Check us out each Friday as we feature a new up and coming Canadian Country Indie artist!!
~ COTY ROBINSON ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Coty Robinson!
Who knew that a game of beer pong would have anything to do with jumpstarting Cody‘s career in music!!!! That is exactly what happened! In 2019 Coty challenged Brett Kissel to a backstage game of beer pong on Twitter and Brett accepted. Coty won the game of beer pong and with the support of his closest friends, he got up the nerve to sing acapella a verse and chorus of a Luke Combs hit for Brett and his band, and they were blown away. Brett and Coty stayed in touch, leading to Coty performing at the London show of Kissel's 2020 Drive-In Tour. That’s pretty cool in our books!
A fan of country music first, Coty’s biggest aspiration is to bring the joy of connection through music and song and be able to share the experience with others. Coty is from Dorchester, Ontario. He always liked to sing and he was fortunate to be one of the home game in-house announcers for his home team, the Dorchester Dolphins Jr Hockey, which gave him valuable experience of winning over a crowd.
After the loss of his mother at a young age, Coty dove headfirst into music as a way to cope with the pain and heartbreak and to honor her memory. For Coty, connecting with music was a way to express his own experiences, struggles, and emotions. When he was unable to find the words to say, a song always could.
Coty released his debut single “Waste of a Summer” that he co-wrote with Aaron Pollock & Matty McKay, which garnered a lot of attention in 2021. It was recorded in Alberta with JUNO award-winning producer and four-time Canadian Country Music Association’s - Guitar Player of the Year, Matty McKay.
He has written and co-written songs, about life, love, loyalty, friendship, and small-town living. His songs are relatable, and you’ll want to check his videos on YouTube to get some insight into his journey and who he is. His voice has a bit of Luke Combs influence but is uniquely his own sound.
We met Coty and chatted with him at the Canadian Country Music Awards in London in 2021, at the Sakamoto Event. We caught Coty’s performance on stage during the CCMA weekend, through MDM Recordings PluggedIn Contest, as he had the highest number of votes in the contest. That was an amazing opportunity for Coty and he nailed it!
In January 2022, he released “Bigger Guy” that he co-wrote with Devin Cooper & Ben Chase. He’s very proud of the song and rightly so, as it’s doing very well on the charts! 50 thousand+ streams so far, and he’s reaching for 100,000 streams! We’re so proud of Coty, that’s amazing! We’re convinced you are going to love Coty Robinson as much as we do! The self-described, “Bigger Guy” has an even bigger, brighter future ahead of him. This is only the beginning! Check him out on all the socials- tag, like, and share! You can find his music everywhere you buy music!
~ MIKE WHITESIDE ~
Our pick this week for 'FRESH FACE FRIDAY' Feature is Mike Whiteside!
He traded one stage for another! The reason being, some people consider that hockey players are center stage in the rink and although it is a different form of the limelight, being an artist is center stage all the time! We’re just happy he found his home stage in country music!
The back story is that he played hockey up into university in Oshawa ON for the UOIT Ridgebacks in the CIS. He earned his business degree and started a career in financial planning, which seemed like a set in stone kind of future. Until he went to a Kenny Chesney concert in the summer of 2018 and went through a breakup and that was it, everything changed. Kenny inspired Mike to get back to his artistic roots! His biggest influence by far is Kenny Chesney, and have seen him in concert a few times and every time, he was blown away by the way he puts on a show. “I look to emulate the same type of energy any time I perform. “ When he first started listening to country music, it was to Kenny, Montgomery Gentry, Toby Keith.. He said he may or may not have listened to Whiskey Girl by Toby Keith, thousands of times when he was younger. Of course, it’s a catchy song! Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line have been more recent influences for Mike, as he loves their music and live shows.
The breakup, which looking back now was a blessing in disguise, allowed Mike to put the time and effort in honing his craft and to get serious about pursuing music as more than just a hobby. Since then he has been fortunate enough to perform as one of the Top 8 Finalists - Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase at Burls Creek this past summer. It was a memorable experience for him.
Last month Mike released that very song, that he sang at Boots & Hearts Music Festival - Emerging Artist showcase, called "My Kind of Paradise". Boots and Hearts was the first time we saw Mike. We were impressed with his voice, his performance on stage, and of course the song! We connected with him at Canadian Country Music Association Awards in London last year, it was great to catch up! It is the follow-up single called “3AM” - it thrust the listener into feeling like they were calling the one that got away, in the middle of the night just to check in and see if they still care. You can find that on all media platforms!
Mike shared about his latest release. “My Kind of Paradise” is about finding your person, someone that makes every moment special by being together”. He co-wrote this song with Lydia Sutherland, Rich W Cloke, and Aaron Pollock. “We all connected with the concept really well because at the time we were all in similar situations with our partners. After being selected in the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, and playing the song live last summer, I wanted to share it with the world. In past relationships, I thought I had to go above and beyond to make every moment special. But recently I find that if the person is right, you don’t need much to feel on top of the world. Cheap wine, your favourite show, and your dream girl - that’s my “My Kind of Paradise”. We couldn’t agree more, you know when you find your person!
We were excited to hear that Michael will be releasing another single in June of this year and an EP by the end of the year!! Mike shared - “I am looking forward to being able to play live and meet lots of new faces as restrictions open up in Ontario and putting out more new music!!” As a fan, we’re looking forward to the festivals, and hopefully, we will catch this guy performing! Fingers are crossed! We feel this is just the beginning of a very long and bright future for this young man! You can download his new single here! ~>https://linktr.ee/mikewhitesidemusic .
~ CONRAD BIGKNIFE ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Conrad Bigknife Music!
Conrad is an Indigenous Country Artist from a little city of fun, Regina, Saskatchewan. He moved to Regina from Balcarres (bell-care-ess). Conrad shared that he was about 8 or 9 years old when he knew he wanted to be a singer. “My imagination always led to a stage or in my case at the time, to the rooftop of the chicken coop to play for the cows and horses. My cousins and I would belt out songs from the Eagles Live cassette. And when they quit the band, I became Elvis”. Is anyone interested in his cover of “Hound Dog” or some “Jailhouse Rock”? I know we would be!
Conrad has always been influenced by the earlier traditional country artists like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, George Strait. Their music was introduced to him by his dad and older brother. These artists were/are not flashy or overly energetic on stage but they captivate you just by their charisma. They are an inspiration to Conrad, and their ability to command the stage for the audience and musicians behind them. His own music, great storytelling and style, remind us of the classic country artists sound, that we all grew up on and still love. There’s nothing wrong with that! “I used to sit close to the big cabinet stereo and play the records in the early morning. I’d put my ear to the speaker and imagine they were in the stereo performing and I’d watch from up above. I believe there’s a song called “I Watched It All On My Radio” which was exactly what I did!”- Conrad shared this story with us. We’re sure there are more than a few people that can relate to that story. Sounds like a lovely way to start your day!
He fell in love with country music and began his career in early 90’s. To continue to hone the craft of becoming a bass player/lead vocalist, he performed and practiced, in different groups, for the first part of the decade and then decided to branch out on his own. In doing so, Conrad and his wife packed up and moved to Nashville, TN around 1996, to learn more about the business of music and the industry.
Conrad entered a contest in 1997, called Big Country Talent Search and he won 1st prize! That included playing his first big gig at The Nashville North stage at The Calgary Stampede. He was Nominated in 2021 for Indigenous Artist Of The Year. Congrats! He has performed mostly casino gigs around the province and out and some smaller venues. He has played both Winnipeg Casinos and Edmonton. Performed at Craven Country Jamboree, now known as Country Thunder, on a few occasions and several festival stages. He brings it everytime!
We can all expect some new music and EP in March. He’s been writing and recording new songs. His wife, Shannon, is his writing partner, she is the lyricist and he composes the music, collaborating with his band members, at times. The EP’s release in March is for an upcoming show at Casino Regina, for the fundraiser, that he’s been involved with for the past 12 years. It’s a child and family development centre that provides a wide range of services and supports to families, to foster the healthy development of children from prenatal to age five. Its new name as of this year is “Small Hands, Big Dreams”. From “Brighter Futures for Children”. It used to be called Regina Early Learning Centre. That is so wonderful and such a worthy cause! Our children are the future!
Besides working on his new EP, Conrad runs his own music studio. He’s a long-time producer and recording engineer, as well as, doing his own mixing and mastering. Such a multi talented artist and contributor to the industry. He has a steady amount of artists coming in to record, so that keeps him very busy! We’re hopeful that Conrad will get back out on the road, as we’d love to see him perform live. We feel he’s the real deal, so talented, dedicated and has a lot to offer his fans, with a bright future ahead of him!
Conrad released a new single recently - “How Could I Want More” is about what we could all use more of… you guessed it - Love! The song celebrates the beauty in the basics and to appreciate all the good that surrounds us every single day of our lives! You can find Conrad Bigknife on all social media platforms! Make sure you like, follow and stream his music.
~ BRITTANY BRODIE ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Brittany Brodie!
Brittany Brodie is a singer-songwriter from Ontario, who admires every genre of music, including country. From a young age she knew she would have a career in the music business. She never had a worry about what her purpose in life was going to be. Music chose her! Her strong work ethic, talent, and positive attitude has made her the artist she is today. Being in the music business is not for the faintest of hearts. It takes a lot of work and she’s not shy about working hard, she was raised that way. Brodie said “I have the same drive and determination that I had as a young girl. Working hard and believing in yourself and never stopping until you achieve it was the way I grew up. And when you reach that goal, set new ones.That work ethic and belief is in my blood. I have hopes and dreams that have come true and I keep making new ones!” Kudos to her parents, they’ve raised a good one!
Brittany grew up on traditional country music from Vern Gosdin and Dottie West to Johnny Horton and George Strait. As she got older, she was listening to LeAnn Rimes, The Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack and Martina McBride. She even found inspiration in The Spice Girls! There’s nothing wrong with that! They were what got her through her formative years, being bullied throughout her childhood. “One day I will thank them in person!” We’re sure that with her determination and talent, that she will make that happen!
Brittany has a powerful set of pipes with full vocal range like no other. She began performing in singing competitions at the age of 8 and never looked back. She now has several singles on Country Radio, also available on all digital music platforms. Brittany has been writing from a very young age and has a variety of songs she has written with special reasons in mind. Her writing is relatable and reflective of what is unfolding in her life right now and in the past.
Brittany’s song “Phoenix” was co-written by Brittany to reflect on growing up being bullied. It has been an Anti-Bullying Campaign song in Canada and Australia. That’s a shining example of Brittany’s ability to write a song that puts a positive spin and perspective, on a bad experience and to bring awareness to a cause that happens everywhere. She’s pretty amazing ! Brittany travels the world making new friends and is building her fan base along the way, and she shows no signs of slowing down.
Throughout the USA and Canada, Brittany performs the Canadian and American National Anthems at major events. Brittany played at the Nashville Meets London Showcase in July 2019 and will be performing at Belladrum in Scotland July 28-30, 2022. That is so exciting! We’re so thrilled for her!
In August 2021, Brittany released a new single. Written from her personal life, “Found The One” was the top added song at Country Radio in Canada just 24 hours after releasing. Brittany Brodie is on the rise worldwide!
In January 2022, "Not My Business" was released and added to Spotify's Live Country Playlist. The message is relatable, about the aftermath of relationships and we’re certain you’ll agree when you check it out! Brittany is gearing up for an eventful 2022. We hope that will include, us meeting Brittany and seeing her perform live and in person. She’s got a very bright future ahead of her, so make sure you tag along and follow, to see where her next adventure takes her! We will be! You can find her music on all media platforms!
~ BRAD PROUDLOVE ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature is Brad Proudlove!
Brad and his family have found a little piece of heaven, in a 100+-year-old church, on a nice piece of property. Walking away from the big city lights, to embracing country life, while watching every evening, the best Southwest Saskatchewan sunsets you could ever ask for. Now that sounds like a country song!
When Brad was younger, he did some touring/gigging, performed at restaurants, local pubs, festival side stages but never had a chance to really dive into a music career, until now! His profession was working in the media as a TV camera operator and photographer. That didn’t stop him from continuing to write songs and music. With his move to the country, he now has the time, freedom to do it and can tap into the inspiration that surrounds him. We can’t think of a better time or place to make that happen!
Brad’s earliest memories of performing music started with singing in church, at provincial music festivals, and being involved in school music programs. He always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and at age 10, after completing 3 years of piano lessons, and driving his parents a little batty, they finally gave in and bought him a used Takamine guitar, from the ’60s. He played that same guitar for approximately 25 years! He did splurge a few years ago and bought a fancy new guitar, a Martin, using money left to him by his Great Aunt Betsy, who, along with his Grandma, were his biggest supporters. “The two of them always had some sort of gospel or country music on the radio or TV when I was a kid, and that's where my love of folk and country was really born,” Proudlove said.
Some of Brad’s musical influences include Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell. He is drawn to anything with clever words and an acoustic guitar. They are all amazing storytellers and artists! You can hear in his music his musical influences and that he writes from his personal experiences, which are relatable, honest, and raw. Reminds us of classic country with just enough classic rock mixed in.
His latest release is called "Highest Horse" and he says “it's just a simple little ditty about taking things easy and channeling the inner spirit of Willie Nelson”. You can find his previous releases and albums, where you buy and stream your music. We look forward to seeing new music from Brad and we wish him all the best in his music journey.
~ JUSTINE LYNN ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Justine Lynn!
Justine hails all the way from Vancouver, BC, and is a soulful singer/songwriter that has turned many heads and caused quite a stir in the local country scene!! Her journey began with singing blues, and that led her to a Diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Music and now her true love, Country Music. Justine said “my love for music has always been apart of what makes me, me.” We love that!
Some of her accolades include releasing her first self titled EP in May of 2019 with great success. Having her songs picked up by over 35 country radio stations across Canada with her single “Pour It to Me Straight” hitting the top 100. Releasing a cover of “Joy to the World” which was the Top 5 most added Christmas Country Song in Canada and her single “Box Wine” went to #1 for the English Country Song on Country Pop 103,1 in Québec. In 2020, Justine was a final nominee for Female Artist of the Year and Ray McCauley’s New Artist of the Year at the BC Country Music Association Awards.
She has also won several vocal competitions over the years. Justine was able to combine two of the things she loves, like giving back to her community and country music! Justine’s way of doing that was by joining the “Wild Tomorrow Fund” as their newest ambassador. She organized and hosted the Annual “Country for a Cause” fundraiser, bringing together some of Canada’s best country artists (Dallas Smith, The Heels, Cross Parallel, Taylor Rae & Michael Daniels), with 100 % of proceeds protecting the animals, habitat, and community in South Africa, where she was born and raised. She is so amazing!
When you hear Justine sing, her influences and greatest musical inspirations of soul, blues, traditional South African artistry, and old school country, come together through her sound, in some pretty exceptional ways. Justine has performed all over the world; and considers one of her greatest accomplishments, was being part of an established choir that was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. We’re sure it was a “once in a lifetime” kind of experience! As well, Justine has spent a lot of her time performing around British Columbia for various events. Her passion for music truly shines through every-time she is performing on stage!
Her latest release is called “I’ll Leave the Front Porch Light On.” Make sure you add it to your playlists! You can find her music available everywhere! This may be the first you have heard of Justine but we know it won’t be the last! This talented young lady is going to have a long, lengthy music career and we couldn’t be prouder that she’s Canadian! You can tag, share, stream and follow Justine, on all the social media platforms!.
~ WILDR ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is a duo called Wildr!
That is such a great name!! The duo is made up of Dennis Hann and Myles Rivoire, and they are based out of Calgary, Alberta. WILDR was formed in early 2020. They released their debut self-titled EP later that year. Their sound is a fresh taste of heavy guitar tones, mixed with amazingly sweet harmonies, that clearly works for the duo, giving WILDR their very own unique brand of Country Rock. You're going to love it!
Both Dennis and Myles grew up on country music but throughout their teen years, they played in some heavier bands and music. Their musical Influences are from a variety of bands and genres, everything from - A Day to Remember, and Silverstein, to Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson while currently being influenced by artists like Morgan Wallen, Hardy, Luke Combs and Sam Hunt. It’s not surprising, as they are some of the top Country artists in the Country Music industry today.
Throughout their music career, Dennis & Myles have performed collectively, on stages like the Coke Stage, MuchMusic, Big Valley Jamboree, Country Thunder Arizona, and Cowboys Tent to name a few. In their former band, called “For The Weekend”, they walked away with a $200,000 dollar prize, in a “Battle of the Bands” contest, for AMP Radio. The band was later cast in a MuchMusic reality series called DISCOVERED, where they documented 6 chosen Canadian bands. The band was later signed by Universal Music Canada, following the reality show. That must have been a great learning experience and hopefully a fun one!
WILDR currently is working on their return, with a full-length album set to be released late spring. We can’t wait to hear their new music! We feel they are a welcome addition to our Canadian Country family and we hope you like them as much as we do! The sky’s the limit with this Duo! Good luck! Look for WILDR on all streaming platforms and watch for their upcoming videos on YouTube as well.
~ ANGELICA APPELMAN ~
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY is Angelica Appelman!
This Canadian country newcomer is from Kitchener, Waterloo area. We feel she’s started the new year off right, with her introduction to the Canadian country music landscape.
You see, she isn’t exactly “new” to performing and the Arts, Angelica has been working on her craft for over ten years. As a child, she headlined living room shows for her family, belting out her favourite songs from her idols Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, and The Chicks. That’s when it all began!
At thirteen years old, she began writing song lyrics as an outlet for her feelings, which for Angelica, was a way to "Taylor Swift" her way through high school. She was a natural performer, by taking the stage to do a number of high school musicals and plays where she enriched her love for acting and singing.
Angelica continued to pursue her passion at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, where she placed a strong emphasis on training in vocal performance. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film Acting. Venturing into the world of professional songwriting, she began making connections, sharing original songs with trusted mentors and industry professionals, leaning into the learning experience, and continuing to develop her skills as a songwriter and storyteller. Leveraging the virtual songwriting world over the last two years,
Angelica has co-written with a number of talented songwriters and artists and is taking her next steps by bringing her hard work and creativity to life. Leading with a powerful voice and smooth tone, Angelica has an authentic sound that has been compared to popular country artists such as Tenille Arts, Gabby Barrett, and Kelsea Ballerini. We saw her perform a cover of one of Gabby Barrett’s songs and if you closed your eyes, you would have thought Gabby was there singing it. She’s amazing! We met Angelica for the first time last fall and she was an absolute doll! She is a very friendly person, authentic, and is super supportive of other artists. She’s a real gem. We have seen Angelica perform and were very impressed with her powerful voice and her exceptional ability to convey feelings through her songwriting. Her many talents are undeniable!
She has partnered with Kitchener-based producer Matt Koebel on her debut EP, 'A Reason or a Season', which will be released later in 2022. Her latest release today, off her debut EP is called “Happy Place” and we’re certain you’ll agree and relate, that it will make you search for your own Happy Place when you hear it!
Congratulations on a great song Angelica and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for you! Make sure you buy, like, and follow Angelica on all social media platforms and wherever you buy your music!
~ GARRETT GREGORY ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Garrett Gregory!
A breakout country artist with genuine charm, Garrett will take you to a whole new level of "entertained". He was born in the rural town of Hanna, Alberta. Garrett grew up living the small-town life, singing in bands and competitions throughout Canada since he was 8 years old.
Initially, Garrett followed in his brother's footsteps, his first band was in the rock genre but slowly the music began to change and we feel, that he found his way and home, in the country genre. With his raw talent and vocal range, he can sing anything and everything! If you haven’t already, check out his videos on YouTube and you will see for yourself. When he's not on stage singing his heart out, you can find him volunteering at the SPCA. His unique brand of entertainment fuses a tight, high-energy sound with a wildly driving show that will leave you wanting more!
Dallas Smith, Chris Daughtry, and Patrick Droney are among the few artists that inspire him to do what he loves. Garrett has opened for several big names like Gord Bamford and performed on stages at the Williams Lake Stampede, Wurst for Stampede, Lilac Festival, ACMA kickoff party, Flatts Fest, Dawson Creek Rodeo, Handhills Rodeo (100 yr anniversary), Ranchman’s, Nashville North, Calgary Stampede, and a plethora of other festivals, fundraisers, galas, and parties.
Garrett has been doing lots of songwriting, collaborations, and recording, over the pandemic, for his debut album called “Woke Love” to be released throughout 2022. We can’t wait to hear what he has put together! Since his debut EP hasn’t been released just yet, below is a video of Garrett’s cover of Patrick Droney - “Glitter”, that we know you're going to love. It showcases his amazing vocal talent! You can give him a like and a follow on all social media platforms. We have no doubts, that Garrett has a very bright future ahead of him!
~ JORDAN RILEY ~