Country music has welcomed so many upcoming artists over the years, and they come from all corners of every genre. Among the genre’s singer-songwriters, soloists, and groups, some are as traditional as possible while others explore an innovative sound and push the genre’s limits like no other.
Several of country’s hot new artists first gained fame through singing competitions such as American Idol and The Voice, while others developed fan bases independently through social media or TikTok videos.
Nevertheless, PopWrapped’s 22 Country Newcomers to Watch in 2022 are all set for success in the year ahead, no matter how they got into here.
Singer-songwriter, Alexandra Kay, has made waves throughout social media this past year. With her fan-favorite TikTok “Coffee Covers” series, Kay has navigated her way throughout the app and has caught the attention of country music legends such as Tim McGraw, Sara Evans, and even Randy Travis. With a special thanks to the viral platform, Kay’s tracks “Tall Boys,” “We Wouldn’t Be Us,” and “How Do We Go” even went to find major streaming and charting success.
The buzzed-about artist Conner Smith has blown throughout 2021 with major success. Last year, the internet caught hit of his now-viral single, “I Hate Alabama,” which put his career into overdrive. With that release, he continued to catch attention with other releases like “Why I Can’t Leave,” plus his loyal fans can catch up on the road in 2022 with Ryan Hurd and Sam Hunt.
The Georgia native, Lily Rose, is very fresh into the country music industry. However, in little over a year she’s simply become one of the most buzzed-about country artists. The Big Loud artist released her debut project, “Stronger Than I Am,” in October, which her career-launching single, “Villian.”
As with many breakout stars today, Priscilla Block got her start on TikTok during quarantine, when performing live music was not possible. She continued to captivate fans throughout the year with her personality and talent after sharing her anthem “Thick Thighs.” Following that success, Block found success with her breakup ballad “Just About Over You,” which reached the top of the iTunes Country and All Genre Chart and became her first single at Country Radio.
Nashville’s hottest trio, Restless Road, consists of Garrett Nichols, Colton Pack, and Zack Beeken. With their captivating covers, mashups, and original songs, the group has made an impression on the country music scene. Their debut single, “Take Me Home,” featuring Kane Brown marked their debut as signed musicians. They went on to record several other radio-friendly tunes including “Bar Friends,” “Headlights,” and “Hometown Tonight,” after creating the soulful ballad.
Ever since ERNEST entered the country music scene, Big Loud Records‘ multi-platinum artist has turned heads. He put his songwriting skills to the test before becoming a well-respected vocalist, writing hit songs for some of the biggest names in the industry including Morgan Wallen, Chris Lane, Sam Hunt, and several others. The breakout star recently teamed up with David Lee Murphy and Ben Burgess for “Red Dirt Clouds,” the ninth release in HARDY’s project “HIXTAPE: Vol. 2.” Additionally, the singer just released his career-changing single with Morgan Wallen, “Flower Shops.”
Leah Marie Mason
Leah Marie Mason was boosted by vulnerable songwriting, in part thanks to TikTok. Mason posted a video on TikTok in which she played her song “Far Boy” to her then ex-boyfriend and recorded his reaction to it, as the song was about him. Since then, “Far Boy” has earned millions of streams and helped pave the way for more releases including “I Wish,” “Hannah,” and most recently “Miss Us Then.”
Spencer Crandall has been going viral thanks to TikTok. His song “My Person” became a wedding video soundtrack after people used it in their videos. He has also received much-deserved attention for his latest single, “Made.” Additionally, he launched a podcast named “Why Are We Here” in 2021, and went on his own headlining tour. Next year, he’ll open for Lauren Alaina on her “Top Of The World Tour.”
In spite of only having released one single so far this year, the gorgeous and harshly realistic “Sober & Skinny,” Brittney Spencer has taken the country world by storm, performing with Jason Isbell and The Highwomen, and is currently on her own headlining tour. A very moving performance of hers was also given at the CMA Awards 2021 along with Mickey Guyton and Madeline Edwards.
If consistency is key, Julia Cole is the definition of. With a large catalog of releases in 2021 including the release of her album, “Julia Cole,” the singer-songwriter continues to prove that she’s one of the hottest newcomers in the scene. Throughout the year, Julia teamed up with rising artists Cooper Alan, Renne Blair, and Thomas Mac for career-changing collaborations.
With a little hustle and grind, the singer-songwriter Jake Banfield has a promising lead into the new year. With major songwriting cuts by Madison Beer, Little Mix, and Anne-Marie, the promising newcomer has created his craft and sound. Throughout the past year, Banfield has released his fan-favorite singles “If I Were You,” “Drowning In Your Love,” and several others.
In 2021, singer-songwriter Alana Springsteen shared her highly anticipated EP “History Of Breaking Up (Part One)” which is full of relatable songwriting. Additionally, her latest single co-written by Walker Hayes, “Zero Trucks” has amassed over three million streams on Spotify alone. To finish out the year, she opened up for LANY across the southern part of the US.
Being named ‘One to Watch‘ by several other publications, singer-songwriter Dylan Jakobsen is leading into 2022 very promising. Last year, Jakobsen released his album “Set Fire To The Night” and has promised to share plenty of new music in 2022.
Following her success on TikTok, Ashley Cooke went on to release her debut full-length album titled “Already Drank That Beer – Side A“, which features collaborations with Jimmie Allen. Cooke has already secured a slot on Cole Swindell‘s ‘Down To The Bar Tour‘ next year.
Colby Acuff, an Idaho native who writes and sings words of honesty, embodies experiences of real-life in his songs. He released his latest album, “If I Were the Devil,” in 2021. There have been over three million streams of the title track on Spotify alone.
Cooper Alan has enjoyed tremendous success on TikTok thanks to his deep voice and his creativity; he has over 6 million followers and 54 million total likes. Throughout 2021, he has released singles like “Can’t Dance,” “Too Soon,” and “Came After You.” He has also worked with artists like Sammy Arriaga and Julia Cole. In addition, he toured with fellow independent artists Alexandra Kay and Thomas Mac.
Morgan Wade, a tatted songwriter with a distinctive sound, put her name at the forefront of the pack with her debut album, “Reckless.” The native of Virginia will open for Luke Combs on his 3 stadium tours in 2022, showcasing her special talent to a whole new audience.
The songstress Becca Bowen soared into newfound heights with releases like “Home,” “Better Than The Dream,” and “Gunshots and Fireworks“. In late 2021, the newcomer signed an artist development deal with Sincerely Music Group.
The gritty vocals of Warren Zeiders coupled with his own unique blend of country music and southern rock influences set him apart from other rising country music acts. His lead single, “Ride the Lightning”, was penned by himself along with Eric Paslay and Rob Crosby.
With the powerful TikTok app, Sean Williams‘s career was launched and brought to the attention of Bobby Bones. Later, Bobby invited Sean onto his radio show ahead of his song landing #5 on the iTunes Country Charts. Bobby then named his single “Where You Left Me” his Top 5 New Music Picks of the Week.
It has been years since multiple videos of Callista Clark performing at local events were shared on social media and became viral. Clark signed a deal with Big Machine when she was just 15 years old. Nevertheless, Clark released her debut EP “Real To Me” this year, which included her debut single “It’s ‘Cause I Am,” which has been making waves at country radio.
Chase Matthew achieved unprecedented, rapid success in the year 2021, quickly becoming a rising force in country music. Matthew released his 6-song EP “Country Line” this year, which was well-received. The title track from that EP, “Country Line,” has made waves throughout the industry, with nearly 19 million streams on Spotify alone. In July, Ryan Upchurch‘s Holler Boy Records signed Chase Matthew via ONErpm in July; this greatly accelerated his career in the new year.
With over 545k streams after a handful of releases, Johnny Dailey is a force within the music realm. In 2019, he signed a worldwide publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville.
At a young age singer-songwriter, Jordana Bryant has more than proven her worth. The release of her debut EP “Last First” has been streamed over 1.3 million globally. Her debut single “This Love” has over 350k global streams itself.
Jordan Fletcher has over 1.5 million streams on Spotify alone. The current single by Fletcher, “Rather Be Broke” has over 250k streams itself. Not only an artist, but Fletcher has also penned fan-favorite hits by Riley Green and Chris Bandi.
The duo Walker County was selected in the class of CMT‘s Next Women of Country. This past year they’ve released their single “Liar” penned by the pair, Hillary Lindsey, and David Garcia. They even made their national TV debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
In November 2021, Nate Smith will sign a record deal with Sony Music Nashville. He has been building his fan base for years with his captivating, story-filled songs and emotional singing. Nate rang out 2021 with the release of his fan-favorite piano ballad “I Don’t Wanna Go to Heaven.”
Callie Twisselman busted the doors with her debut single “Two Hands” which has gained over 500k global streams. The single was produced by Grammy-Award winner Aaron Pearce. Recently, she released her debut EP “Closure,” which has gained nearly 1 million total streams on Spotify alone.
From NBC’s The Voice to the country music industry, Casi Joy has been making waves throughout. Her latest single “Senses Fail,” is just one of the many talented things that have come from Joy throughout the past year.
Liddy Clark has gained over 2.5 million likes across the viral platform, TikTok. Thanks to that viral app, the singer-songwriter saw her original song “Wrapped Up In Roses” gain over 1.7 million views alone.
Despite the fact that he continues to blend genres, Tennessee native Drew Green has a unique sound that is all his own. Combined with his honest approach to songwriting and compelling storytelling, this newcomer’s catalog has hints of country, trap, and rap.