Where Are They Now? Our 2017 Artists to Watch Update

Here at New York Country Swag, we pride ourselves on being tastemakers, finding and championing new and up-and-coming artists and introducing our followers to the best of the best of the rising acts.  Back in 2017, we named the 10 artists below in our “Artists to Watch in 2017” and we are proud to say, we know rising talent before they make it big.  Check out what each of these artists has done over the past two years and what is coming up for them in 2019.


10. Seth Ennis – In 2017, Ennis released his debut EP, Mabelle, which featured his first single “Woke Up In Nashville” which put him on our radar early on.  Most recently he released a heartfelt song “Call Your Mama” which features Little Big Town and has garnered over a million streams on Spotify. The singer-songwriter joins Dylan Scott on tour which hits Gramercy Theatre on January 17th.  Grab your tickets here.

9. Trent Harmon – Harmon spent 2017 writing and working on his debut album, You Got Em All.   The American Idol winner of season 15 set out to prove to his fans and critics that he wasn’t just a competition winner that could sing covers but that he had something important to say with his songwriting.  We caught Harmon back in February in Nashville as he performed his single “You Got Em All” for radio programmers and the audience was blown away by his delivery of the breakup song. He told New York Country Swag during a recent interview:  “I had one job that day and that was to solidify myself a slot for the next year as a relevant up-and-coming artist in the country format,” which he certainly did.  We can’t wait to see what he has in store for fans in 2019.


8. High Valley – This Canadian duo since making our Artist to Watch list has toured the country on the Sirius XM The Highway Finds Tour and released brand new music, The Farmhouse Sessions which was recorded appropriately on a farm outside of Nashville. When we caught their infectious, high energy set a little over a year ago, the brothers, led the audience in a dance off and played their top 15 hit “She’s With Me” which elicited a crowd singalong.  The duo has tour dates booked through the new year, playing shows in the U.S as well as Canada. For all of the tour dates head to their website.


7. Runaway June –  The ladies of Runaway June are at such an exciting time in their career.  The week that New York Country Swag hosted them for a Live Swag Session, they had just announced they would be joining Carrie Underwood and Maddie and Tae on her Cry Pretty 360 Tour.  Since then they have also released their debut self-titled EP and their single “Buy My Own Drinks” is garnering plenty of spins on Spotify. Watch their performance and interview with New York Country Swag below and grab your tickets to see this powerhouse group of girls at Madison Square Garden on October 2nd, 2019.


6. Brett Young – Arguably the artist who has made it the biggest over the past two years, Young released his debut, self-titled album in February of 2017 and since then has had four no. 1 hits including “Sleep Without You,” “In Case You Didn’t Know,” “Like I Loved You”, and “Mercy.”  His brand new single from his forthcoming album, “Here Tonight” is already Top 40 on the Country Radio Charts and steadily climbing. Young is coming to New York City on December 9th with Tyler Rich and drops his sophomore album, Ticket to L.A just two days prior.


5. Ryan Hurd – We highlighted Hurd’s incredible songwriting career back in 2017 however since then he has written and recorded songs for himself that have proved he isn’t just a songwriter anymore.  Recently he released two songs, “Diamonds or Twine” and “To A T” which were both inspired by another huge milestone Hurd has accomplished since 2017, he got married. Marrying fellow singer-songwriter and chart-topper Maren Morris earlier this year has given Hurd the opportunity to write about his love for her and when he sings those songs, his delivery and devotion is evident.  We are hoping for a full-length album in 2019 and will keep you posted about future tour dates heading our way.


4. Russell Dickerson –  We are proud to champion the very first artist that New York Country Swag ever featured at our very first event back in January of 2016 just a few weeks after our launch! Dickerson played on top of a bar at Libation, a New York City nightclub, the event was sold out long before he had signed his record deal with Triple Tigers.  Since previewing his music for 300 of our lucky followers and a handful of NYCS events later, Dickerson has garnered not one but two no. 1 songs on the Country Radio Charts.  His love song for his wife, “Yours”, made it to the top of the charts and appropriately was the title of his debut album which was released this time last year.  Most recently, his second single to radio “Blue Tacoma” took the top spot. He toured all summer with Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker, increasing his fanbase.  Looking to the new year, Dickerson is working on new music and will hopefully get back on the road. Take a look back at our Country Night with the rising superstar from September 2016 below.


3. Walker Hayes – In January of 2017 when our list was published, Hayes had only released his 8Tracks Vol. 1 and 2 to his fans, a unique take on the storytelling country music is so accustomed to.  Over the past two years, the lines of genres have blended, country music has sonically changed and become more fluid and no artist has benefitted more than Hayes.  His blend of hip-hop, R&B and pop all infuse with country lyrics and have created a sound that is undeniable all his own.  We hosted Hayes earlier this year for a Live Swag Session after he released his major label debut album boom. and garnered plenty of success with his debut radio single “You Broke Up With Me”. He just released a new single, “90’s Country” which name-drops 22 different 90’s country songs that Hayes tells us in a recent interview, influenced him growing up and is the first of new music we can look forward to in the new year.  Watch the Live Swag Session from April below.


2. Luke Combs –  Another artist who had huge success since 2017, Combs released not only a debut album but a deluxe version with five additional songs.  The album entered the Billboard charts 73 weeks ago and continually makes its way back to the top of the charts, including this week where he holds the top spot for not only album but also the top song with “She Got The Best of Me” at no. 1 for the second week in a row. This marks the fourth chart-topper for Combs, previously he landed the top spot with “Hurricane,” “When It Rains It Pours,” and “One Number Away”.  He joined Jason Aldean this summer on his High Noon Neon Tour which made its way to Madison Square Garden in August.  The sold-out crowd knew every word to each of his songs, even the deep album cuts proving that the country crooner has grown his fan base so wide and is here to stay.


1. Drake White – White’s ability to captivate a crowd during his live performances landed him an opening spot on Zac Brown Band’s tour and at festivals across the country. He just released five new songs in an EP titled Pieces which highlights his signature groove and sultry vocals. Next year he is heading overseas to play the C2C Country to Country Festival in Glasgow along with Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum.


Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an update on all of the artists we named to watch in 2018 and then coming soon, our 2019 Artist to Watch list.



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