Victor Hugo stated, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” These talented singers and gifted musicians are all bookable artists under 10K who express emotion through music. From country crooners to gospel greats, these men and women impress audiences with their musical gifts.
Artists under 10K: From Idol and The Voice to YouTube Stars
Chris Mann has come a long way in a few short years. You might know him from NBC’s “The Voice,” but that’s only one chapter of the story. In 2012, the world finally got the chance to meet Mann on his Faircraft/Republic Records debut, Roads, a bold reimagining of the classical-pop genre. The aptly-titled album represents the culmination of a long and challenging journey for this gifted and dedicated young artist, who’d been pushing forward against what had appeared to be overwhelming odds. Now, he’s triumphed. The record hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart and Top 5 on the Classical Chart. Meanwhile, he played to sold out crowds across the U.S. in support of the collection.
A Nashville-based singer/songwriter who adds narrative lyrical tendencies to her blues- and Americana-stained country-pop, Logan Brill was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. At age 18, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where she studied French and vocal performance before signing with Carnival Recording Company in 2012. Citing her as a childhood influence, Brill’s 2013 debut album, the poignant Walking Wires, included a cover of Patty Griffin’s “Nobody’s Crying.” 2015 saw the release of her sophomore album, the more uptempo Shuteye, as well as her Grand Ole Opry debut.
Country Music Artist
James Otto may be 100 percent country, but he’s also got a heart full of soul. On his third album, Shake What God Gave Ya, Nashville’s breakout star puts his God-given lung power to work on a set of songs that make even more determined use of the old-school R&B grit in his powerhouse voice. “I look at my sound as somewhere between Nashville and Memphis,” says Otto, setting the new record’s compass point firmly on the map.
Youtuber and Recording Artist
A Texas native, Megan was born in Houston and raised in Katy, TX. Growing up in the ’90s, she was accompanied by an array of sounds from the generation prior, including: Queen, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and various artists from the ’70s funk era. Her own talents began to emerge around 4th grade; she first recognized her vocal abilities while dabbling around with her family’s karaoke machine.With over 1,500,000 subscribers and over 350 million video views, Megan Nicole’s remarkable rise to YouTube stardom started not too long ago. It was December 2009 when a fresh-faced Megan first posted a Kings of Leon cover.
Musician and YouTube Star
Passion is what drives Tyler Ward to write, produce and perform music; however, music wasn’t always his focus. Encouraged by his father at a young age to pursue athletics, Tyler spent his time working towards scoring touchdowns and winning football games rather than chasing his musical dream. Now, you can find Tyler writing, recording and performing music all over the state of Colorado. Tyler has become a well known local artist who is heavily pursued to perform live.
Singer, American Idol Finalist
Burnell Taylor (born April 14, 1993) is an American pop singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a Top 10 finalist on the twelfth season of American Idol in 2013. Taylor and his family were survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Taylor auditioned in Baton Rouge, singing “I’m Here”. He also performed the same song in the semi-finals, where he was chosen as one of the top five males to advance to the finals.
McDonald placed 8th on the tenth season of American Idol and since 2005, he has been the lead singer of the band Hightide Blues, renamed The Grand Magnolias in 2010. In 2011, he and Nikki Reed were married. In the spring of 2005, he and fellow Auburn student Jonathan Pears began writing songs together, forming the band Hightide Blues. Adding two other members, Cragon Sims and Rob Foster, they began touring small clubs around the state of Alabama. In 2006, McDonald put his education on hold to pursue a full-time career in music.
Country Music Singer
Powerful. Soulful. Distinctive. These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the incredible voice and natural allure of Meghan Linsey. She uses her voice and overall presence, along with the songs she so carefully crafts, to tell the stories she wants, or more accurately, “needs” to tell. In 2015, Meghan took her musical journey to a national level as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice. The risk, most definitely paid off and in May 2015, Meghan was crowned the Season 8 Runner-up, selling over 300k downloads during her time on the show. In July 2015, Meghan independently released her EP Believer, a collection of songs that she co-wrote. The EP shot to #6 on the overall pop iTunes albums chart.
Country Singer-Songwriter and Guitarist
Born in Alabama, raised outside Houston, based in Austin, Watson came to country music early and naturally. Dale remembers receiving his first guitar at age 7 and starting to write songs shortly after. After moving around for a bit, he ultimately decided that Texas was the natural habitat for his brand of music, and he quickly won a popular following, along with a record deal with Hightone Records, after moving to Austin in the mid-‘90s. His 1995 debut album, “Cheatin’ Heart Attack,” and its “Nashville Rash” anthem spread his renown across the Atlantic, with Europe remaining a popular stronghold for Watson.
Troy Lee Coleman III was born December 18, 1970 in Victoria, Texas and is an American musician, better known by his stage name Cowboy Troy, who performs country rap. He is a member of the MuzikMafia, an aggregation of country music singer-songwriters whose membership also includes Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and James Otto. He has released four studio albums and one EP, including two releases on Warner Bros. Records, and has charted twice on the Billboard country singles charts.
A native of Asheville, North Carolina, country singer/songwriter Luke Combs has been singing since he could walk, but did not start playing guitar until the summer after his junior year at Appalachian State University. He began playing shows shortly thereafter in January of 2012 and has been playing consistently ever since. He released a pair of EPs in 2014, and in 2015, his debut single, “Hurricane,” reached the Top 10 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart. His third EP, This One’s for You, was released later that year and peaked at No. 5 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart. Luke recently formed his own full band.
Nashville singer/songwriter Aubrie Sellers came into the game with a bona fide Music City pedigree, but her country-garage sound is all her own. She is the daughter of country star Lee Ann Womack and hit songwriter Jason Sellers. After honing her craft on-stage for a number of years, Sellers began working with veteran producer (and stepfather) Frank Liddell. Strong early singles like “Light of Day” and “Loveless Rolling Stone” arrived in late 2015 in anticipation of her 2016 debut album on the Thirty Tigers label.
YouTuber and Singer-Songwriter
Everything you hear on the singer/songwriters self-produced albums acoustic and electric guitars, piano, drums, bass, synthesized horns and string parts is Dave. Rarely does a musician have the ability and talent to synchronize each aspect of his tracks to the exact specifications of his creative vision. Yet Daves vocals alone make him a standout. His rock-style voice fused with his incredible songwriting sets him apart from the multitude of like-sounding musicians.
Brent Cobb is an American country music singer-songwriter who is currently signed to Low Country Sounds, an imprint of Elektra Records. Cobb has released two studio albums and one EP. His most recent album, Shine On Rainy Day, was released in October 2016 and is his major-label debut (with Elektra). The album has thus far peaked at number 17 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Cobb has also written songs for a variety of country artists including, Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, and others.
Growing up, Brown started playing violin in a strings ensemble for school before his tenth birthday. By thirteen, he had moved to guitar and shortly after began writing music with a hardcore band called Within Reach while he was still in high school. The energy and positive messages he became familiar with in the hardcore community had a huge impact on Brown in his youth, which you can hear most expressly in the lyrics of his solo music, as well as the more chaotic sounds of the post-hardcore powerhouse that goes by the name Richard Parker, in which Brown plays the role of lead vocalist.
Friendly Savages is a young, up and coming folk/rock band based in Austin, TX. Since they got together, the group has made big waves in the Austin music scene with their catchy melodies, haunting lyrics, and high-flying vocals. In mid 2012 they were called “Austin’s newest folk rock buzz band” by the Austin Chronicle. Drawing on an eclectic musical background, Friendly Savages squeezes hints of Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, Mumford & Sons and The Head and the Heart into their own special sound. Their show, filled with mandolin, violin, banjo, guitar,piano and accordion, hits crowds like a loving hammer.
Allen’s DIY ability and optimistic attitude have served him well. He’s scored three Top 10 hits in Canada, 2009′s “I Wanna Be Your Christmas”, 2011’s “I Want You” and his biggest single released in 2010 “Loving You Tonight,” which was lodged in the upper reaches of the charts for more than 22 weeks. A lilting, sunny tune about an ideal romance, “Loving You Tonight” helped put Andrew on tour with acts like The Script, Bruno Mars, One Republic, Train, Joshua Radin and The Barenaked Ladies… with the official music video garnering more than 4 million views.
Youthful Praise and worship leader, James “J.J.” Hairston, have both traveled the world, ministered the gospel and garnered national and international recognition. Through their career, YP has set a new standard for the “church choir” and have no signs of slowing down. With 17 years in the ministry, YP has undoubtedly learned to trust what God has done and will continue to do for them. Founded in 1992, the 35-member choir was birthed out of their home church. As their ministry grew they began singing background for artists such as Destiny’s Child, Pastor Shirley Caesar and SWV, to name a few.
Country newcomer Ryan Hurd has had hit songs coming through radio speakers across America since he signed with Universal Music Publishing as a songwriter three years ago. Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, The Cadillac Three, and the Swon Brothers. Hurd recently celebrated his first No. 1 single as a songwriter with the CMA-nominated duet “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe. Now, the Kalamazoo, MI native is lending his own voice to the songs he writes and taking them on the road.
DJ and Percussionist
Renowned for his raw power, distinctive sound, and feel for the groove, he quickly made a name for himself in the music industry. Ricky is creating a new movement and bringing DJing to a whole new level in the high end special event / nightclub scene by seamlessly combining live drums/percussion with all styles of music. He creates a live drum remix on the spot with no rehearsal time with the DJ. Ricky’s particular approach to the music and unique stand up drum kit sets him apart and makes him a true innovator and incomparable to the rest.
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