Get to know the rising country stars featured on the Top Country Discovery Songs Playlist. Every week, we add new artists and songs to our Top Country Discovery Playlist. As a bonus – every month, we select five country artists you need know from the playlist. Check out May’s featured artists below.
Follow the Top Country Discovery Playlist on Spotify for more.
1. East Adelaide – Toronto, ON
Song featured on the Top Country Discovery Playlist: “Heaven”
After JUNO nominated duo Autumn Hill went on hiatus, Mike Robins was left wondering what to do next. Thankfully for us, he formed East Adelaide with former Autumn Hill drummer, Andrew Mackay. Following the excitement of their debut single “You Don’t Get To Love Me”, the duo released “Heaven” in early May. If you’ve constantly got Thomas Rhett, Dan + Shay & Brett Young on repeat, you’ll want to check out East Adelaide’s “Heaven” on the Top Country Discovery Songs Playlist.
TC: Your dreams would come true if… Mike Robins (lead singer): “Working or touring with Keith Urban or John Mayer would be a huge dream come true. Both are big inspirations of mine and I would love to jam with those guys.”
TC: Who are your biggest musical inspirations? Mike Robins: “My biggest musical influence would have to be my parents, who got me into music. My father is a drummer and my mother is a singer. Their love for all things music, including a huge vintage record collection, is what really set me down this road. The Beatles are also a huge influence, as is a lot of older music. The country guitar pickers like, Vince Gill and Keith Urban, also really opened up my love for country music.”
TC: Favourite moment of your career so far… Mike Robins: “Being nominated for two CCMA awards has been a real highlight. Getting the chance to be a part of the show was something I’ll never forget. Performing in front of that crowd of incredible artists, the whole industry, as well as the television audience is so nerve-racking and exciting. It’s always such an amazing experience.”
Alli Walker is bringing a fresh perspective to country music. Her determination to inspire others through what she calls mindful music, caught our attention immediately. There’s no better time for someone like Alli Walker to bring mindfulness to country music. From magazines to yoga class, our culture is becoming more welcoming to the practice of mindfulness.
When we had the opportunity to premiere the video for “Fight Till The End”, there was no doubt we had to take it. Alli Walker will impact country music for the better, it’s just a matter of time.
TC: Your dreams would come true if… Alli Walker: “My dreams would come true if I had a little piece to do with inspiring people to live deeper into their truest selves. A movement where people are more mindful, love themselves more, understand they are a priority, they matter and they can do incredible things. I’ve realized that people feel very isolated and very alone in their struggles, so if my Mindful Music can make someone feel less alone, I’ve won. But also, I’d like to just travel the world performing alongside my partner and keep creating music!”
TC: Who are your biggest musical inspirations? Alli Walker: “I love songwriters. Those who aren’t afraid to really say how they feel, even if it’s not what the world is ready for, but what the world actually needs. Each one of these women were trailblazers for me and the industry: Joni Mitchell, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and Taylor Swift.”
TC: Favourite moment of your career so far… Alli Walker: “As an artist in a loud music industry, there’s a lot of pressure to stand out and be different. I spent 10 years trying to find where I fit in this industry and wondering what I had to offer, and I spent too long trying to be someone that already existed. It wasn’t until I let go of those expectations, got to really know myself, sought the most authentic and vulnerable version of me that I found what my value really is. I am most proud of giving myself grace and letting my journey take longer than I expected because what I came up with – Mindful Music and the message behind my music – is something that you can’t just throw together. It had to come from the depths of struggle and vulnerability. In return I receive the most beautiful messages and stories from people sharing their moments of struggle and how my music has helped relieve them. Those little moments of connection are my favourite!”
Kadooh’s “Somethin’ To Roll On” is the perfect country song for warm weather and driving with the top down. The new singer, signed to 604 Records alongside Dallas Smith and Andrew Hyatt, is certainly one to watch out for in 2019.
TC: Your dreams would come true if… Kadooh: “My dreams would come true if I could headline a national tour and be able to share my music across the globe. ”
TC: Who is your biggest musical inspiration? Kadooh: “My biggest musical influences have been the Oakridge Boys, Nickelback and Garth Brooks but many other artists have influenced my musical taste over the years.”
TC: Favourite moment of your career so far… Kadooh: “My fav moment of my career was the first time I heard my song on the radio. I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received so far and am really excited about things to come.”
After seeing Mariya Stokes’ “Hands On My Body” appear on the Top Country Sales Chart back in February, I was immediately hooked. The song is catchy, fun and full of good vibes. If you love a good pop-country song, you need to check out “Hands On My Body” on the Top Country Discovery Songs Playlist.
TC: Your dreams would come true if… Mariya Stokes: “If I was touring and connecting with people all over the world, I would really feel like my dreams were coming true. That being said, when I was 18 I moved to Calgary, Alberta with the goal of being a full-time working musician and now that I’ve achieved that, I feel like I’m living my dream every day. I’m super thankful and excited about all the steps in the process of growing as an artist and musician.”
TC: Who are your biggest musical inspirations? Mariya Stokes: “My biggest musical inspirations are Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgragves, Lizzo, and Hozier. I love how they area all all honest, hardworking, creative songwriters who are unapologetic about who they are and totally fearless with their music. If I could write a bop half as groovy as Lizzo or a ballad with a quarter of the emotional impact that Brandi packs, I think I could die happy.”
TC: Favourite moment of your career so far… Mariya Stokes: “A few weeks ago I got a call from the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta inviting me to work with Terri Clark at the RBC Master in Residence program in May; that was a bit of a surreal moment for me. It feels a little unreal that I’m going to get to hang out with her and learn from her – I grew up listening to her songs on the radio and it feels like a bit of a full circle moment. I’m so thankful for the opportunity and I’m sure the experience itself will be a career highlight forever!”
5. Ingrid Andress – Denver, CO
Song featured on the Top Country Discovery Playlist: “Both”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to “Both” since its release on Friday. With a truly unique sound matched with honest, relatable and fresh songwriting, Ingrid Andress will without a doubt be a star. Her storytelling is rooted in country music but the singer certainly has the ability to reach a global audience with her gritty and modern take on the genre. Ingrid Andress will be a new favourite for fans of Maren Morris, Lennon Stella & Jillian Jacqueline.
TC: Your dreams would come true if… Ingrid Andress: “I would love it if my music got big enough for me to have a global platform to make a positive social impact on the world. Music is such a powerful thing, and I believe it can truly make a difference in people’s lives in a good way.”
TC: Who are your biggest musical inspirations? Ingrid Andress: “I’m always most inspired when I can hear passion in an artist’s voice. I was raised in a very conservative family and we were only allowed to listen to Christian music and Stevie Wonder. I began asking friends to burn me CD’s so I could hear new music and that’s when I discovered Whitney Houston, Eminem, The Dixie Chicks, John Denver, etc. I know musically it seems scattered, but they were artists who I believe had something to say and that’s what I’m always striving to be.”
TC: Favourite moment of your career so far… Ingrid Andress: “There are already way too many to count at this point (and thanks to tequila, most of them are a little hazy in my memory), but I’ll never forget the first time I performed “Lady Like” and saw people singing the lyrics with me. I wrote that song in a small room with two of my friends, so to see it evolve from that tiny space to an entire crowd of people is pretty insane. I know it sounds cheesy because a lot of artists talk about how special it is, but it really is an incredible feeling.”