5 New Female Country Artists to Be Excited About

Here are five new female country music artists that you should be paying attention to as they establish themselves in the genre.

Country music is ever-growing and it’s sound is ever-changing. These five female artists are among the many fresh faces that are helping grow country music with their own unique flavor. We’re excited about what these ladies have done so far and what they will go on to do and we think you should be paying attention to them as they continue to pave their paths.

Ashley Cooke

Listen: “Jealous of the Sky”

Ashley Cooke is currently enjoying an incredible breakout year as an independent artist. We were first introduced to the budding star with the release of her debut single “Jealous of the Sky” in October of 2020, followed by “Sunday Morning Kinda Saturday Night”. The ladder debuted #1 on the iTunes Country Chart and #15 all-genre. Cooke added to the new music with her debut EP, ‘Already Drank That Beer – Side A’, recently released on August 27th. Cooke is a Tiktok success story. In fact, back in April she celebrated one year of her very first video that went on to receive over two million views and sent her into the public eye with a massive following. Check out the video here. Cooke moved to Nashville when she was 18 to attend Belmont University and has since co-created The 615 House, a collab house in Nashville created as a result of the pandemic for country singers and songwriters to create content, build fan-bases, and collaborate with other like-minded young new talent.

Follow Ashley Cooke on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Tenille Arts

Listen: “I Hate This”

Tenille Arts, alongside the remainder of the women on this list, were each named one of ten female artists in CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2021. Arts, born and raised in Canada, first caught attention when she appeared on The Bachelor in 2018, which resulted in a record deal with the indie label, Reviver Records. Her second appearance on the show came a year later when she performed her song “I Hate This”, which hit #1 on the US and Canadian iTunes Country Charts and #9 on US iTunes all-genre. Her third appearance on The Bachelor came just before she released her latest album Love, Heartbreak, and Everything In Between. Arts landed her very first number one song earlier this year with “Somebody Like That” and fans can look forward to brand new music from the singer-songwriter from her upcoming album, Girl to Girl, due out October 22nd.

Follow Tenille Arts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

MacKenzie Porter

Listen: “Drinkin’ Songs”

Signed with Big Loud Records, MacKenzie Porter is experiencing rising success after two years of releasing music including her EP: Drinkin’ Songs: The Collection, which includes popular singles like “The One”, “Drinkin’ Songs”, and “These Days”. Porter also collaborated with Dustin Lynch earlier this year on their current fast-rising single “Thinking ‘Bout You”. The Canadian-native moved to Nashville in 2014. Since then she has collaborated with many well-known songwriters. She has shared the stage with some of the biggest in the business including Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Chris Lane, and Dallas Smith. We featured Porter in a spotlight interview late last year and you can check it out to learn more about her journey to country music here.

Follow MacKenzie Porter on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Harper Grae

Listen: “Still Your Mother”

Harper Grae, an Alabama-native, made waves with a song she released earlier this year called, “Still Your Mother.” It is a beautiful song that pulls on the heart strings about mothers who have either suffered a miscarriage or are the mothers of what Grae likes to call ‘rainbow babies’. Personal to her own story, Grae received a much-deserved overwhelming response for mothers that have used this song as their own therapy, much like Grae did for herself. Grae released her debut album, Break Your Crowns, in 2017, and since then has released singles like “Monster” (2018), “Bloodline” (2018), “Muddy Water” (2020), “Best For You” (2020), and “Caviar and Bars” (2021). She has been named one of CMT’s “Five LGBTQ and Americana Artists You Need to Know” and received a 2020 GLAAD award for Rising Country Star.

Follow Harper Grae on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Brittney Spencer

Listen: “Sober & Skinny”

A Baltimore native, Brittney Spencer made her way to Nashville in 2013 to follow her dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter. She has toured and performed as a background singer for Carrie Underwood and just recently kick-started her own musical career late last year when she released her 4-song debut EP Compassion in December of 2020. Kicking off the new year, Spencer sang on Common Hymnal’s Christian Album Praise and Protest singing “Thoughts and Prayers” with Brock Human. Most recently, she released her latest single, “Skinny & Sober”. Spencer received a shoutout from Maren Morris at the 2020 ACM Awards when she accepted her award for Female Vocalist of the Year and from Mickey Guyton back in April during ACM promotions and a segment “Country Music Looks Like”.

Follow Brittney Spencer on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

 

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming announcements and releases.

Check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Swag Spotlight: Kaylee Rutland

Kaylee Rutland

 

When Kaylee Rutland was just eight years old she recalls raising her hand to sing a solo during her church choir show and was immediately bit by the performance bug. “It was the best feeling in the world and I knew I wanted to do this all of the time. It is something that I will always remember.”  She spent her childhood in Flower Mound, Texas, and grew up  listening to Christian music and Radio Disney, before falling in love with country music.  “It’s always been country music for me, in particular, I would listen to Reba, Carrie Underwood, and Sara Evans,” she recalls.

After graduating high school, Rutland made the move to Nashville to attend Belmont University as a Music Business major. She graduated this past December and attributes so much to her college experience.  Having heard from songwriters in the industry how they wished they had gotten a degree in the inner workings of the music industry, she decided to pursue that track and outside of class take voice lessons and go to songwriting sessions, ultimately creating a good balance of knowledge.  “Getting to take what I learned in the classroom at Belmont and then apply it to my own career and mix being a student with being a musician has been fantastic,” she says of her four years at Belmont.

Her EP, That Side of Me, released in October features five original songs, all of which Rutland co-wrote as well as a new twist on Adele’s “Rumor Has It”.  She explains how some of the tracks were written four years ago while others were written and recorded just months before the EP was released.  “I wanted a variety of songs that showcased a different side of me as an artist, as a 22-year-old girl and I hope that each of the songs speak out to other people and show them different sides of them as well,” she says of the project. She has learned that being vulnerable and going into a songwriting session and opening up to the other writers is the way to find great, honest lyrics.  “That’s what I love about country music, so much of it is real, it’s really just somebody sitting there with a guitar and pouring our their thoughts,”  Rutland says.

Kaylee decided that the EP should close with a cover, and she knew that she could take a song that wasn’t a traditional country song and transform it into something new with an added twist.  After one of her bandmates suggested an Adele song, she recalls laughing to herself thinking she couldn’t sing an Adele song, however, she took the upbeat revenge song and made it her own.

Looking forward to life as a college graduate, Rutland is excited to have her classroom days behind her and not have to balance her school schedule with her music career.  “I plan on doing a lot more widespread performances, I am always performing in Texas and in Nashville, but I would love to get to more places around the country that I haven’t been before,” she explains.  For more about Kaylee Rutland be sure to be following her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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NYCS New Artist Feature: Brett Kissel

 

Brett Kissel

 

Growing up on a cattle ranch in rural Flat Lake, Alberta Canada, our very first New Artist Feature, Brett Kissel learned a lot about country living.  It all started when Kissel was merely seven years old, receiving his first guitar from his grandmother for Christmas.  During our interview, Kissel explained the gift of that guitar was similar to the first time a child gets a football or a hockey stick then goes on to play professionally, that was the moment for him when he realized his dreams.  “As a little kid, I didn’t know it was a career path, all I knew I wanted to do was play guitar and sing,” he explained, “It didn’t take long for me to really gravitate towards the true entertainers and the live show performers, that was my biggest passion.”

He lets us know about his influences growing up, listening to Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and George Jones, but explains that everything changed for him when he saw Brooks and Dunn perform live. Then he saw a DVD of Garth Brooks and that sealed the deal.  “A lot of people who you might talk to will tell you they found a love for songwriting or the studio, for me it was a love for the stage.”

Fast forward twenty years, Kissel is the only Canadian to tour with Garth Brooks, acting as his opener for over twenty concerts on his world tour.  He recalls the first night on the tour, being nervous to take the stage when “Garth knocks on the door and says “We are actually going to push back the show a little bit, I know you are supposed to play at 7:30 but we don’t have a full crowd yet so we are going to put you on at 8:00 and give them an extra 30 minutes of anticipation and make sure you have the full 19k people.”  The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year is an inspiration to the rising star to work as hard as he can to achieve his dreams of being an artist in the country music genre.

Already on his way, Kissel has had a ton of success in Canada and is currently the reigning Male Artist of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards.  He was the youngest artist ever to be nominated and currently has 10 CCMAs.  He built up an incredible fan base in Canada and decided it was time to move to Music City.  Pulling the trigger after marrying his wife in 2011, they moved to Nashville in 2012 and his goal was to harness the momentum and energy from his Canadian success and bring it to the American market.  “We love the city and the creative atmosphere that is here and we love our friends that have turned into family.  If we can we will stay here for the rest of our lives,” he explains.

His latest single, and the title track off of his new full-length album, “We Were That Song” is being spun on Sirius XM The Highway.  Kissel explains that although he did write the majority of the songs on the new record, “We Were That Song” was written by one of his favorite writers on Music Row, Jonathan Singleton and when he heard it he knew he had to record it.  “The record has 13 tracks and it is an extremely diverse project, we have a lot of everything. Country music is the only genre, in my opinion, that lets other genres kind of seep in,” he tells us about his latest project “My record was designed to disarm what anybody thought country music could be.”

If you are looking for diversity, We Were That Song is chock full of it.  From a duet with Dave Mustaine, the founder, and lead of the heavy metal band Mega Death, to a touching song written specifically about becoming a dad to daughters (Kissel has two) each country fan will find something to love.  “I wanted to create a record that was like everybody’s playlist on their phone.  If people listen to classic country then Rihanna and then Bieber, then Aldean then FGL then they circle back around to me, I wanted to make sure my record was chaotic and random so that everybody found something that they liked on it,” he proudly tells us.

Explaining that he understood the risks of releasing an album that is sonically all over the map, he tells us, “I think we need to risk some things to get noticed in Nashville, which is just filled with so many great songwriters and artists, I just wanted to do something that was different and something that spoke to me.”  Looking forward to the new year, Kissel says he is so happy about the way the first single is performing organically and he looks forward to promoting the new album and playing his music for his fans.

Be sure to be following our first New Artist Feature on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on his website.

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Click Here to learn more about NYCountry Swag
+ Follow our Country Music Adventures on Instagram, @NYCOUNTRYSWAG!

– Team NYCountry Swag