It has been an incredible year for the Canadian country music industry. We were able to get back to some live shows, artists have released some of the incredible music they’ve written over the course of the pandemic, and we were able to celebrate with some of our artist and industry friends on a number of occasions.
With the incredible momentum the industry is entering 2022 with, there are some rising stars who are shining in the country music community. Here are 9 up and coming artists we’ve got on our radar for 2022 and we think you should too.
9 Emerging Canadian Country Artists To Watch In 2021
1. Graham Scott Fleming
Graham Scott Fleming reintroduced himself to the Canadian country music scene in January with his absolute power ballad, “Deja Vu”. He followed up with the edgy “High Life” and left us with “Better Man” to polish off 2021.
Fleming knows how to channel emotion into his lyrics and transport listeners to a story. He connects life experience to song and leaves the story open enough that listeners can take what they need from his music.
2021 was an exciting year for Graham Scott Fleming, and we’re excited for more to come in 2022.
2. Alli Walker
2020 CMAO Rising Star nominee turned viral TikTok artist, Alli Walker spent 2020 and much of 2021 writing new music.
Releasing her demos on TikTok gained her a notable following, and a community of fans waiting for the release of new music. “Country Music” was released in October and garnered immediate success.
We’ve been able to catch Alli a handful of times last year and heard what music is to come in 2022. We can confidently say that Alli Walker is just getting started.
3. Hailey Benedict
At just nineteen years old, Hailey Benedict is poised for success. Put Hailey in front of a microphone and her smooth vocals and infectious personality command the attention of the room.
Her single, “Wanted You To” was produced by Dan Davidson and broke Top 30 on country radio. She also released a music video for the song to YouTube.
Making a name for herself early in the game, Benedict went viral on TikTok with her series of videos of the “Thunderstruck Challenge,” where she was challenged to play as fast as possible.
RELATED: Hailey was our Women in Canadian Country Spotlight for January …
Hailey was a “2019 Horizon Youth Artist of the Year” with the Association of Country Music Alberta. She’s also racked up a number of Country Music Alberta Award nominations, including Fan’s Choice and Female Artist of the Year.
4. Nate Haller
Nate Haller has had an epic breakout year. His smash debut single “Lightning In A Bottle” took him from up and coming to emerging artist in a matter of days. It was the #2 most added song at country radio and landed a spot in the Top Ten.
“Grew Up On” followed in the footsteps of “Lightning In A Bottle,” and Haller finished off the year with “Somewhere To Drink,” which features The Reklaws and Brett Kissel.
One thing is for sure, Nate Haller wants listeners to have a good time. The fun-loving, light-hearted artist likes to have fun, and what better way to do that then share music that makes people want to dance. The fun is contagious … and Nate Haller is here to bring it.
5. Riley Taylor
Riley Taylor took Boots and Hearts Music Festival by storm this past summer.
He was crowned the winner of the 2021 Emerging Artist Showcase. The New Brunswick native came in as the underdog and his undeniable talent was show stopping.
Capturing the Emerging Artist Showcase title means that we will be treated to a debut single release with Warner Music Canada along with his name on the docket for Boots and Hearts 2022. We can’t wait for this and more from Riley in the upcoming year.
Connect with Riley Taylor on Instagram.
6. Dustin Bird
2021 saw a number of wins for Stirling, Ontario native, Dustin Bird.
From signing with Open Road Recordings and releasing his debut album, Unscripted, to landing the opening spot on Tim Hicks’ Campfire Troubadour tour, and headlining the legendary El Mocambo, Dustin had an exceptional year.
With such momentum in this past year, 2022 is teeing up to be even bigger for Dustin Bird.
7. Raquel Cole
Raquel Cole turned heads at the 2021 CCMA Awards week in London. Earning a top three spot at SiriusXM’s Top of the Country concert and touring with the Washboard Union are just a couple highlights that make Raquel Cole one to watch for 2022.
She also shared the stage with Don Amero for his performance of “You Can’t Always Be 21” at the 2021 CCMA Awards Show.
Her latest single, “Think About You” earned slot 21 on CBC Country’s Most Wanted Top 40.
8. Lemon Cash
Brother duo, Lemon Cash lean into their own life experiences to write music that really connects with listeners.
Really grabbing the attention of Canadian country music fans with their 2021 releases “Wine Tonight” and “Wild Side,” Jeff and Cory also have cheeky personalities that will have you laughing.
Capping off 2021 with their signing to Sakomoto Talent Agency, the Ottawa-based sibling duo has a lot more in store for 2022.
9. Five Roses
It all started in the barber’s chair for Five Roses.
Thankfully it did, because after over five years together, the Quebec-based duo landed a deal with MDM Recordings.
Originally introduced to Front Porch in 2019, the duo have been on a fast track ever since.
“Might As Well Be Me” was released in August and November saw the release of “Our Days Are Numbered.”
Their stage presence is captivating and their personalities pair so well together as performers. So we can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for them.
In a lot of ways, the past year was a tough one for the music industry, but there was a lot of good that came out of the industry. And as we look towards the year ahead, we can’t wait to see what surprises lay ahead.
While we can only hope that 2022 may bring us back to some normalcy, we’re looking forward to seeing how artists continue to connect with listeners in creative ways, leverage their platforms to raise awareness to social issues, and keep putting out new music to get us through.
We’re looking forward to seeing these artists make some big moves in 2022.