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UPstar. Music's 21 Artists to Watch in 2021 Vol. I

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

As 2020 is wrapping up (thank god), everyone is looking to another great year of Country Music. I could make a list of 200 singer-songwriters whom I think are going to show incredible growth in the coming year, but I don't think my fingers could handle that. So, I've gone with my gut and narrowed the list down to 21 artists that I think are going to blow up and have a year that changes their life forever. Some of these artists are diamonds in the rough - you may not have heard of them - and some artists that have recently signed record and/or publishing deals. These 21 artists have off the chart talent and will all have long and successful careers in Country Music. Let’s start by taking a look at 7 of them (in no particular order) ....


Kameron Marlowe


Arguably the quickest rise into the spotlight ever in Country Music, Kameron Marlowe has made the jump from a guy who sold car parts at General Motors, to signing a global publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville in May 2020. This was followed by a record deal with Columbia Nashville in June 2020. A damn good start to his career if you ask me. Kameron first turned heads with his time on "The Voice". After being eliminated from the show, he packed his bags and made the trip to Nashville to pursue a dream of becoming a singer-songwriter in Music City. It's safe to say Kameron's already doing that at a high level. The 23 year-old North Carolina native has the voice and songwriting gift which captivates an audience and can draw a person in, no matter what genre they are a fan of. My take away when I first heard "Giving You Up" followed by "Take You Up On It" is that Kameron has that rare ability to keep the traditionalists happy, but also has the appeal for modern radio. Other artists who have this ability which helped catapult them to the top of the genre are Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen. After releasing a debut single "Giving You Up" (released on June 14th, 2019) Marlowe has turned into a monster sensation, hitting almost 30 million streams on Spotify. Kameron just released his debut 6-song, self titled EP. Kameron Marlowe has quickly become one of my favorite rising artists and I'm excited to see how his career unfolds in the next few years.


Carter Faith


Is Carter Faith the next big thing? Yes! Do I think she will be headlining shows and selling out stadiums in a few years? 100%. The North Carolina native, who studied songwriting at Belmont University, already has Music City talking about her skill set and endless ceiling. I think it only took me 10 seconds into her debut single "Leaving Tennessee" to process Carter is a once in a lifetime talent. She is as good as any at putting pen to paper and painting a story that is relatable. The songs can touch any listener - from each witty verse to her electric vocals that could blow out your car speakers. Carter is already off to a fast start, as she signed an artist development deal with Altadena and Pound It Out Loud in October of 2020. With three singles under her belt, Carter Faith has quickly put up massive numbers and is pushing 160,000 streams combined on Spotify. A future star who is worth the listen.


Tim Dugger


Oh gosh almighty we’ve got a talented fellow right here! Tim Dugger brings the honky tonkin', hole in the wall, boot stompin' feel with every one of his songs. After following Tim on Twitter, I don't think anyone is a bigger fan of Nascar than this man right here. Dugger combines his love of racing, Country Music and small town values and blends them together to deliver smash hits that are honest, fun and true to himself. The Curb Records artist is as underrated as it gets. I am honestly surprised he isn't already a huge name on the Country Music scene. Tim released his most recent EP "Signs of a Good Time" back in April and has done exceptionally well. 2020 is Tim Dugger's year, I'm telling y'all.


Jaden Hamilton


This soon to be 20 year old has had a unique path to early success in Country Music. Tik Tok has been a signature tool for independent artists to get recognized. It can help the artist and their original songs blow up. From Tik Tok star to signing a deal with Sony Nashville, Jaden's journey is just getting started. The Louisiana native incorporates his Country roots into each song. Hamilton helps convey his personal experiences with a smooth voice and catchy lyrics which will get you dancing on your back porch. On October 16th, Jaden released his EP "Ain't That Something" which is not only pleasing his major Tik Tok following, but also making Country fans everywhere stop and listen. Jaden Hamilton needs to be on your radar. It's only a matter of time before he's playing a summer circuit with some of the best in Country Music.


Priscilla Block


Let's keep the list rolling with another Tik Tok superstar! This high-energy singer-songwriter has been putting out heaters for years, but recently posted her unreleased song "Just About Over You". And people went bananas, touching millions on the social media app! Life comes at you fast. It sure did for Priscilla - from deciding to cut and put out the song, to going #1 on the iTunes All-Genre Chart. She inked a record deal with UMG Nashville and is now being played on radio across the country. Moving from North Carolina to Nashville, with her sights on becoming a household name, she can cross that off her list, as she is one of the most exciting rising talents in the genre. What I really enjoy about Priscilla Block is her unique and playful songs about self-love and empowering women. Especially in an era of social media, these messages are so important. Not only are her songs "PMS" and "Thick Thighs" funny and give you a chuckle, but the lyrics are honest and well thought out from the first verse to the last. I know that 2021 is going to be a hell of a year for Priscilla Block. And she wasn't lying... thick thighs save lives...


Jordan Fletcher


I dare you to listen to a Jordan Fletcher song and not get up and dance like an idiot. From clever verses to a catchy delivery, this man has the whole singer-songwriter thing figured out. The name Jordan Fletcher has been on the rise for a few years. Even in 2016 when he released "My Whole World", you could understand his voice, at some point, was going to reach millions of ears across the world. In 2018, Sea Gayle Publishing recognized this “up and comer” and signed him to a deal. My gut tells me that 2021 will be the year your mom, cousins, ex-girlfriend, even your accountant, all get to hear Fletcher’s special talent. The sound is a mix of traditional country and a whole lot of soul. You can tell that each verse Jordan belts out comes from a place of passion and real life experience. This Florida boy is one of the best songwriters in Country Music and I don't have a problem saying that. The way he is able to draw you in before you can even appreciate his talent is something you’ll have to test out for yourself. From selling merchandise on the road with Muscadine Bloodline, to taking over Country Music, the Jordan Fletcher novel is ever expanding. His is a name that has to be on your radar, if it isn't already.


Hayden Coffman


It's Hayden Coffman's world and we are just living in it. The Tennessean came into 2020 as a man on a mission and he sure as hell put his stamp on Country Music. Hayden started off the year with 4 singles and ended the year with his self-titled album which was released on November 6. Hayden is everything Music City wants and needs. In a pop country driven industry, he delivers that perfect traditional sound that makes everyone feel right at home. This Tennessee Volunteer gives major Jason Aldean vibes and has a vocal range that sends a chill down your spine. From playing college baseball to tearing up Music City, Hayden Coffman brings the heaters and brings the party.


Halle Kearns


Halle Kearns will be selling out shows and having the lyrics of every song being screamed back at her sooner than later. Kameron Marlowe has had one of the quickest jumps to stardom in Country Music and I can confidently say Halle could well be one of the next. She dropped her debut single "Pick Me Up" on July 31st, followed that up with two more top of the line singles and ended the year with a splash, on her birthday, and released a 5-song EP "Finally". Halle has a special ability to capture every emotion. From fun and upbeat with her single "Pick Me Up", to meaningful experiences in "Shoes to Fill", to gut wrenching break ups in "Before He Could", all your feelings are tapped. As one of the most sought after young talents in the genre, it won't be too long until Miss Halle is taking over the radio waves and performing on cross-country tours. 2021 is just the beginning for Halle Kearns and I couldn't be more excited for the world to discover this beautiful talent.


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