Check us out each Friday as we feature a new up and coming Canadian Country Indie artist!!
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Taylor-Rae!
Singing has been a way of life for Taylor-Rae, and once you hear her unique voice, you’ll agree, she found her true calling in country music! Growing up in Edmonton, her parents were supportive regarding music. They knew from a young age, Taylor-Rae was talented and could have a real shot at making a career of it.
Taylor-Rae says that she has always been inspired by Shania Twain for her energetic, performance style and the cool edge in her songs and Martina McBride, for her powerhouse vocals that definitely set the bar for so many females in the industry. When Taylor-Rae takes the stage, she’s following their lead, creating memorable shows, gaining fans, strong and steady across Canada.
After moving to Vancouver to study Arts and Entertainment Management at Capilano University, Taylor-Rae picked up the guitar and started writing. Every artist has their own method and process for songwriting, and Taylor-Rae said, that she has used lines and phrases, from her journal, about life’s trials and tribulations.
This singer/songwriter's 2019 debut album “Backseat Driver” reached #6 on the iTunes Country Chart. Two other singles, “Nashville” and the bad-love anthem “Mistake” — enjoyed country radio play nationwide. After garnering a 2018 BCCMA win for The Breakthrough Project and 2019 nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year.
Taylor-Rae has been branching out and trying on songs written by some of Nashville’s finest and searching outside her own catalog. In 2020, Taylor-Rae began working with producer Dan Swinimer and together, they have found the sound that brings Taylor-Rae’s voice to the forefront, with a style all her own. The first single “Hellbent” brings out the grittier, playful side of her.
The new material is leaning more modern country with that edge that makes it unequivocally Taylor-Rae, taking her to the next level. You can find her brand new single “Hellbent” - everywhere you buy your music!
BIG CITY LIGHTS
Our pick this week for "FRESH FACE FRIDAY" Feature, is the band Big City Lights!
Big City Lights is comprised of Mekeli Villamor (lead vocals) Keith Dean (lead guitar, harmonies) Johnny Gregson (bass, harmonies) & Kevin Ferguson (drums). As you know, music has a way of bringing people together, and mix in a few social media posts on carefully selected platforms, is how these four talented strangers from Oshawa, started their journey together as a band.
We're not the least bit surprised that their live performance had turned heads at an industry listening party, that led to interest from multiple booking agencies, resulting in the band signing with APA Touring.
The first time we saw BCL perform was at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival. The vocals, the energy and a true brotherhood was evident on that stage! We were blown away last year, to see how much they have grown, at the Crooks Rapids Country Fest. Rumour has it, they will be returning to Crooks Rapids Country Fest this year - so mark your calendars - September 4th, 2021!
Big City Lights plays country music with a twist of soulful pop, rock and R&B, pushing the limits and bringing a new sound to the ever-growing genre. They have earned accolades already, by winning the New Country Spirit’s Emerging Artist Award, in partnership with the CMAO. Since then, they have toured with Cold Creek County, played direct support slots with High Valley and Tebey & have shared the stage with such artists as The Reklaws, Meghan Patrick and Luke Bryan, while playing festivals including Crooks Rapids Country Fest, Mississauga Waterfront Festival and Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
They have been working with producer Doug Oliver on their debut EP. The first single "Nothing Makes Sense Without You" is being released today, and is available everywhere you buy your music. We have included a lovely raw acoustic video below of their new single! We figured it was about time to shine the spotlight on Big City Lights! Enjoy!
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature, is Lisa Richard Music!
She is from the East Coast of Canada, in New Brunswick. She currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She started at the bright young age of four, singing for family & friends, charging a quarter per performance. Quite the entrepreneur at a young age! By the time she found herself in university, she was singing harmonies & backup with local band Frank Perry’s Slice at such notable venues as the Horseshoe Tavern, Lee's Palace & the Opera House.
Lisa is a talented country singer/ songwriter who’s powerful voice and soulful performances, will have you coming back for more. Lisa is a dynamic, top shelf powerhouse singer, that blends together the sounds of rock, blues and country effortlessly. Lisa is often compared to the likes of Cher, Wyonna Judd and Tracy Chapman. We couldn’t agree more! Her cover of “Jolene”, is outstanding and was performed in Nashville, alongside Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers, that video has reached over 130,000 people online. We seen Vince with the Time Jumpers, in Nashville, and they were all amazing performers! That must have been an incredible experience for Lisa.
Her debut EP “Tangled Up”, (Jan 2017) has caught the attention of radio across Canada, United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. With regular performances in Canada and Nashville, Lisa has shared the stage with music greats such as: Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers, as mentioned earlier, Shirley Jackson, Matt Minglewood and The Carson Downey Band. She had an opportunity to go to Budapest, where she shared the stage with The BlackBirds.
Lisa is a 2015 CBC Searchlight Top 10 Regional Contest Winner. Her “Tangled Up” EP has garnered numerous industry nominations including, Southern Rock Song of the Year, Female Artists of the Year, Outlaw Country Song of the Year, and Video of the Year (2017, 2018 Josie Music Awards). The music videos for “Fisherman’s Daughter” and “Uniforms” were featured at the New Brunswick Festival (2017, 2018) and appears in regular rotation on the East Coast network, Eastlink. Lisa was nominated for Country Artist of the Year at the 2018 Music Nova Scotia Awards and was selected for the Songbird Super Series Showcase at the 2019 East Coast Music Awards and the 2019 WSM Grand Ole Opry Radio Songbird Jubilee in Nashville.
Looking ahead, Lisa is continuing to focus on writing and releasing new singles, to showcase her dynamic range and talented attributes. Lisa debuted her radio show ‘Leading Ladies with Dr. Lisa’ on 97.5FM and in 2021, Lisa will release a full length album produced by CCMA Hall of Famer, Jason Barry. Her latest release is called “Together”. Her official lyric video is going to be released this evening - so make sure to watch for it! With all her talent, we feel she’s going to be around for many years to come!
Her music is available on all social media platforms, where you buy your music!T are.
~ EMILIE ROBERTS ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Emilie Roberts Music!
Emilie just may be our Canadian Taylor Swift! She is a super talented, young, Canadian country pop singer/songwriter, from Newcastle, Ontario, who's been making huge strides in the industry. She came across our radar on an online show. We were blown away at the big voice and were quite proud, to hear that she’s Canadian!
Emilie’s music is unique, exploding with energy and her influences, she said comes from both country and pop genres. Roberts favourite artists that have influenced her is Maren Morris, Gabby Barrett and Lindsay Ell. Emilie’s songs are all relatable, catchy and are known to sparkle any listeners attention, regardless of their age. Her time at Seneca, was time well spent and is evident in the caliber of songs she’s created this far.
She released her debut single "Friendzone" in 2020 which gained a lot of attention in the Canadian country music scene. Soon after, she was played on Canadian country radio, performed on virtual shows, as many as she could and shows all over Ontario.
She released “If You Were Here” in December 2020. Make sure you check out the acoustic music video as well. Emilie was just on the cover of the Break Through Country playlist on Amazon Music. Such an honour. Congrats!!!
Emilie's new single "Nervous", is an energetic and fierce song produced by Jordan Honsinger and written by Madeline Merlo, Jimmy Thow and Emma-Lee. It’s reflective of what it’s like to have a young crush yet, relatable for all ages! We believe this song is going to race up the charts. Just you wait and see! We expect great things from Emilie!
“Nervous” was officially released last week & you can find it here! ~https://linktr.ee/EmilieRobertsmusic
~ CHRISTINA ROGERS ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Christina Rogers!
Christina started her music journey, on stage, at the ripe old age of 8 years old, after the entertainment for the telethon, discovered her singing to the kitchen volunteers helping out. From that point forward, a lot of things started happening for her, loads of opportunities for her all over New Brunswick! Christina eventually made her way to Nashville at age 16 where she recorded a demo. She received lots of airplay in Eastern Canada. and cracking the Top 20 on GlobalTV's PopStars: The One!
She’s shared the stage or opened for, some big stars like Aaron Pritchett and has played on some even bigger stages, like performing at showcases for the Canadian Country Music Association & ECMA. The first time we saw Christina was online was on In The Country with Dave Woods. We fell in love with her!
Her many talents have been showcased on more than just music stages. She been a radio personality, co-hosting a #1 morning show. From there, she moved into television where she hosted a sports talk show and was a sports reporter and host with RogersTV.
She didn’t stop there! Christina continued her pursuit of another goal, and attended the University of New Brunswick where she obtained a double major in French and Sport Psychology, then earned her second university degree in Education. That she has put to good use! She is a country singer by night and an elementary French Immersion teacher by day in Northern Alberta. We love her for her determination to go after her goals, and to achieve them. Truly an inspiration for other young artists starting out! To chase their dreams, whether they are on music path, or not. It’s so worth it!
She was born and raised in New Brunswick, and made her way to Alberta in 2014. Christina has a dynamic vocal powerhouse who is often compared to Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood with her own unique country style. She is a natural storyteller. The lyrics in her original songs are packed with metaphors that will take you on an emotional journey. Her vast life experience makes her songwriting and songs, relatable to fans of all ages. This blue eyed singer will captivate you with her vocal abilities and her delivery. The tone in her voice, is natural and isn’t forced. Add her bubbly personality that shines through, in her high energy live shows. It’s a winning combination!
Her latest single, “Whiskey Hangover”, was the number 1 song for Canadian Indie Country Countdown for 2021 in January. Kudos to her! We’re not surprised, it’s a great song and video! Christina has a bright future ahead of her ! You can download it wherever you stream your music!
~ JEFF CATTO ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature, is Jeff Catto!
He was originally from Owen Sound, Ontario, but currently resides in Woodstock, with his wife Brooke and their 6 children ~ Nova, Talon, Chloe, Bodhi, River and Willow.
His interest in music was sparked by going to Canadian Idol around the age of 15! It all happened rather innocently. He went with a friend to audition, and realized, that his own audition, wasn’t too bad at all! We’re so glad he decided to tag along, as it started him down his journey of music!
Some of his current favorite artists include Dierks Bentley, and Tim and the Glory Boys. His all-time favorite artist, that stands the test of time, is Paul Brandt, whose music and voice is so pure and true, and all inspiring! We have to agree, Paul is amazing!
Catto has been fortunate to have opened up for Sean Hogan, Gil Grand and Jake Matthews, Deric Ruttan, Kira Isabella & Gord Bamford, and written songs with Dallas Smith & Chad Brownlee, to name a few. Jeff also wrote Aaron Pritchett’s single, “Summertime” and after Aaron cut the song, Jeff got to share the stage with Aaron at a few events.
After a few years off, Jeff found his faith and began honing his craft. He had been writing songs for over 18 years, and had decided to release music, in his Christian faith, with great success! He has had 15 Top 10, charting singles on Christian radio. Wow, that’s quite the list of accomplishments to be proud of!
During the pandemic, Jeff has kept busy writing and producing, not only his own music but other people's music too.
With his truly exceptional talent, It wasn’t a surprise that he has had success in both Christian music and Country Music genres. He is now back at it, in the country music scene, getting back to his roots. We couldn’t be happier for him. His debut single “Round Of Life” is a song written from daily life in his household. With six kids and a wife, life is wild, crazy, and a whole lot of fun! We love the video and we’re sure you will too!
You can find Jeff and all his music, including his unreleased EP called “Songs For My Wife”, on social media, by plugging in @mrjeffcatto on any social platform..
~ DYLAN WALLACE ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature, is Dylan Wallace Music !
Dylan is a singer/songwriter, 26 years old, born and raised in Holland Landing, Ontario. He has been playing music since the age of ten, when he first picked up a guitar and it wasn’t long after, he started singing and writing his own songs. Not only is his vocal range exceptional but he’s a pretty amazing guitarist as well!
Dylan truly started to fall in love with country music while attending the University of Guelph in 2014, where he finished with a degree in BComm, specializing in economics and finance. We’re sure he’ll put that to good use in the music industry!
Although he enjoyed his time in University, Dylan went on to pursue music full time after graduating and has been performing professionally, for over eight years. We are so proud of him for following his dreams. Congrats!
Wallace grew up, listening to both classic rock and country music. He always loved the resemblance between both genres. Then when you add the lyrics embedded in country music - the real authentic storytelling and clever ways of portraying those stories, he was sold ! This was about the point when Dylan started transitioning his sound more toward the country music genre, and he’s been loving it ever since. That’s one of many reasons why we love country music, the storytelling is phenomenal and when you connect with a song, it’s typically for life!
In 2015, Dylan got his first glimpse at recording an album in the studio with his Dad, how cool is that? His father is a huge supporter of his career, which is so important.
In 2018, Dylan made the Top Ten at the nationwide competition known as “The Shot,” which gave him that boost of confidence that he needed, to dive right into music even harder. Shortly after, he released his first single called “Caught Me Lookin.” Dylan went on to become a Finalist at the Magna Hoedown, even opening up for Alan Doyle in 2019. That must have been a great experience for him. Alan is so much fun as well! It was around this time that Dylan was inspired to start writing a new EP.
Some of Dylan’s influences include Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Led Zeppelin and Shinedown, and he hopes one day that his songs and stories, will reach people in the same way his influences have. Our fingers are crossed !
During the pandemic, Dylan, along with so many artists, utilized their time wisely, in his case he decided to finish his EP, called “Not My First Rodeo.” This EP was Produced by the boys of The Agenda . “Not My First Rodeo” is an album featuring six tunes, including the title track “Not My First Rodeo,” that had some radio success in the summer of 2020. All six songs were written by Dylan over the last few years, following some memorable times throughout his career. Like every good songwriter does, writing about personal experience is the best. Each track brings a relatable story, and will no doubt put you in a beer-drinking-summer-loving mood! This labour of love EP, dropped on April 16th and is available everywhere now!
In the meantime, until live shows come back, you can catch Dylan performing livestreams from his Instagram and Facebook pages. So make sure to check him out!
This may be the first time you are hearing about Dylan, but it won’t be your last. His talent is going to take him far in this industry and we believe his star is just starting to rise! We can’t wait to see him perform in person and he can’t wait to see all of you! Make sure you like and follow him on all social media. Good Luck Dylan!
~ MELISSA LIVINGSTONE ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature is Melissa Livingstone!
Living in Kelowna, BC but originally from a small fishing town, called Ucluelet, off the coastline of Vancouver. She has a very unique voice, with her own style and sound, It does remind us of the traditional country but with a modern kick to it! This isn’t a big surprise, when her inspiration comes from artists like Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Randy Travis, combined with other artists, she equally idolizes, like Miranda Lambert, Cam and Kelsea Ballerini. You can hear their influences in her music, but she ultimately crafted, after a few years, what she wanted her real sound to be.
Melissa Livingstone has the amazing ability to uplift your mood while listening to her melodious and distinct voice. This Radio touring, singer/songwriter has had the accomplishments of winning the 2018 Denim on the Diamond and was a nominee for the 2019 BC Country Music Association Ray Mcauley Horizon Award. Congrats Melissa!
In her new single, Livingstone opens up about loss, love, and her free-spirited self, through “Gypsy Heart”. It’s different than her past releases. It makes you think about your past relationships. Like, have you ever loved someone, but knew the best thing was to let them go? Well this catchy, but the nostalgic tune, takes you there by highlighting, that it’s okay to stay true to yourself, making the tough decision, and living through your gypsy heart. Gypsy Heart was co-written by Brian Palay and produced by CCMA winner Jeff Johnson.
With the way things are right now, this is the perfect song to listen to as you are driving down the highway during your next road trip. Livingstone is shining a light on country music with her own unique style.
Through 2020 with everything closed down, was a challenging year for the industry and for her. Melissa still kept at it, working hard, she even released a new single “That Ship Has Sailed”, a passion project EP titled “Can’t Please Everyone”, a virtual radio tour, and 10 sold-out, covid friendly concerts.
Melissa is excited and is working hard in the studio on even more music. There is no stopping her now while she plans for more music, live shows, and maybe even some new merchandise through the rest of 2021.
“Gypsy Heart” by Melissa Livingstone is set to be released to all platforms and radio today!!
~ ELYSE AERYN ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is Elyse Aeryn!
She’s all the way from the East Coast of Canada, in beautiful Cape Breton. She started playing the clarinet at the age of 10. Her father bought her first guitar at the age of 16 and that was it! She played it religiously. Most of the songs she played were “Taylor Swift” and “Taking Back Sundays”. When it comes to her Favourite Music Genre - she’s into everything Alternative - Alternative Country, Alternative Pop, Alternative Rock. You can hear a little bit of everything mixed together and cultivated in Elyse’s music.
Although Elyse loved music and performing, she decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering first, before turning back to music full-time in 2020.
Legitimizing herself as a CBC Searchlight Top 100 artist and a Regional Finalist in the Jim Beam Talent Search 2020, Aeryn has built an incredible community around her, resulting in a #1 song on the 97.5 Community Radio East Coast 30 with Salt, the first single from her EP.
You can hear the influences of the timeless Stevie Nicks and the contemporary Maggie Rogers, and yet Aeryn’s sound, is reminiscent of 90s alt-pop with a hint of rock & roll; a fresh sound for a fresh new chapter!
Aeryn had started writing again in her late 20’s, and found her own folk-rock sound, all while teaching herself music production with Logic Pro X. Her EP, titled “Shades of Blue”, was written and self produced, entirely by Aeryn at home in Cape Breton. Such a big job to take on, plus, be the artist. Bravo! Great job!
Elyse met her current band mates in the summer of 2020. They have been performing, writing, and creating together, her next album. Which is so exciting for her and us! You’d be surprised to learn that Elyse is a minimalist, wears black lot and doesn’t watch TV- other than the odd documentary. She fully believes that simpler is better and is passionate about our planet, wanting to make a good impact, by doing her part (recycle) and having fun at the same time, at the thrift stores. She’s a smart one for sure!
She’s a young heart with an old soul that loves adventure 24-7 but equally enjoys quieter, chill things like reading, being outdoors, or relaxing with an organic coffee, craft beer or glass of whiskey! That all sounds fabulous!
Elyse just released 2 videos - for her new single “East Coast Winter”. We attached the ‘live from her living room’ video. So make sure you check out the official video too!
You can also listen to “Shades of Blue”- wherever you consume music: fanlink.to/shadesofblueep
C To C Canadian Country Music Insider
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada