As we wrap up the final six artists for "UPstar. Music's 21 Artists to Watch in 2021 Vol. III", I wanted to congratulate all these talented singer-songwriters. They deserve endless attention and love for the blood, sweat and tears they put into each song, each performance and the highs and lows that go into pursuing their dream. Furthermore, I wanted to highlight the rest of the rising talent in Nashville and around the country. Everyone has their own path and it's amazing to get to see all these amazing individuals grow as artists, songwriters and musicians.
Sarah Allison Turner
Sarah Allison Turner has put Country Music on notice by dropping 4 singles along with an acoustic version of her single "Save Me the Trouble" in 2020. The West Virginia native showcases her powerful, traditional sound mixed with witty verses and a mesmerizing vibe that will pull everyone in. Sarah has a big 2021 in store for her. I confidently predict she will take the “next step'' and be on everyone's radar and burning through the speakers of Country Music fans everywhere. With only one year under her belt putting out her own jams, Sarah has already surpassed 410,000 streams combined on Spotify. She shows no signs of slowing down. In a short few years, Sarah Allison Turner will be selling out shows - playing all your favorite venues and festivals. Don't be surprised if she's opening for one of your favorite headliners at a local venue, while you're black out drunk rolling around in the mud.Big things coming... you heard it here first.
Jason Nix is probably a name you are already getting familiar with. I truly think 2021 is the year where his talent - which has been bottling up - is finally going to explode. Jason brings the heat in every lyric and has a voice that is meant for endless success in Music City. Helping pen songs for Eli Young Band, Lainey Wilson and Jay Allen's touching song "Blank Stares", amongst others, Jason Nix is not only making waves in Nashville with his dynamic voice, but also with his storytelling ability. Sneaking onto the artist scene in 2018 with his debut single "Singing for the Money", Nix quickly established his place in the genre as that single currently has over 818,000 streams. After a short hiatus, Jason Nix released two singles "Let's Get Married" and "Made for Me", both absolute heaters. He followed with his debut EP "Money on You" in October. The talented Nix is just hitting stride, signing with Jody Williams Songs on an exclusive songwriting agreement in addition to doing a stint touring with Luke Combs. It's just a matter of time before fans across Country Music know this stud.
Golly! This dude Josh Kiser has got that "It Factor" and is becoming one of Nashville's quick risers. That southern drawl and top tier songwriting warms the heart of Country Music and is a relief to traditionalists that want to bring back the glory days of the genre. His sound is an outlaw country fan’s dream of what a great song should sound like. Josh's songs take a fresh new perspective and tell stories, instead of putting out songs that “fit the machine”. "I'm Never Drinking Again" and "The F Word" are prime examples of how Mr. Kiser is wise beyond his years and is quickly making noise in Nashville. This December Josh signed a co-publishing deal with Liz Rose Music and Warner Chappell Music. This just adds more credibility to his unbelievable ability to portray past experiences and ideas that we all can relate to. The next few years are going to pick up for rising star Josh Kiser.
When I first heard Joybeth Taylor's song "I See Memories", I had to stop and admire her ability to tell a story. A talent like this only comes around once in a while and GOD DAMN, y'all better jump on this wave. A newcomer and diamond in the rough, Joybeth possesses all the tools to make it big in Country Music. Her name might not be jumping out at you now but will be flying around everywhere you look in the future. Taylor released her first two singles "I See Memories" and "It Just Takes One" in 2019. These combined for over 83,000 streams on Spotify. Joybeth had a quiet 2020, as she didn't release any new original music, but appeared on Alex Maxwell's "Growing Up Is Getting Old". So y'all be ready for a record year for Joybeth Taylor, because she's coming.
The ladies are gonna take over 2021! The refreshing days of female artists highlighting the genre are back. From Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Reba and Martina McBride, the 90s was filled with star power. Ella Langley is going to take over the next decade in Music City alongside women like Maren Morris and Ashley McBryde. Showcasing a traditional sound is never a bad thing and Ella does it so well, blended with a bad ass swagger. Right out of the gates Ella Langley is putting other singer-songwriters, fans and music executives on notice with her first two singles "Match Made in Heaven" and "One of the Guys". It's clear Ella will be having her catchy jams sung back to her across the country. It may not be this coming year, but in the near future she'll be having her name in conversation with some of Country Music's best.
Saving the best for last? As we come to a close with Artist 21/21 (artists featured in no particular order), Royale Lynn makes you feel like you are out living in the Wild West with each of her songs. Her latest release "Texas Hold 'Em", which came out in October, showcases Royale’s clever and elite songwriting. It took a page out of HARDY and Sam Hunt's book with this absolute gem. From the beginning, I have been a huge fan of Royale Lynn's music and admire the passion and love of Country Music that is so easy to hear in each song she puts out. This Canadian born singer-songwriter came to Nashville not to sit in the background, but to chase her dream of Country Music. Even with only 4 songs out, Royale no longer is chasing a dream, but rather living it. The way Lynn adds the fiddle, steel guitar and other instruments into her music is the way it's supposed to be done and is rather refreshing. Y'all better take the time to discover her amazing sound, because Royale Lynn is patiently waiting in line to be the genre's next big thing.