Josh Gracin's music career has taken him from 'American Idol' finalist to signing with Disney-owned Lyric Street Records, the label that also launched the career of Rascal Flatts. Leaving Lyric Street recently, Josh has now signed with a company called Average Joe's. And he's speaking out on record-label politics, a situation the singer says even cost him a guest artist on his new project.

"I've noticed one thing about Nashville," Josh tells the9513, "especially with the bigger labels .. that they have to have a piece of everything and it tends to get in the way sometimes. I think with the changing market in music, the music listener/lover/buyer is fed up with everything they've been getting fed lately. That has a lot to do with major labels trying to minimize costs and maximize profit at the cost of quality. Even if you are a big honcho at the label, you aren't allowed to branch out and do what you want to do. I asked a friend of mine from the second season of 'American Idol',' Kim Caldwell -- she has a new single coming out. I asked her to sing on this thing and the label told her no. So, she was upset by that and I couldn't tell her 'take the reins and do what you want to do' because she's on a major label and I don't want her to jeopardize her shot. It shouldn't feel like every little step you make, you're walking on pins and needles."

Josh wrote every song on his new project and is also producing the CD with his band's music director. The first single from the album is called 'Over Me.'