As 2022 comes to a close, it is time to jump ahead to artists we think are going to make big moves in 2023. A large part of what we focus on at UPstar. Music is artist development and growth for artists over the course of a few years. This is one thing I believe makes UPstar. Music's "Artists to Watch" unique and special. Of the 25 artists featured, each is at different stages of their career; some are cashing in on record deals and will be breakout stars in 2023. Others have released their first songs in 2022, have great potential to make a name for themselves this coming year and will reach great heights in the near future. All of these individuals are at different stages in their career but there is one thing they all have in common - these are stars in the making, who have undeniable talent and at some point will be at the top of Country Music. There are common themes in this article and characteristics the artists share. They include the ability to be authentic with their music, pave their own path to success by finding their own sound and the ability to write genuine, outside the box songs which separate them from the rest of the genre. Give it a few years... these are the stars of tomorrow. From the heart of Nashville, to the Red Dirt scene we got a wide variety of artists for you.
The Arizona native, who is influenced by superstars like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini, is quickly becoming her own star in Music City. While many look at Tik Tok as a fun place to dance and lip sync, Avery Anna used it as a tool to find success in Country Music. During COVID, the talented singer began posting covers which went viral. Eventually she got connected to Nashville and before you know it signed a record deal with Warner Music Nashville. She is now one of the top rising artists in Country Music. Avery was named one of The Highway's coveted "Highway Finds", kickstarting her long successful future in Country Music. A strength of Avery’s is her ability to be vulnerable and take on real life experiences and to share them with the world. This is showcased on her very deep and empathetic songs "Narcissist" and "Critic". Make sure to check out Avery's debut EP "Mood Swings" which shows off her talent vocally and with the pen. Avery Anna may be early in her Country Music career, but her ceiling is as high as anyone's in the genre. A young star who highlights the UPstar. Music Artists to Watch Class of 2023.
Palmer Anthony has quickly emerged as my favorite up and coming artist in Country Music. The singer-songwriter based out of Fort Worth, Texas is tearing up the Red Dirt Texas country scene and is gaining momentum in the genre. Palmer has done an effective job blending the likes of Country Music and Rock N Roll to bring his authentic sound to the surface. On his debut album "Western & Roll", which was released on June 24th, 2022, Palmer showcases his elite songwriting in songs like "Letterman" and "Love Me Forever". He then flips the script and hits you with some head bangers like "Between You and Me". One characteristic that brings Palmer Anthony to the forefront of Country Music and is setting himself to be a star for a long time, is his genuine songwriting that allows him to be vulnerable and produce lyrics that are so relatable and honest. To sum up Palmer's songwriting... while other songwriters are writing in Times New Roman 12 font, Palmer is penning his lyrics in the finest cursive you can find. His willingness to pen songs and ideas that are outside the box will be Palmer's dynamite as his career progresses. Palmer says his music is influenced by Turnpike Troubadours, Mac Miller and Ryan Bingham. After a successful year of touring - opening for Turnpike Troubadours, Cody Canada and Eli Young band, and surpassing 2 million total streams on Spotify, I'm excited to see how Palmer's 2023 unfolds. This independent artist should be at the top of your list of new artists you NEED to discover.
Derek Austin may not be on your radar yet, but he should be. The biggest thing I preach about up and coming talent in Country Music is authenticity and putting out music that's true to you. Derek is doing just that and is hitting his stride. He is showcasing his premier songwriting in sincere, thoughtful songs like "Days That End in Why" (and yes this was released way before Morgan Wallen's version) and "The Bullet" featuring Ashley Cooke, but he also has the ability to bring you the windows down jams like "Ride or Die" and "4WD". As a writer, Derek has cuts with Tim McGraw, Tyler Chambers and Jon Wood amongst others. I truly believe 2023 will be a big step in Derek's career as he is about to make major waves writing for others and putting out his own music. Derek is signed to JRM Publishing and Round Hill Music and he is managed by Mailbox Money Music.
George Birge has spent the last two years setting himself up for massive success in 2023. He got the spark from his viral hit "Beer Beer, Truck Truck" and followed that success with a record deal and his debut EP. George has worked his way into the speakers of Country Music listeners. For many fans, George Birge may be the new kid on the block, but his music is quickly cementing him as a top rising artist in the genre. He brings an infectious vibe that pulls listeners in with his catchy lyrics and smooth, laid back vocals that fit the mainstream sound, but the authenticity still shines through. If you didn't know how massive George's song "Mind On You" is, Bobby Bones named it one of his "top 3 favorite songs" and also named Birge a “National Spotlight Artist of the Week.” Birge was interviewed and performed on the historic Bobby Bones Show. With over 20 Million streams across his catalog to date, George has been featured in NPR All Things Considered, People.com, American Songwriter & Taste Of Country, and named one of Nashville Lifestyles’ “Artists You Need To Know". You know there is a massive star in the making when every song they release is a huge hit and strikes a chord with the majority of music listeners. That is what's happening with George Birge. He has opened for artists such as Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, Gary Allan, Scotty McCreery, and recently performed at the coveted stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater. He is working on a full touring schedule for 2023 with a new album on the horizon. George is signed to RECORDS Nashville, Wide Open Publishing and Wide Open Music. I truly believe George is beginning to discover the superstar talent he has and 2023 is going to be a coming out party to the world of Country Music.
To be completely honest with you, Tyler Booth easily could have been an artist to watch the last two years, but I believe 2023 is going to be his year. Tyler Booth is bringing Traditional Country Music back, and doing so with his Kentucky roots and southern twang. Tyler's ability to make a song his own and catch listeners attention is second to none. This fall Tyler went on his first headlining tour "Country Gang" and brought along Jordan Rowe, Reid Haughton and Whey Jennings. Tyler was fortunate to be a part of the Brooks & Dunn "Reboot" album as he joined them on their hit "Lost and Found". Tyler has toured and played shows around the country joining artists such as Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins, Jon Pardi and many more. Tyler Booth is steadily gaining popularity and it is no surprise why this talented young man will be coming to a city close to you in the near future. Tyler has a record deal with Sony Music Nashville.
As an artist, Ben Burgess may be a new name to you. However, you have been listening to his songs for a longtime. Ben is one of the most accomplished and sought after songwriters in the market. He has penned hits like "SIGNED, SOBER YOU" by HARDY, “Flower Shops” by Ernest featuring Morgan Wallen, “April Showers” by Koe Wetzel, Morgan Wallen's massive hit "Whiskey Glasses", and many other cuts on Morgan Wallen's Dangerous album. The list goes on and on. Ben signed a deal with Big Loud Records in 2020 and is building his artist career. He just released his debut album "Tears the Size of Texas" at the end of September, which is quality top to bottom. In addition to Ben's elite and witty songwriting, he is intertwining his wild west twang to bring the world some top tier music. Ben Burgess has found success relating his real life experiences and spinning them into songs that everyone wants to listen to. The east Dallas native has been on a musical journey that started in Los Angeles writing Pop music. He got his first career cut with the Jonas Brothers, then made his way to Nashville - signing a publishing deal with Warner Chappell in 2015. Ben now gets to chase the artist dream in Music City touring as an artist. "Tears the Size of Texas" is one of the top albums of the year. Excited to see how Ben capitalizes off of that moving forward into 2023.
Kaitlin Butts music isn't just for listening pleasure it's a full out experience. Kaitlin has the ability to paint an entire movie in just a few minutes - whether it's re-living hard times in "It Won't Always Be This Way" or taking you out on the dance floor in "Marfa Lights". Kaitlin showcases her talent through her powerful vocals that turn heads and take the listener on a journey. In today's era of music, where almost everything is short and sweet, filled with catchy beats, and at times very gimmicky, Kaitlin has stuck to her roots, believed in her storytelling and stayed authentic to herself and her sound. It's working. Country & Western is so back; real instruments, substance in the songs and vocals that can be heard over the mountains. Kaitlin Butts may be one of the most underrated superstars in Country Music. She recently made her Grand Ole Opry debut and it's just a matter of time before she's playing amphitheaters on the day to day and also playing stadiums. I am jumping on the bandwagon and so should you. Released in April, "What Else Can She Do" rose to top 10 Albums on the Americana Albums Chart and continues to receive widespread critical acclaim from NPR music, Rolling Stone and Billboard. Kaitlin is signed to Soundly Music.
This Arizona native is taking Country Music by storm. Tyler Dial has been impressing the folks in Music City and listeners across the country with his new calming vibe with catchy lyrics and sonically brings listeners all the nostalgia. Fusing his influences of George Strait, Garth Brooks, The Eagles and The Rolling Stones, Tyler is creating his own style of Country Music and paving his own path to success. Interviewing Tyler after his EP release "Way Back When", he shared with me some powerful stuff. He told me that when arriving in Nashville, musically, he put out music that people wanted him to. Doing that, he never really found his sound and didn't get to put his personal touch on things. Years later, Tyler took a step back and realized that he wanted to put out music that was authentic to him and be able to share his story. It's clear that Tyler has figured out his true sound and because of that he is finding some very well deserved success. Tyler is anticipating a full length album in 2023 to help solidify his recent surge to the top of artists coming up. One of the coolest things about Tyler's music is you can hear his life story and journey from growing up in Arizona, going to college at University of Texas at Austin and his experiences while living in Nashville. When a singer-songwriter discovers their sound, is comfortable releasing songs that are authentic to them and keeps their head down and works hard, it can be a scary combination. Tyler is doing all three things very well. Tyler is signed to Virgin Music, Make Wake Artist Management, Top 5 (publishing) and WME. A bright future ahead for Tyler Dial.
Dalton Dover has gained momentum in 2022 and is setting himself up for an even bigger 2023. From being a contestant on season 16 of The Voice and making waves on Tik Tok, Dalton has converted those experiences to real life industry success. Vocally, Dalton commands the room with his powerful, but soothing sound. With his recent releases, Dalton has showcased his versatility. His song "You Got A Small Town", is a badass song about small town livin' and he comes right back at ya with a slow, intimate love song "Baby I Am". I believe Dalton Dover's artist career is in the early stages and many listeners are starting to jump on the bandwagon. It is hard to deny his one-in-a-lifetime talent. As he releases more music, Dalton is only going to continue to get stronger - which is hard to do with the bar he has already set for himself. 2022 has been a whirlwind as Dalton was a "Spotify Hot Country Artist to Watch 2022", made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, signed a record deal and opened for Priscilla Block on her "Welcome to the Block Party" Tour. Not too bad. Recently, Dalton was also named one of "Pandora's Artists To Watch for 2023". Dalton Dover is signed to UMG Nashville, Sony Publishing, UTA booking and UnderscoreWorks.