Year In Review – Best Up & Coming Artist of 2016 nominees

2016 is one for the record books but not before we reflect on the amazing accomplishments of some of our Canadian artists who happened to be nominated this year and our Canadian Beats awards. Being with Canadian Beats, we get to know many up & comers and it’s one of the best parts of the job! These five artists are the nominees for our 2016 Up & Coming Artist of 2016 Award, so it’s time to find out what they’ve been up to this year!

Dan Davidson (Photo Credit: Linda Heldman)

Alberta’s Dan Davidson is arguably one of the most hard working artists in Canadian Country music. No stranger to business having spent over 10 years with Canadian indie rockers Tupelo Honey, Dan has only been dipping his toes into country music for two years now, but is already taking over the charts. His second single Found was the #1 selling Canadian country song in Canada for numerous weeks in July and Aug, and was the 8th highest charting song in the country this year. Dan accomplished all of that 100% independently and earned himself the title of #1 charting indie artist in Canada. Dan has recently released his 3rd single called “Barn Burner” and it’s also climbing the charts like wildfire. Country fans are anticipating 2017 to be the year of Dan Davidson.

Shae Dupuy (Photo Credit: Linda Heldman)

This year I’ve been watching Shae Dupuy and her rise in the country music scene. She was the CMAO artist of the month for November and also launched her Brave Tour. She released her 7-track Brave EP on Oct 28, 2016, which is now available exclusively at HMV (Ontario stores) via DEP / Universal Music Canada and released 3 music videos on the same day, which is a first for a Canadian female country artist. Shae also appeared on Etalk to promote the release of Brave, along with several interviews at radio, magazines and online publications. Shae released “Liar” (co-written with Jessica Mitchell”), which was a Spotify exclusive.

London, Ontario was the place to see her performing at showcases during Canadian Country Music Week. Shae recorded with award-winning producer David Kalmusky at Addiction studios this year! Shae was a Finalist in the 2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition for “Drink About It”. She was also named Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) 2016 New Faces Showcase Artist. Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) 2016 Nominee, Rising Artist and Video of the Year. She released “Tin Man” music video, Directed by CCMA Award winning Stephano Barberis. Three music video premieres on Cool 100.1 in Belleville Ontario. “A GOOD YEAR” for Shae Dupuy.

Gabriela Geneva (Photo Credit: Mike Wu Photography)

Gabriela Geneva is a solo artist who is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. January 2016 saw Gabriela release her debut single “Tornado”. The track was an instant hit with country wide radio stations garnering rave reviews. Hot on the heals of her first single “In the Dark” was released as her second single. Her audience was expanded this past summer when she opened for Ria Mae and Shawn Hook in Winnipeg and Regina. Her career is already making big waves and has a lot more in store for 2017.

JoJo Mason (Photo Credit: Nicole Wolfe)

Jojo Mason has accomplished a lot since signing with Manicdown Music Inc. in 2014.  The year 2016 was no exception for the artist.  In May, Mason was signed to 604 Records. On the same day, the singer released his third single “Red Dress” digitally.  In September, the accompanying music video for “Red Dress” was released.  The following month brought Mason three nominations at the BC Country Music Association Awards.  He was nominated for Male Vocalist, Single of the Year for “Good Kinda Love,” and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year for “Good Kinda Love” alongside co-writers Dan Swinimer and Phill Barton.  In addition, the release of the artist’s fourth single “Made For You” has become another fan favourite.  The track has been on the Billboard Canada Country National Airplay charts for five weeks so far and currently is sitting at 27 on the chart. In November, the singer released a Christmas track “Silent Night” via iTunes.  In the same month, it was announced that Jojo will be opening for Tim Kicks and Chad Brownlee on three dates of their 2017 Western Canadian tour dates.

Jessica Mitchell (Photo Credit: Linda Heldman)

The year 2016 has been brought to you by the word… WHISKEY!  And, what a year it has been for Canadian country songstress, Jessica Mitchell.  Mitchell released her debut EP, Hold Onto The Light, which is a collection of four songs that “cater to a growth and time in my life that I can proudly say ruled my world both with pain and acceptance of not only myself but of others”, as she stated.  Her hit single, “Workin on Whiskey”, rose through the charts throughout the year and set the stage for many successes and celebrations.  Later in the year she also released an official video for the single.  An absolute highlight in 2016 was her acoustic performance of “Workin on Whiskey” at the CMAO awards in May that received a standing ovation at the end of her performance (she was nominated twice at this awards ceremony for the 2016 Female Artist of the Year CMAO and Rising Star Award).  Mitchell surprised fans with a performance with Lindsay Ell at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival in Oro-Medonte this summer with a performance of “Tennessee Whiskey”.  She also toured with Kiefer Sutherland on the “Not Enough Whiskey” tour this year.  Beyond all of the whiskey, Mitchell was also a two-time nominee at the CCMA awards in her hometown of London.  She also performed on stage with some amazing Canadian talent including Dean Brody at the CNE this summer, in the CCMA Legends Show during Country Music Week, and with Royal Wood in September.  She performed nonstop at radio and television stations in support of her EP and hit single and performed at many festivals including Manitoulin Country Fest.  More recently Mitchell announced that she will be opening for Terri Clark in March on her tour.  She also recently released her countrified version of “Blue Christmas” and recorded an CMT One Shot version of this song.  Over the Christmas season fans could see her on stage at the Art of Time Ensemble which is a unique concert which fuses high art and popular culture in music.

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