~ EMMA PETERSON ~
Our “Emerging Indie Artist” for the month of July is Emma Peterson Music!
She is one of Manitoba’s most promising young country stars! Always a fan of singing and performing for family for as long as she can remember. We have her sister to thank for playing a certain CD on their way to Dauphin one summer, which made Emma truly realize what path her dreams were. “She wanted to listen to some Taylor Swift, and she said she thought l would love it,” the musician recalled, adding the pair had spent the money their parents had given them for the day, on the CD. We think that was money well spent! “Right then I knew I wanted to play her songs. So, not long after, we went to Walmart and bought a $50 guitar and my parents thought I was crazy.” With no guitar teacher in town, Emma searched for YouTube tutorials on how to play some basic chords, and the rest is history. “I would watch those videos over and over and music really became the love of my life,” she said. “I still can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Emma is known not only for her captivating performances but for her powerful voice and all too relatable lyricism. It’s that gift for telling familiar, relatable stories that continues to set the singer/songwriter apart, as well as setting the scene for her most recent single, ‘One More Night’ — is being released today, to all streaming platforms. We are super excited for her!“The idea of ~ One More Night ~ came from a relationship with someone who walked away,” she explained. “It’s a song of how you really like this person and how you wish you could spend one more night with them.”
We can certainly relate to that. Growing up in Winnipegosis, MB (which at last count boasts a population of about 617), Emma knows first-hand what it’s like to grow up country proud. And while she may have since moved on to bigger digs, it’s those fond hometown memories that continue to fuel the fire, and initially lit the spark on her country music career — no matter how cheesy she thinks her origin story may sound. Well, we’re good with that, we love cheesy!
In 2016, Emma’s debut took home the top spot in CMT’s Chevy Tailgate Contest, resulting in one of her original songs being featured on the Chevy Top 20, while she made a name for herself as one of the Top 4 Finalists, in the country. She also got the chance to meet American country heavyweights - Lady A backstage, which was nothing less than a full-circle moment.
Over the past few years, Emma has continued to perform at numerous venues across the province and beyond, including an appearance at Dauphin's Countryfest, sharing a stage with some of the country’s biggest breakout stars, Andrew Hyatt and Chris Buck Band. That must have been an exciting experience for her!
In 2020, she headed to the Manitoba Country Music Association Awards in Winnipeg with a slew of nominations including - Fans’ Choice, Female Artist, and Music Video of the Year, ultimately taking home a win in the Emerging Artist category. She released “Hurt Like Hell” and entered it in the Toyota Searchlight contest.
“Everything has really solidified for me, in a way. Every time I hit the stage, I take a deep breath and can’t help but enjoy every minute,” she said. “I'm so lucky to be where I am, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!” So humble, appreciative, and talented, on our books, that makes her definitely Country! We can’t wait to see her as well! We feel she’s got a long future in the Country music scene, and we look forward to seeing her live in concert one of these days.
Over the past few years, she’s been working on and just completed her Bachelor of Nursing. We would like to thank her for lending a hand during the pandemic. Congrats!Make sure you check out her new release - 'One More Night' and all of her other releases!
~ MIKE ROBINS ~
Our “Emerging Indie Artist” for the month of June, is Mike Robins! We’re sure you’ll recognize his soulful voice and amazing guitar picking anywhere. We wouldn’t “blame” you, he’s so talented! Mike burst onto the Canadian Country music scene, as half of the chart topping group, Autumn Hill in 2013. The duo achieved huge radio success with multiple top 10 and top 20 singles such as “Blame”, “Anything At All”, “Mixtape” and “Can’t Keep Waiting. Along with their success at radio, the band’s music video’s topped the CMT charts, with “Blame” hitting #1. We loved Mike and Autumn Hill, right out of the gate!
Mike’s musical influences are quite diverse, including several eras and crossing genres! Everything from growing up in a family that adored classic rock music, to enjoying 60’s, 70’s and rock bands of the 90’s and even mixing in soul music! Mike shared that The Beatles, were a huge influence on him and that the country classics, like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, were favourites as well.
Mike has said that the country lyrics and the great guitarists, are what drew Mike to the instrument and Country genre. Extraordinary guitar pickers, like Hendrix & Jimmy Page, Vince Gill and of course, later on Keith Urban, were who he idolized and wanted to emulate. A few additional favourites to add to that list, are Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley.
Mike’s music has garnered millions of streams across all platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music. After Autumn Hill, Mike continued to work to cement his place in the Canadian country music landscape taking him in another genre of music, with his other critically acclaimed project, East Adelaide. The raw and honest single “You Don’t Get To Love Me” gained over 675 thousand views on Youtube alone.
He has been nominated for 4 Canadian Country Music Awards, 2 Juno Awards and 4 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards and has been the winner of the CMAO’s Rising Star and Best Group/Duo Awards. Along with these awards and nominations, Mike has been invited to perform many times on these award shows as well, including the Canadian Country Music Association National Television Broadcast. One of those performances featured his band’s duet with the incredible Canadian legend Jann Arden. He has so many accolades to be proud of and to have been a part of.
Mike has headlined tours throughout Canada and has shared the stage with many of Country music’s finest, such as Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Dean Brody, Dallas Smith and Tim McGraw to name a few. That must have been incredible!
Robins has captivated crowds with his high energy and unforgettable live performances at all major Canadian country music festivals such as Boots & Hearts Music Festival, Havelock Country Jamboree, Country Thunder, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, The Calgary Stampede and Big Valley Jamboree. There are a few on that list of Festivals, that the Two Christines’s, have on their mutual Festival bucket list!!
With life coming to sudden stand still last year, this allowed him to focus on his solo project, that has been a dream of his, forever! He spent the time writing loads of music and recording it as well. He also spent some quality time in the kitchen, learning some new dishes. It was quite the learning experience, releasing music by himself and all the other new tasks that come with a solo career. In October of 2020, he released - “Lightning Don’t Strike Twice”. This officially started his new chapter, as a solo artist, and the new music was well received!
This accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Often being compared to artists like John Mayer and Keith Urban, Mike’s new music showcases his soulful smooth vocals, raw emotion, and electrifying guitar work, and his songs are deeply rooted in country music’s long tradition of storytelling.
When we talked to Mike, he said - “He would just love to thank the fans for supporting my music in Autumn Hill and East Adelaide and of course now, with the new solo chapter. I can’t wait to share all this new music with you guys!” Well we look forward to seeing it & hearing it, sometime soon! We are super excited to share that he just released “One Beer At A Time”. Make sure you check it out, buy it and stream it!
~ BUCK TWENTY ~
Our Emerging Indie Artists for the month of May is Buck Twenty!
We first saw Buck Twenty at Hagersville Rocks and they won us over by the end of the first chorus! They had loads of energy on the stage, amazing harmonies, catchy hooks, it was quite a memorable show, for sure. They bring it every time they perform!
The singer/songwriter duo Mike Ure and Aidan Johnson-Bujold emerged from the small towns of Harrow and LaSalle, Ontario, in a very big way. They currently are located out towards Windsor. In just a few short years, 8 years to be exact, the band has earned incredible accolades and awards including; 2020 International Songwriter Competition Finalists, 2018 CCMA Spotlight Finalists, 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario -Rising Star Award Nominees and Boots & Hearts Music Festival - Emerging Artist Finalists. In a highly-competitive landscape, this laid-back and easy going group continue to turn industry heads and win over fans, keeping up with other top-performers in their genre!
In 2016, their single ‘Here’s to the Nights,’ reached #58 on Canadian Country Radio Charts: a notable achievement for an independently represented group. Fans recognize Buck Twenty for their stand out talent and sound and so do we.
Their song “All I Can Do” has over 300,000+ Spotify streams and continues to climb. It also made it to the Top 40 on Billboard. We love that song !!! The duo looks forward to introducing more new music 2021. This month on May 14th, they launched “Cut Me Off”, to their loyal and growing fanbase, to radio, and engaging live, with audiences across Canada. We can’t wait to hear their new release live and to see them again in concert. We know it will be a great time!
During the pandemic they continued to write songs and performed live online, when they could, and spent quality time indoors with family.
Buck Twenty will be performing at CMAOs this fall and have multiple nominations, for Group or Duo of the Year, Single of the Year, Video of the Year, & Rising Star! Congratulations and We wish them Good luck! They are so worthy of being nominated. We’re sure this is the beginning of the next phase, for this Ontario duo, coming into their own and they’ll be around for many years to come!
~ SACHA ~
Our “Emerging Indie Artist” for the month of April, is Sacha!
She came on our radar with her song “Standards”. It had us doing google searches, and her voice peeked our interest enough, to figure out who she was. One things for sure, was that her message came through crystal clear~ she’s not willing to settle with just anyone, he needs to make the cut, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
2020 was an amazing breakout year for Sacha. Her independent EP, “The Best Thing”, Sacha presented a set of songs that will fan the flames of hope in the heart of anyone who hears them.
Since the release in July 2020, this singer/songwriter, has done exceptionally well, north and south of the border, with her signature blend of traditional and pop-country. We’re so proud that she’s Canadian, and everything that’s she accomplished this far! She’s even from our own province of Ontario.,
All of Sacha’s hard work is starting to pay off, as she has also been featured as iHeart Radio’s ‘Future Star’, racked up adds on every Pure Country Radio Station in Canada, and on the highly influential, US-based Radio Disney with her latest single, ‘Standards’. Additionally, ‘Standards’ charted both the Top 50 Canadian Country Billboard and Top 40 Mediabase Canadian Country charts and boasts over 400,000 Spotify plays and just hit - Half a Million streams on Amazon Music!! We can see why, because we love “Standards”!
Sacha recorded with Canadian Country Music Association Producer of the Year Nominee, Dan Swiminer and it featured songs penned by and in collaborations including Tenille Townes, Madeline Merlo, Emma-Lee, and Karen Kosowski. “The Best Thing” is proving to be a well-deserved and hard-earned breakthrough for Sacha. Following the premiere of the video for lead single ‘Cheers’ on ET Canada domestically, and worldwide on CMT, the EP has amassed over 900,000 streams across all platforms, which led Sacha being named as one of CMT’s ‘Next Women of Country’ for 2021. She has a lot to be proud of!
She has been featured in major television, print and online music press outlets such as Music Row Magazine, American Songwriter, Rolling Stone Country, Billboard, and The Boot. She was also featured as Country Music Association of Ontario Artist of the Month for February! Such an honour, well earned! She just released her new video for ‘Standards’ so make sure you check it out. Sacha has performed on stages of all different size venues and connects with her audience, regardless of size. Everything from backyard parties, festivals like Sound of Music Festival, to Boots & Hearts. We feel you’ll be a life long fan after seeing her perform!
Both ‘Cheers’ and ‘Standards’ are songs that speak to our current times, imparting the message, that no matter what challenges life tosses your way, embracing the everyday joys of living, is the surest way to overcome them. That message is deeply rooted in Sacha’s music, her unfailingly positive outlook, has come from her own experiences, growing up in the tiny village of Warkworth, Ontario.
Sacha comes from a family of musicians who ensured that music was a part of everyday life during home rehearsals, backyard bonfire parties, and gigs at the local Legion Hall, Sacha said: “Music contributed to my life in so many ways, it’s no wonder I chose it as a career.” As idyllic as that sounds, there have been hard times to. She shared with us, that she had to leave school and start working full-time because her sister and herself had to fend for themselves, for a while. She could have had a less positive outlook based on some of her circumstances, which is understandable but she chose to be the person who says that even if you have it rough, it won’t always be that way. Things can turn out really good for you. That’s such a great message to share with the world.
Sacha’s firm belief that following your heart – even when others don’t believe it will lead anywhere good – might just be the ticket to living your dreams! We couldn’t agree more! We’d like to Congratulate Sacha, for being nominated for ‘Rising Star Of The Year’ Award at CMAO in Hamilton, this year next month! Good Luck! Check out her music on all social media platforms, you won’t regret it!
JESS AND TAY
Our FEATURED “EMERGING INDIE ARTISTS” for the month of March, are Jess & Tay (Jess and Tay Music)! We fell in love with them, the first time we seen Jess & Tay at Stories, Songs & Six Strings, hosted by In The Country with Dave Woods, at The Moonshine Cafe in Oakville. Together, these talented, Canadian singer/songwriting duo, Jessie Bower and Taylor Adams, are the voices behind the sweet, yet rich harmonies that Jess and Tay are known for. They have voices like angels!
Although the Ontario duo do not live in the same town, Jessie (Hamilton), and Taylor (Pickering), their shared love and passion for country music, brought them together, some 6 years ago, while they were attending Humber College. Often times they are even mistaken for sisters and we’re not surprised by that. You can feel their connection, through the music they create together !
These talented performers are no strangers to hard work and dedication, and have the smarts to back them up, both having graduated with Honours from Humber College’s distinguished vocal music program this past year.
Their launch into the Canadian country music scene, was their big stage debut, as Finalists in the Boots & Hearts Music Festival - Emerging Artist Showcase in 2016. They placed 2nd in the The Next Country Music Star and played the main stage, at Havelock Country Jamboree in 2018. They were honoured by the Country Music Association of Ontario in December 2020, by being named ‘Artists of the Month’! In 2020, they celebrated their first ever CMAO nomination, for “Group/Duo of the Year”, and have claimed a spot, on the 2021, Boots and Hearts lineup, on Friday night August 6th ! We’re sure they must be super excited!
Jess & Tay have been performing across Ontario, at events and stages, of all sizes, everything from the Havelock Jamboree, The Horseshoe Tavern, SuperCrawl, and many CCMA showcases and rocked them all ! Their sound is similar to that of their musical influencers, groups like Lady A, The Chicks, and Dan + Shay. Jess & Tay feel that these artists, have truly paved the way for them, to expand themselves in the industry. “Working together is the most fun part about being in a duo, we always have two separate brains to pick and to help make our brand grow”.
They have gained considerable traction with the release of their first 3 singles - “Into Tomorrow”, “That’s When I Drink”, and “Two Alone” - available on all streaming platforms! They have 2 new releases on the horizon, that are bound to “give you all the feels”, so get the tissues ready and delete your ex’s number for sure ! Jess & Tay just released on February 26th, - “It Wasn’t You” and on March 19th - “Wish You Were Mine”, will be released, to all streaming platforms.
They shared with us what they have been up to. “Throughout this pandemic we have been given the time to truly think about ourselves as artists and have discovered our voice. Our two upcoming singles “It Wasn’t You” and “Wish You Were Mine,” amplify who we are, not only as artists but who we are as individuals. We have a clear path on where we want to go with our music and are so excited to continue on this journey. With our new music, we want to help listeners understand the true messages behind the songs, and give them an inside perspective of who we are. We want to continue to grow with you all in the coming years, and can’t wait to see what this career brings us.”
Well we are so excited for Jess & Tay and we can’t wait to see what happens in 2021 & future for them. We are so proud of them both and feel their talent and dedication, will take them far in this industry ! Good luck ! Be sure you check out all their music, wherever you stream and buy music!
~ KRISSY FENIAK ~
Our “Emerging Indie Artist” for February, is Krissy Feniak!
Krissy has been performing professionally for the past 7 years and she’s only 19. This talented, charming free spirit is from Alberta. She has a timeless soulful country sound and an unforgettable style, completely all her own! Her stage presence combined with her sassy lyrics, clever banter and her stories, keeps audiences entertained!!
Feniak at the age of 12, was invited to perform at the “Diamonds in the Rough Showcase” at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards in Halifax, and she has been going back every year since then!! Krissy was the Winner of the 2018 North American Country Music Associations International Artist, Entertainer and Songwriter of the Year in Pigeon Forge, TN and The Country Music Alberta Associations Horizon Award, as well as, a nominee for the Female Artist of the year in 2019 and 2020. We are so proud of her!
Krissy has performed at events such as Big Valley Jamboree, Alberta Country Music Awards Show, ACMA Fan Fest, & the infamous Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, the Commodore Room, Nashville and the Bluejay Sessions, in Calgary. She has shared the stage, as a supporting act for performers such as Doc Walker, Gord Bamford, Aaron Goodvin, and many others.
In October of 2020, she released her single “Wrong Side of Midnight” to Country Music Radio with over 140K streams and been played across Canada, Australia and Ireland. That’s pretty exciting ! This is the 4th single released by Krissy, following the release of “Days”, “Better left Unsaid” and “Mess with Me”. Krissy has surrounded herself with a dream team, working with Juno Award Winning Producer Matty McKay and Vocal Coach - Tamara Beatty Vocal Coach and Jordyn Elliott (J Elliott Management) and OCL Studios in Calgary, AB. In addition, she’s been working with hit writers like Liz Rose, Ralph Murphy, Bonnie Baker and Tebey, have all helped to mold her into a passionate and inspired songwriter.
Throughout the last year Krissy has been busy focusing on her writing, vocal lessons and online shows. She also completed Canada's Music Incubator Artist Entrepreneur Program, The Nashville Songwriters Association RISE program with Liz Rose, The ASCAP Garth Brooks Songwriting Workshop with Bonnie Baker, and The Artist Empowerment Masterclass with Barrett Yeretsian. She was a Finalist in the Jim Beam Talent Search for Canadian Music Week. We’re exhausted just thinking about all of that!
We are super excited that Krissy is nominated for -The Horizon Female Artist of the Year and the Rising Star Award by the Country Music Alberta Association, at the end of this month! “I personally know every person on the list that is nominated and they are all incredible artists and such amazing people!!' Feniak said.
Her future plans include releasing a new single in March, hopefully!! Krissy shared with us, that she will be making an extended trip to Nashville once the borders are opened, to play some songwriter events and some writing. We hope that comes sooner than later! We believe she’s definitely one to watch, with a very bright future ! Check out her music on all social platforms and keep your eyes open, for her new music next month!!
~ LEANNE PEARSON ~
Our “Emerging Indie Artist” for the month of January, is Leanne Pearson ! Leanne has been described as level-headed, sweet, funny, quirky, a bit different and definitely very talented. She has a positive attitude and an infectious smile that brightens any room she enters! This Canadian country rocker walks on stage with a pretty dress, cowboy boots and a big smile, then shatters your expectations, as she tares up the stage! You can see the amazing connection she has with the audience, when she’s performing, whether it’s a large crowd or small gathering.
Leanne’s musical influences started out as, Eric Clapton, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Eagles and The Rolling Stones. She knew at a young age, that she was going to be on stage! She sang her first song at the age of 4, and joined a music theatre group at the age of 7 and was in countless musicals for many years. Leanne even wrote her first song at the age of 10 and picked up the guitar shortly after, at age 12, and taught herself how to play! Pearson grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently resides in Nashville, chasing her dreams!
Leanne is very hands on with her music videos, and says, that creating music videos is one of her favourite things to do! She often edits, co-edits, and co-produces her music videos. She takes great pride in being involved in all aspects of her music journey. Not only has she had 3 Top 100 songs at Canadian Country Radio, one of her first singles, “Get Outta My Heart”, hit Top 50; with CMT adding the quirky music video. She also participated in the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Contest and was one of the Top 8 Finalists in 2015.
In 2019, Leanne and her music were featured on an episode of the HGTV show Property Brothers. The entire episode features Leanne and her now husband, Jordan, buying and renovating their home. The episode spotlights Leanne’s music career and her album “Pull It Off”. How cool is that ! We love the Property Brothers and we even ran into them, on Broadway, in Nashville a few years ago! The album “Pull It Off” won Album of The Year at the 2019 Manitoba Country Music Awards. Leanne also won Music Video of The Year for “Hot Pursuit”. In 2018 Leanne won Female Artist of The Year! So much to be proud of!
Leanne graduated with a B.A. from the University of Manitoba, where she is on the Dean's Honour List. Not only is she smart but she is one tough cookie, who has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do so no worries, if you need help, she can back you up ! Her latest release is “Miles Away”. It’s vulnerable, sweet, intimate, heart wrenching and is different than anything this country rocker has ever released. The love story behind this song will have you crying happy tears and smiling from ear to ear.“So many people are hurting right now. I want to spread positivity and love during this challenging time, and Miles Away is the perfect way to do that.” Pearson shared.
"Jordan and I have had to push our wedding festivities many times due to COVID, and we just couldn’t wait any longer! We got married at an Elvis chapel on November 24, 2020!! We live streamed the event for our family and friends, as they couldn’t be with us due to COVID!” They even had a Cat of Honour ! Such a great idea to live stream so family could enjoy and share in the celebration!
Leanne is passionate about volunteering and giving back to her community: from feeding farm animals at a church in Nashville, serving meals at Siloam Mission in Winnipeg, singing at Rossbrook House in Winnipeg to playing sports with The Boys and Girls Clubs. Leanne often gives proceeds from her shows to organizations in need. It just goes to show, she’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! We are so excited for Leanne, and we know, the future is very bright for this young independent artist! You can find ‘Miles Away’ everywhere you buy and/or stream music !
~ JORDYN POLLARD ~
Exuding a natural charm, infused with positive energy and a mischievous sense of fun, our December featured 'EMERGING INDIE ARTIST' Jordyn Pollard is that rare combination of talent, determination and self-assuredness that has already earned her a reputation as a top up-and-coming singer/songwriter on the western Canadian scene.
Last year Jordyn released her debut EP 'Good on Me', which features four exceptionally written, superbly produced and genuinely exciting, personality-infused songs, including the radio hit title track 'That Kind of Love'. There has already been a real buzz throughout the music industry, as well as Jordyn’s ever-expanding fan base, thanks to the wonderful reception from the single 'Good On Me' which made the top-100 on BDS.
This talented resident of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan grew up on the family farm, singing along to her favourite artists.She was singing since before she could talk, and remembers sitting in front of the TV watching the Lizzy McGuire movie over and over, dancing and singing along. From that moment on she wanted to be on stage. She wanted to be the next Hilary Duff, the next Shania Twain, the next Carrie Underwood. So to have her single come out and get played on the radio just like them was amazing!
Jordyn worked closely with veteran music producer Bart McKay on her debut CD. Bart has participated as a musician, producer, engineer and/or mixer on countless singles that have been included in the top ten at the national market level during the last 20 years.She has never been one to change to please others or to be portrayed as something she is not, and when she went into the studio with Bart, he knew that and encouraged that and worked with that, which is something she really appreciated.
Using the positive side of social media, Jordyn has created a burgeoning online presence through her various socials as well as increasingly popular YouTube videos, wisely understanding that getting herself in front of as many potential fans is crucial. She also believes that social media is an important way to reach out on certain topics, such as awareness about mental health, social movements, politics & the environment. It has allowed her to take a stand for what she believes in and to build a community around that.
So far she's been lucky enough to have shared the stage with Brett Kissel, JoJo Mason and Gord Bamford, among other industry veterans which has taught her valuable lessons on how to connect with audiences through songs and live performances, as well as giving her insight into how to conduct herself on and off stage. “People like Brett and Jojo are some of the nicest people I have ever met. You think they might be just putting on a show, but they live their lives as humbly and authentically as they do on their social media. It was inspiring and a real education to see them and talk to them and learn from them,” she said. It is on stage where Jordyn feels most at home and feels most fulfilled.
Last month Jordyn had the honour of being selected to be the first-ever Stingray Music Trending Track Artist for her catchy new single “Back To Us”. Every other month, Stingray will select a different artist’s track to be featured and receive two months of support and a minimum of 25 spins per week across 19 stations which is a fantastic opportunity being an indie artist.
Last week Jordyn hit #15 on the Top SiriusXM Country playlist with her single 'Back To Us' and she just recently found out that she is up for 'Country Artist of The Year' at the Saskatchewan Music Awards being held in January 2021! She has also recently made it to the Top 50 on the Billboard chart with her single 'Back To Us' being one of the highlights of her career so far!
Fast becoming a household name in her home province, it is only a matter of time that Jordyn Pollard’s unmistakable talent, her drive and her commitment to credibility and integrity, will see her burst forth onto the wider Canadian audience – and far beyond. We know the sky is the limit for this young lady and we can't wait to watch her take her blossoming career to new heights! Keep your ears and eyes open for this talented country sweetheart!
~ JUSTIN FANCY ~
After paying his dues performing live, night after night for years, our November featured 'Emerging Indie Artist', from Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, is ready to take his rightful place on the national stage with the release of his debut album 'Sure Beats A Good Time'. With these seven brand new songs, Justin Fancy is determined to prove he’s no one-trick pony. He masterfully combines classic country songwriting influenced by artists at the forefront of the country scene from the 1970s to early 1990s with his own take on today’s country sound.
In 2008, at 21 years of age, he tried out for Canadian Idol and travelled to Toronto after winning a gold ticket in St. John's. He along with 4 other Newfoundlanders accompanied him that year and after he finished in the top 100 of all of Canada the same 4 started a cover band that toured Newfoundland for just under 3 years. That was his first real taste of gigging & touring. After the band broke up his father encouraged him to finish up his schooling. After graduating he then started work with Husky Energy in the Information Technology field. He travelled offshore and all over the world with Husky and had to complete behavioral based safety training in order to travel on a helicopter for 1.5 hours over water and land on a production facility and/or drilling platform 200 miles from shore.
By 2013 he till had the burning passion in his heart to fulfil his dreams in music so he began to write songs and formed a traditional folk band called 'Eastern Passage' who released their debut album in 2014. They went on to be nominated for MusicNL's "Traditional/Celtic Recording of The Year". The band never really broke up, Justin just moved on from the constant gigging to concentrate more on his family. However, he knew in his heart there was more to come. From inspirations like Merle Haggard and George Jones to Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Travis Tritt, his writing continued to gravitate towards these iconic artists who had a talent for telling great stories through their lyrics. The notion of someone relating to or seeing themselves in his songs was too powerful to steer him in any other direction.
Fast forward to early 2020, Justin released back to back, stand-alone radio singles and videos, as an introduction to the country music scene. 'Long Time Comin’' and 'Think About You' were received favourably, cracking over 137,000 streams on Spotify and being and added at numerous radio stations across Canada. For any Big Brother Canada fans out there you'll recognize Justin's love interest in the video for 'Think About You' as 2019 contestant from the show Samantha Picco. The video received a huge accolade after being featured on CMTcom!
Fancy was originally due to record his EP 'Sure Beats A Good Time' at Sevenview Studios in Springdale this year with fellow Newfoundlander and veteran musician Clint Curtis. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit and large swaths of the population went into self-isolation, they had to come up with a Plan B. Never one to concede defeat, Fancy ended up cutting his tracks for the album remotely, while 700 kilometers away, with Curtis put the finishing touches on each of the record’s seven songs. This is a story of adaption, determination and perseverance at its best. Also during the pandemic he's been extremely fortunate to meet some very influential people in the canadian country music industry that he would have a way harder time meeting pre-pandemic. This has allowed him to network with numerous players in the industry, all remotely from his desk at home. Even though he'd would much rather be hitting the road and travelling to meet new connections he considers himself very fortunate to have that opportunity right at home. Newfoundland, as everyone knows, is a remote island, and it is difficult on the best of days to get out of there to meet new people!
The first single from 'Sure Beats A Good Time' is the album’s title track. Justin's rich voice and understated guitar licks fill the speakers as he sings of navigating the change in life priorities that seemingly go hand-in-hand with the transition from carefree youth to adult. During the pandemic he has put so much effort into finishing this album and he's been really concentrating on his brand and getting his name out there! He's done more Facebook Live shows than he can recall! And he's been fortunate enough to get enough media coverage from his first 2 singles to lead into his new EP release.
What is arguably most endearing about Fancy and 'Sure Beats A Good Time' EP is his enviable ability to craft songs that will ultimately resonate on multiple levels. For every person drawn to his songs’ subject matter, others will be unable to resist the undeniably anthemic choruses found in this collection of radio-ready songs.
He recently held a 'socially distanced' release party which was a huge success, and even though they had a restricted crowd, it was a night to remember and a night Justin will never forget. Between the band's performance and the production crew's amazing job with the live stream the CD release show saw over 200,000 viewers online and drew the attention of the PC party of NL leader Ches Crosbie and one of his colleagues Barry Petten. Apparently Barry will be speaking in the House of Assembly regarding Justin's performance and album release which makes Justin feel extrememly honoured!
Justin creditsLuke Combs as single-handedly inspiring him to do this record. He had a few similar experiences when it came to relationships and he really got the courage to write it all out in song because of him. "A couple years ago, I didn't really listen to a lot of modern country music. I was a country and western and 90's country junky that kind of stayed in that realm of music for a very long time without paying attention to the up and comers. But Luke changed ALL of that. He still inspires me today. I had a lot of heartbreak as well, and I honestly say that turning my emotion into song is what helped me get through it all."
No bravado, zero hype and humble to a fault, Justin Fancy is a refreshing breed of artist that isn’t afraid of taking chances to get where he wants to be. His 'Sure Beats A Good Time' single will serve him well as his calling card to the world. Keep your ears open for the song as it hits radio and for the name 'Justin Fancy' as he prepares to make his musical mark on this world! We wish you the very best Justin!!
C To C Canadian Country Music Insider
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada