Where Are They Now? Our 2017 Artist to Watch Update

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

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- Last year, Ennis followed his debut single, “Woke Up In Nashville” and “Look at You” with the captivating “Call Your Mama,” featuring A-list superstars, Little Big Town. The singer-songwriter went on to make his TODAY Show debut with that song, taking his career to new heights. This year, Ennis also opened up for Dylan Scott on his headlining tour.


9. Trent Harmon- Continuing to ride the high from dropping his debut album You Got ‘Em All, Harmon released the title track to country radio last year. The song peaked in the Top 40 on Country Airplay.


8. High Valley- The Canadian country duo continues to take the country music world by storm. Back in April, they released their new single, “Single Man” from the forthcoming studio album. The song already reached the number two spot on the Canadian country charts. Earlier this month they released “Your Mama” and the video features real-life shots of their families. We hope 2020 brings more music from the rising duo.


7. Runaway June- The ladies of Runaway June have had arguably the most successful year! The trio released their debut record Blue Roses, and their radio single “Buy My Own Drinks” cracked the Top 5 on the Country charts, making history as the first song by a female trio to break into the Top 5 in a decade. Additionally, the ladies joined superstar, Carrie Underwood on her sold-out headlining tour. Check out how they expressed their excitement for their success with us here, during our interview with the girls at Taste of Country Music Festival and our most recent Swag Session below.


6. Brett Young- 2019 was a big year for Young, both personally and professionally. The singer-songwriter’s beautiful wife Taylor gave birth to their first child together in October, after they celebrated one year of marriage. As a recording artist, Young released his new project, The Acoustic Sessions EP, which followed the release of his Number 1 sophomore record Ticket to L.A. Fans of Young have his newly announced headlining tour to look forward to in the new year. The tour stops at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on February 2nd.


5. Ryan Hurd- In 2019, Hurd focused on advancing his career as a solo artist. The talented singer-songwriter sold-out Bowery Ballroom in New York City this past January. We got to catch up with him at Taste of Country, where he shared what it’s like playing for New York fans. Hurd upped the ante by releasing both his EP Panorama and Platonic this year, including lead single “To a T.” Just recently announced, he will be headlining the Platonic Tour with Niko Moon, the tour hits NYC for a two night run on March 4th and 5th.



4. Russell Dickerson- We are proud to continue to champion the very first artist that New York Country Swag ever featured at our very first event back in January of 2016. Dickerson continues to be one of the most promising rising artists and infectious entertainers on the scene right now. This year, the singer-songwriter achieved a rare feat, as his first three singles to ever go to country radio hit the number one spot on the charts! Even better, the entertainer finally made it to the big stage at Madison Square Garden, where he opened up for Thomas Rhett on his sold-out tour and even shouted out our company, during his set!


3. Walker Hayes- Hayes continues to release music that he can be proud of and that his fans can always relate to. This year, he released a beautiful tribute to his wife, Laney, titled “Don’t Let Her,” headlined his own tour, and is about to release Volume 3 of 8Tracks. Check out our interview with the Swag Session alum below, as he talks about “Don’t Let Her,” and his journey.


2. Luke Combs- Combs has officially solidified himself as a bonafide country superstar in just a few short years. The singer recently accepted his membership into the Grand Ole Opry and released his record-breaking sophomore record What You See Is What You Get. Combs’ has had seven consecutive singles reach the top spot on County Airplay and continues to sell-out shows in arenas across the country. 2020 is shaping up to be another mega-successful year for the entertainer.


1. Drake White- It’s been a relatively quiet year for the White; however, that has not stopped him from bringing his unique talent to stages across the United States. The singer-songwriter captivated fans in New York City back in February when he played at Irving Plaza. He continues to be a mainstay at country music festivals as well.

Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an update on all the artist we named to watch in 2018 and 2019, and then coming soon, our carefully-cultivated 2020 Artist to Watch list.



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