This year has been a breakthrough for many artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradberry with their chart crushing albums. Now, it’s only a matter of time before some of my favorite artists I’ve seen live at writers rounds for the longest time get their chance to shine. These are some of my picks for artists to watch for 2018:
1. Devin Dawson
Devin is changing the contemporary country music game. From the beginning when I heard his song “Dark Horse” played live at his shows, I knew he was something special. His original song ‘All On Me” has over 36 million streams on Spotify. Now, his other single he has released, “I Don’t Care Who Sees” has over 4 million streams. His unique sound to country music is not only refreshing but is going to make his career take off. His debut album Dark Horse will be released Jan 19; watch out.
2. Abby Andersen
The idea of people not knowing or hearing who Abby is hurts my heart. Abby has the voice of an angel and her single “This Feeling” is my top played on Spotify this year, and should’ve been yours too. It has half a million loops on Spotify and I wouldn’t be surprised If I was 25% of the loops because of the number of times I listen to it. Hearing her new content live at rounds in Nashville gets me overly excited for her. 2018 doesn’t know what’s about to hit, Abby’s coming in hot.
3. Cale Dodds
Warner Music signee, Cale Dodds, has been killing the country Spotify charts in the last year having over 5 million loops for “People Watching” and “Lying”. “All Over,” being his first official single with Warner Music, has over half a million streams and isn’t stopping there. He hasn’t disappeared on Spotify’s playlist “New Boots,” this entire year, and it’s only a short amount of time until he gets the recognition he deserves. The future is only bright for Cale. Listening to his music and randomly bumping into him at Urban Juicer in Nashville has made me curious about what’s to come. Yes, we’re basically best friends now because I ran into him in Nashville. Try not to be jealous.
4. Ryan Griffin
I cannot talk-up Ryan Griffin enough. This guy is crazy talented. From watching him live at CMA fest to the Listening Room Cafe, he deserves big-time. Ryan has just entered into a well deserving joint publishing and development deal with the one-and-only songwriter/producer busbee and BMG Nashville. Even though we all know that Ryan is the co-writer of Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Dibs;” Ryan’s heart-wrenching song “Woulda Left Me Too” has over 3 million streams on Spotify. It’s time for the world to discover Ryan Griffin. 2018 is his.
5. Tyler Rich
California-grown Tyler Rich has been up-and-coming the last couple years, but 2018 is going to be his big break. The first time I ever heard of Tyler was when he opened up for Dustin Lynch in 2015 and my mom literally went on stage and took shots with him. Yes, you heard that correctly. After that show, I had his EP “Valerie” on repeat. Now, here we are in 2017 and he just recently signed with Big Machine Label Group. Ladies, if you want a bop, I suggest blasting “Teach Ya Girl” as loud as you can in your car. You’re welcome.
6. Emma White
Baltimore born and raised, Emma never saw herself in the Nashville scene. Her R&B route somehow went the country route, and I’m not opposed to it. Emma’s self-titled EP has been my go-to this past year. Her voice is so soothing you can listen to her on repeat and I’m living proof of it. Her single “OVERTHINK IT” was one of my most played on Spotify this year, do you believe me yet? Getting to know her this past year was a privilege. She’s a class act and most certainly the most humble human I’ve ever met. This year was just the beginning for Emma, and I’m excited to see the big things in store for her in 2018.
If I’m right about all of these, which I will be, you’re welcome for giving you the heads-up.