Check us out each Friday as we feature a new up and coming Canadian Country Indie artist!!
~ DEAN YOUNG ~
This week's 'FRESH FACE FRIDAY' featured artist is Dean Young!!
Niagara Ontario musician/singer/songwriter Dean Young put the famous words' To Thine Own Self Be True' to work in his life the day he left his 23-year factory job at Rich Products of Canada to fully pursue his true passion – music.
Shortly after making this decision, Dean’s young family dealt with the hard news that his wife and children battle a chronic illness with Lyme disease. Having lost his Mom to cancer when he was just 17 and then his older brother Marty a couple of years later, Dean is no stranger to difficult times. He pushed on and played full-time in a tribute band to support his family while continuing to write his original music.
Drawing from his own family and the musical upbringing with his Dad and the bond of music they shared while dealing with the loss of his Mom and brother, the release of his self-funded debut album Makin' A Life is a culmination of Dean’s life, values, morals, and struggles. Encouraging people to stick with it, not give up, and to work things out; whether in love, work, or life in general. To embrace and be thankful for all the good things in life.
Dean’s original country music work is described as a twist of modern with classic country sounds that carry meaningful messages to listeners about the important things in life. A down-to-earth guy who loves family, friends, and good food, Dean is an avid outdoorsman and loves to cook and share his wild game harvests with friends and family while sharing relatable music about life and making the best out of it. If you have fallen in love, worked hard, had some hard times, had your heart broken, enjoyed the privilege of raising children, or just shared some great times with good friends and family - then you will understand why people are loving this new artist!
Today Dean has a brand new single out today called 'That Guitar'. Produced by Jason Barry this song was one of the hardest songs he has written so far. He lost his father in 2018 and the song is about the guitar that he remembers so dearly from his early childhood, as his father worked tirelessly around the clock to provide for their family. Along with being the Plant Manager at Rich Products of Canada, he was a really well-known country musician in southern Ontario and back at home in Quebec. He spent many nights out at bars, legions, and dance halls doing what he loved. Dean's house was always alive with music. This song is a perfect dedication to his father, a person that has probably inspired him more than anyone.
Have a listen to 'That Guitar' and if you love what you hear as we did, you can download it here: ~> ffm.to/thatguitar.ois.
~ DEVIN COOPER ~
This week's 'FRESH FACE FRIDAY' feature is one of Alberta's hottest new artists Devin Cooper!
As the son of a motorcycle shop owner and custom car builder, Devin’s childhood was filled with opportunities to be creative. Upon exchanging his toolkit for a guitar, Cooper found an unmistakable niche, reimagining the soul of Southern Rock and down-home country. The result is a genre-bending, driven young artist with a world of possibilities. With the soul of Johnny Cash and the chops of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cooper’s thoughtful songwriting and thundering live show will leave audiences wanting more. Offstage, Cooper’s energy is unfiltered positivity and humility - an incredible asset for any musician with ambition.
Having spent the past three years traveling between Nashville and Calgary, writing songs and performing over 350 shows across Canada, Cooper has taken the time to develop and discover his voice as an artist and has performed alongside some of North America’s top talent including Aaron Pritchett and Gord Bamford.
At just 24-years old, the Alberta native has already garnered numerous local accolades.
He broke out onto the Canadian Country music scene with his first single 'No Chasing You' released in April 2018. Shortly thereafter, he was nominated for Male Artist and Songwriter of the Year at the YYC Music Awards & Best Song, Best Video, and Fans Choice for the Country Music Alberta Awards and was the winner of Artist of the Year at the Red Deer Entertainment Awards.
Following this up, Devin released his next single “Last Time Last” with the help of JUNO Award-winning producers, Spencer Cheyne - Mixer and Justin Kudding in July 2020. Fans can expect to catch Cooper’s debut EP later this year and his first album in early 2022 which will see a large catalogue of music from Cooper that has been years in the making, including his previous single 'Good Things' which debuted as the #1 most played song on SiriusXM Canada CBC Country Playlist the week of its release.
As restrictions loosen and the world starts to open up, Devin is set to release “Country Cliché,” the second single from his debut EP which is out TODAY! The new tongue ‘n cheek track co-written with Spencer Cheyne - Mixer and Brad Saunders, embraces his small-town roots and celebrates the simplicity of just having a good time. Building an anthem out of a handful of the most preconceived notions of living a country life, “Country Cliché” will be at the heart of Cooper’s live performance as he steps back onto the stage this July in Alberta. The track oozes carefree summer vibes and showcases his musical depth.
If you're heading to the Calgary Stampede we hope you'll be able to catch Devin performing at the Nashville North stage on July 14 and later this month at the Palliser Hotel on July 31st. Check out Devin's fantastic new single 'Country Cliche' which is now available for download..let it be your summer anthem of 2021!
~ JEREMY MACKLIN ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature is Jeremy Macklin!
Jeremy is a shining example of you are never too old to chase after your dreams! He started writing songs in his small hometown of Cobourg Ontario, at the early age of 13. Like many young Canadian boys, hockey was an integral part of Jeremy’s youth, however, an overwhelming passion for music eventually took centre stage in his early 20’s. Although he started his music journey in a Rock band, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change genres. Jeremy unleashed his powerful voice and lively stage presence as the lead singer for a local rock band “Exit 487” throughout his late 20’s early 30’s, playing local venues and festivals alike.
Like many artists, sometimes “the dream” had to be put on hold for any number of reasons. Jeremy’s bold decision at 44 years of age to pursue his dream as a Country music artist in early 2019 has served him well, forming professional relationships with some of the music industry’s best. Jeremy has set out to prove that age is just a number and that all dreams are achievable, and if you believe in yourself and want it bad enough, you can make it happen. Being in music isn’t for the faintest of hearts. It takes a great deal of perseverance, drive, and talent, a bit of luck, and a great support system, and Jeremy has all that!
Early 2019, Jeremy started posting performances of songs he had written on his Instagram account. Before long, his songs had garnered the attention of a couple Canadian Country artists and he was asked if he was “pitching” any of them. The truth is, at that time, Jeremy didn’t even know what “pitching” a song meant. He quickly learned that songwriters write songs and then try to get other artists to record them. He decided that if other artists want to cut his songs, then maybe he should record them himself and revisit the lifelong dream of becoming a professional artist. We are so glad he did!
Jeremy jumped in with both feet. He contacted a local production company, Newcomb Studios, and recorded his first single “Thinkin’ Problem”, which to date, has accumulated over 120,000 digital streams. “The dream” was once again alive and well! For Jeremy, hooking up with producer Adam Newcomb (The Nuke), was an absolute game-changer. The start of something pretty amazing. Much credit for Jeremy’s early success must be attributed to Adam and his sincere belief in Jeremy as an artist. It does take a village behind you to make this happen and Jeremy has a great support system! Adam quickly surrounded Jeremy with some amazingly talented songwriters including the likes of Vibe City Nashville’s own, Jesse Slack.
Jeremy’s second single was an incredible success for an independent artist, landing on the LIVE COUNTRY Spotify Playlist, Amazon’s Rocked by Country Playlist, and was added to CBC Country Satellite Radio’s regular rotation.
He released another single called “Blue Collar Congregation”. Such a great song! You might even recognize a few other Canadian artists & musicians, in his video by Roadhouse Productions, the very talented - Mackenzie Leigh Meyer, Jesse Slack and Jeff Brown. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you check it out !
Jeremy’s brand new single “The Beer Drinking Song” that dropped last Friday was written by Jeremy, along with his very close friend Rob Morden and the aforementioned Jesse Slack. This banging, country track with a little bit of rock, is a culmination of Jeremy’s deep-rooted rock background along with his sincere passion for country music and his country lifestyle.
Jeremy grew up on the family farm just north of Cobourg, so his country roots run deep and can be heard in his lyrics, especially in his single “Small Town Pride”.
“Three generations, born and raised up, and old farmhouse on a strong foundation, family, close friends, earn your livin’, workin’ hard, round here that’s who we are”. If you’re interested in energized, authentic country rock, then you need to check out Jeremy’s latest single “The Beer Drinking Song”, available on all digital streaming platforms.
You can find Jeremy on Instagram and Facebook at @Jeremymacklinmusic or at his website jeremymacklinmusic.com
~ CRYSTAL MCGRATH ~
Our pick for this week's 'FRESH FACE FRIDAY' feature is Crystal McGrath!
Crystal is a Canadian Country Recording Artist and Songwriter from Calgary, Alberta. She is not only a musician but she's also an activist, a podcast host, and an inspirational influencer.Her latest catchy pop-country single “About a Boy” which came out officially on June 11th, takes the listener through the emotions one experiences when you start falling for that boy you just can’t get out of your head. But this is more than you’re average head-over-boots country love song - it conveys an underlying message about women empowerment.Through her music, she aims to encourage women to be their best selves and live to their fullest potential which is creating a big movement in the country music industry. With relatable lyrics delivered with powerful vocals over an instrumental blend of pop and traditional country sounds, 'About a Boy' will surely get stuck in your head and have you singing along! The single was written by 3 noteworthy Nashville songwriters, Emma-Lee, Karen Kosowski & Robyn Dell'Unto.
Crystal has performed all over the world. She has toured the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and Australia. Supporting Canadian country legends such George Canyon and Aaron Pritchett, McGrath has proven that her stage presence is just as powerful as her songwriting. Her last release “Game On” produced by Spencer Cheyne, was released to radio in September 2020. The first week of the release “Game On” hit the Sirius XM CBC Country Top 40, was added to rotation on Australia Commercial Country radio networks, and the video was added to rotations on the Australian MTV/CMT network.
Crystal is an advocate for women and wants them to feel that they can go after any goal that they hope to achieve. To promote this message, she founded “Live With Love” an online platform with the mission of helping women live their best life through movement and mindset.
She has a passion for connecting with people and creating an outlet for their stories to be shared. This is evident through her podcast 'Crushing Chaos' where she interviews women pushing through the resistance in their personal and professional lives.When COVID lockdowns hit in 2020, she turned her Crushing Chaos podcast into an interview-style series. She felt it was an important time to connect and share stories of overcoming struggle to put the message into the world.
She also can be seen regularly hosting her video podcast 'The Artists Behind the Music'. In each episode, Crystal interviews her musical guest through inviting conversation around how they overcame obstacles to continue on their musical journey, followed by a performance by the guest.
In November 2019, Crystal was invited to participate in Canada’s Music Incubator’s Artist Entrepreneur West professional development program at the National Music Centre in Calgary, where she spent five weeks developing her business.
We encourage you to treat yourself to an inspiring musical performance by Crystal the next time she comes to a city near you but until then please take a minute to listen or download her new single and shoot her a follow on her socials through the link below!
~ TRENA ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature is Trena!
This Kootenay, BC-based singer-songwriter has been singing from the age of 3. Regardless of whether she’s performing on stage, or tucking in her children, music had always been a part of her. It makes her happy and brings her peace.
Songwriting is Trena's newfound passion, and her writing exudes the same raw emotion that she sings with. Trena's love of family and music has inspired her songwriting journey, she is continually learning and growing as an artist. "Love of family and music brings life to my song-writing", Trena.
She isn’t new to the Country music scene. She has earned several accolades already on her journey! Trena’s first single “Cowboy” released in March 2018, is one of the several songs that Trena and her Mother - Shirley Gillison have written. So wonderful to see that Trena shares the same passion with her mother! “Cowboy” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 4th Annual Josie Music Awards the largest independent award show in Tennessee.
In December 2018, Trena released her first album “Long Time Coming” a heartfelt country album inspired by the early 90's era like Reba, Tanya Tucker, and Patty Loveless. It didn’t stop there - her album "Long Time Coming" garnered 4 more nominations at the 2019 The Josie Music Awards including - Album of the year, Rising Star Vocalist, Artist of the Year. Her song "Crazy" won the 2019 Josie Award for Traditional Country Song of the Year.
Trena has been working on her 2nd album releasing singles "My Dad" spring of 2019, "Smokey Ol Bar Rooms" in 2020 and the current chart climbing song - "Hold On" in 2021. These 3 newest songs have brought more music award nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year, Artist of the Year, and the Songwriter Achievement Award for the 2021 Josie Awards.
Trena's musical influences range from Country Classics from Waylon, Willy, and Meryl to mainstream Pop and Rock - like Elton John to Michael Jackson. It’s that variety of music genres, that spices things up, and we feel, helps to make her music, truly her own sound.
On April 9th, Trena released her new song - "Hold On" and it has climbed to the #21 spot in the Top 100 Canadian Country Indie Chart. Congrats! Very exciting news!We look forward to hearing her new music. We wish her the best of luck! You can find her music and updates on all the socials and her website.
~ TAYLOR~RAE ~
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!
~ LISA RICHARD ~
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
C To C Canadian Country Music Insider
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada