power to 'Heal'  By Laurie Fanelli, 2/17/16

More About Topher Hall/Idalee:
Past: Ida Lee is the Northern Virginia park where Topher's first band and their actor friend spent time breaking the law in middle/high school. It's also where they decided to move to California and shoot for the stars. Topher moved to LA from Virginia, lived there for 3 years or so, and secured a development deal with Geffen Records, working with Evan Peters. Evan and Thom Panunzio produced a short EP, but drugs and squirrely friends in the LA scene provided the distraction necessary to totally let the opportunity slip away.  He then moved to Northern Virginia and started working various odd jobs. After a drug-induced car crash, he woke up in the hospital and finally woke up to the demons holding him back. He pled out of his proposed jail time and escaped with only a DUI conviction, fines and parole officer. Serendipitously, he found a job down the street at a prison nonprofit that advocates for restorative justice on capital hill and in the prisons themselves.

Current: He performed in a Houston area prison
late 2015 with prisoner musicians supporting
the performance. He is slated to perform in
prisons in 2016 and release a 6-song EP called
"Starting Now." Idalee is living, breathing second
chance. His rocky past made him who he is, but he's been clean for several years and striving to make a better life and society. He is a writer first, singer second and guitarist third. He's watching sci-fi movies and reruns of the Simpsons. His ethos is part Elvis Costello and part Kurt Cobain, which is fitting because those are two major influences of his. He's got plenty dumb looking glasses and cheap wool sports coats. His voice is humble, and he's not super outgoing, and although he works in some depressing areas of human existence, he's got a great sense of humor and shares it online and off.

Twitter /idaleemusic

More Information: http://idalee.com

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