Why I had to come back to Nottingham

In September of 2015, I wandered into Nottingham city center for the very first time and wandered into an Open Mic. I was, at that time, an almost former American songwriter whom was not in the UK for music at all but simply because my company had offered me the opportunity. On a whim I said yes, packed my bags, and in a blink of an eye I was in a place I always had hoped existed.

That night marked the beginning of amazing friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It also meant finding something that I did not realize existed, a community of songwriters and musicians who lived and breathed music genuinely, and without intention. In other words, I found what I always dreamed of. Mutual love and respect achieved self-expression in a place where if you created something from your own inspiration, it could never be wrong.

A bit over half of a year I stayed in Nottingham. When I returned to the U.S. I had to do what any sensible person would do. Quit the job that sent me there and took 3 months off to record an album. Then after that, spent the next year working another job to save up to return to the one place I truly had felt loved. And in July of 2017, a year and a half after I left I found myself again in Nottingham.  This time exclusively being an artist, and sharing my story. And living a life of my own creation, born from my genuine desire.

How have I been so lucky? So many things had to happen for me to arrive here in the first place. If you believe in fate, then I suppose it was meant to be. But the series of beautiful coincidences that have landed me here once and then here again must be because of something.

I have only one idea…

I followed truly, genuinely, what I felt I needed to do in my gut.  I resisted any fear of change, or of expectations from others. I was determined and chose to live my life genuinely, in my own way. 

And I truly believe that if we all live our lives as truly genuinely ourselves, that everything comes together in the way it’s meant to. Even when all seems impossible (it really is).

More about this next time… from the coffee counter.


Hi I'm Joey Costello

Dear friends, family, and anyone who I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with,

The last few years of life and music have been amazing. Music has brought me to some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, places I’ve ever seen, and experiences. Even in the last few months while visiting the UK, I have just been blown away by the humans I have crossed paths with and the new friends I’ve made.

Because of these experiences, I realize that I’ve changed and grown so much as an artist. To the point where now, I truly feel different and maybe even complete. I feel that now I am finally able to express myself the way I’ve always wanted to. It has taken an incredible amount of time and effort, but I am truly grateful to be here now.

For that reason I am sad yet happy to announce that the December 14th Release Party at Jam Café will be my last performance as Joey Marcantonio, and that starting in 2018 I will be performing and releasing music exclusively as Joey Costello in honor of my maternal grandparents and mother. 
For me, being a Costello meant that we are first genuine and kind people. My grandparents were truly examples of this, and they may also have been the most romantic couple one could imagine. They were truly two birds… as they say.

There are days when I think of my own romantic and poetic inclinations, and the person whom I most identify in this way is my late Grandfather. Whom during the second world-war wrote some truly beautiful and pure love letters to my Grandmother. They would reunite and go on to have four beautiful girls, whom they raised well and protected, one of those girls would be my mother. And she is one of the most kind-hearted, devoted, and loving people I have ever met. And her three sisters (Denice, Joan, and Maureen) are pretty amazing as well.

With this, I also need to honor the Marcantonio name and family. To me my birth given surname has always made me proud. My father and late grandparents possess such devotion and determination. We take great pride in discipline, hard work, and structure. We are kind people, we keep our word, and we follow through. We say what we mean and we mean what we say. And by default, we hold ourselves to be as good of people as we can. And… we talk to everyone and make them feel welcome . :)

In my heart, I am blessed to be equally both of these names. But right now I feel very connected to the Costello name as an artist. So I am sad yet happy to announce I will be making this change. I’m not saying I’ll never play/release music again as Joey Marcantonio, but this feels like the right thing to do. I hope you all understand it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it greatly.



Newsletter | A note to all my friends :), it's been a while

This is the newsletter than went out for September. If you'd like to sign up just enter your email on the main page of the site. I just wanted to share this with all of you :) 


Hi there everyone!

It’s been a very long time since I last contacted this newsletter. I am really sorry for the delay, as I’ve been a little busy …  Life has taken me crazy places since we last spoke, and if you asked me a few years ago I never would have thought I’d be sharing my heart through music quite like this again.  I had given it up, but somehow it found me again. Life can often find ways to take us away from what we love. What I didn’t realize was that it was my very own choices that had taken something from me that I had once lived for. I had lost this very special way I had possessed to give and connect with others.  When I realized this, I had to get it back… I just had to.

Aww!  So where have you been!?!? .. you ask?  Well I spent a lot of time the last 3 years doing jobs I didn’t like. This shouldn’t be something new for most people, a lot of Americans will tell you that “it’s work, you’re not supposed to like it.” I guess to a point that’s fair.  But if you were to phrase it, “you a human being, have to do something you hate that also makes you feel depressed for 40 hours a week for the rest of your life”… Could we ever really wish that fate upon anyone?  Our time on this planet, it is non-renewable, once it is used it is gone forever. So it is the most valuable asset of all.

 I truly believe that I was put on this planet to make a difference somehow, to make others live better, and to spread a positive message. I simply don’t believe we are on this earth to work our entire lives for material possessions and then simply to… for lack of a more succinct word… “die.”

To me… Life is about love, hope, belief, and most importantly, giving life meaning.

So right now, I am in the United Kingdom… and have been back here for a couple of months. I’m doing what I love and sharing my heart as much as I can. And I feel like I am for the moment, truly living the way I have always hoped.

If you are American and have never been over here.. this country has blown me away with its passion, talent, and love for art. During my time here spread over the last two years, I have met some truly amazing people whom I can call friends for life. And with these experiences, I’ve written some songs that will always encapsulate those feelings. It is like I was lost and but then…  finally found.  Special thanks to all of my friends both in the U.K. and the U.S. who have been there for me. Without you there is no way I would be what I am, and I am truly grateful for that.

Finally, since we’ve last spoken I have released a new album called The End Before The Beginning (2016) and two new live singles. You can check out my latest live single “My Light In The Dark.” and everything else I’ve been doing by visiting:  www.joeym.co.uk

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am so glad to be able to share my heart with you again, and I wish you the best until we hear from each other again.  Feel free to respond to this mail, I will gladly respond to as many replies as I can. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you so much again. Your friend.




3 years of Summer

This is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I wanted to share it with you because everything we endure, we endure for a reason.  It's rained quite a lot since then.

3 Years of Summer

3 years of summer he lived beneath the sun
and felt the warmth on his skin
on the outside, all was well
Nothing seemed amiss

And then she came in
she rained down hard like the heaviest storm
And her water soaked his skin
And refreshed his inner core

All of the sudden he knew what he had been missing
His heart had been shackled, bound to the sun
Bound to the light he could only see and feel
In his eyes and on his skin

And he saw her .. 
Her eyes were bright perfect stars
The ones that could only hold love in them

And the gold that she saw all around her
Was really coming right off of her finger tips

And then just like the storm
She was carried by the wind
To a place in time
He just couldn't have been

And so he sat outside
And waited for the rain to fall ...

Open Your Eyes

In hindsight, it’s always easy to say that a moment, an experience, or a person was “meant to be” a part of your life. It seems to be the label that everyone puts on the experience, that fate somehow predetermines the experiences and lessons we’re meant to learn. That if it’s fated, that somehow that makes it more powerful and more real. And maybe that’s true… 

 But I’ve had more and more strange coincidences lately, ones that fit current life lessons too well. Coincidences that make you scratch your head, and wonder why you deserved this gift, lesson, or message. The question then becomes, why are these things/events so perfectly aligned? Why do some events perfectly occur in a sequence that cannot be explained except by superstition or folklore?

 My best guess is that if you want to learn something, you can somehow summon it. If you need answers from the universe, it will send them your way. It may not be in the manner you expect, it may not be written in bold letters for you. But the answers are there, you just have to open your eyes.


Save The Broken Birds

Not too long ago, I was in the United Kingdom in a small countryside village. I had been working most of the week and I decided to go for a walk in the middle of the night.  The walkways were well lit but you could still see the stars clearly above. I was walking down a small neighborhood walkway when something had hopped on my foot! It was a small bird, probably a dove, it was still too dark to know for sure. Then I felt another pounce (on my foot), this time, it was a little dark brown tabby cat. It had been chasing this bird which it had injured, and given a few additional seconds it began torturing it the way I'm sure it had for some time.

This bird was obviously hurt and could not fly, but it could hop about four times on the sidewalk before it had to pause. But each time it got far enough away, the tabby would come drag it back and use it for its entertainment.  Rolling around with it in its mouth and between its paws on the grass.

At first I began walking away, and I thought to myself "just let nature take its course, this is natural." But then I just couldn't bare the thought of this poor bird with broken wings, alone on its own, being hurt by a cat needlessly just for entertainment. So I went back, I engaged and I fought off the little tabby cat (which didn't take much) and I walked this bird to safety, hop by hop.  It nestled itself at the foot of some bushes, and then I walked back down the walkway to make sure the feline wasn't still following us.

I don't know if it was a happy ending for that bird, truthfully, it had been injured badly. But I had given it a fighting chance and alleviated some of its pain.

Nobody deserves to be tortured like a broken bird versus a tabby cat, but I see people do it to each other all the time. They enjoy the power, the absolute domination, and they believe because the person they torture is broken (maybe just for them) that they are somehow strong. But they are not kind people. They are poor humans.

The best people you will know, because they will show the greatest kindness when they have all the power. When someone is weak or injured in some way, they nourish them. If someone is broken, they try with all of their heart and soul to heal them, even if they take away from themselves in doing so. They will walk through the fire for the people they love. They will hold a person's heart high even when they can't for themselves.

So here is the ultimate question... in some ways, aren't we all broken?  . . . In some ways, aren't we all weak?.. . In some ways aren't we all broken birds?

Make sure you surround yourself with the right tabby cats, or . . .

... maybe a broken bird just shouldn't trust a cat at all.





The Most Transformative Year of My Life

I had a birthday recently, and I realized something very powerful. The person I am now is so much different than a year ago, or than I've ever been.

This year, I have felt the strongest love, and the strongest pain. I have experienced the challenges of poor health. I have also seen ghosts from the past … and I have fought them… and then forgiven them and myself.

At my best, my heart was never so wide open. I was able to give gifts and messages to those who needed them. I’ve never been able to give quite this much.

At my worst, I mistakenly aimed my bow and arrow at those I care for deeply. For that, I am truly sorry.  You didn’t deserve it.

But most importantly, I am so grateful for those whom have come into my life. I am forever different because of you.  In so many ways, I was not ready for some of you. But I’m very glad you came anyway. And I’m more at peace than ever because of it. Please come again.

In some ways, the last two years I had forgotten who I was. There are those of you whom have helped me rediscover it, who showed me that we can truly be loved for we are. You showed me what’s really important again.

This post is to let you all know… I am so thankful you’ve been a part of my life. You are the reason I will forever be better. . This is for you.

This was the end of a chapter… but the story never really ends... does it