Kelleigh Bannen has been an active member of the country music community ever since 2012, when she released her debut single, "Sorry On the Rocks." This year, Bannen took a chance and parted from her label, and released her debut EP, a collection titled Cheap Sunglasses independently. The EP stretches from summer-themed tracks like lead single "Landlocked" and "All Good Things" to more personal tracks like the title track, "Cheap Sunglasses." I recently chatted with Bannen about the EP and this exciting new chapter in her music career.
Last week, Leah Daniels found out she was nominated for five Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) awards, including the awards for Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. When she found out, she couldn't believe her eyes. "It was so crazy!" she said. "It's such an honour to be nominated and it's extra special because it's the industry that picks the nominees." Daniels, along with Jason Blaine and Tebey, leads the nominees with five nominations. This wasn't just an honor for Daniels, but it was a defining moment. "Sometimes I find I get so caught up in my work and music that I loose the ability to measure my success," she said, "but moments like those make you stop and realize — okay I am on the right track!"
At 17, most teenagers are going to high school, hanging out with friends, thinking about college and doing all the typical things that teens do in high school. But 17-year-old singer/songwriter Abbey Cone is not your typical teenager. Instead of going to football games and taking exams at school, she released a full length album last year and has already become a talented musician respected by many.
Canadian singer songwriter Molly Brown is a young artist, and new to the country scene, but the way she approaches making music is much wiser than her 24 years: "Don't aspire to sound like others," she says. "Hope that they aspire to sound like you." Her philosophy has marked her as a stand out artist, because she truly sounds different than any other new female artist in country music.
Rising country singer and songwriter Sarahbeth Taite is an artist not many people may be familiar with right now, but for any young woman or any person who feels like they're not enough in any way in their life, her music is worth a listen. Exploring themes of self-worth, girl power, and insane relationships, her EP covers a young woman's life, all with a contemporary pop/country coating.
Country music started young for Taite. "My country music career started out in front of my bedroom mirror holding a hairbrush," she said. "Reba McEntire was definitely my first favorite country artist." Taite started off her country music journey younger than most, and was heavily inspired by the powerful women of country music of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. These factors have developed Taite's sound into what it is today.
You may have caught Courtney Cole on tour with Miranda Lambert last year, alongside Ashley Monroe, RaeLynn, and Clare Dunn. Or maybe you're one of the 66,000 + views on her adorable music video for her Sirius XM The Highway hit "Drunk." Or maybe this is your first time hearing her name. If it is, keep her on your radar, because I wouldn't be surprised if she blows up in the next year or so.