10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: April 2018

From the power-country of Rachel Wammack to the dusty vibes of Kyle Daniel

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Priscilla Renea
10
Kyle Goldberg6/10

Priscilla Renea

Sounds Like: Roots-inspired soul-pop that finds the heavenly middle ground between Music Row and Mariah Carey

For Fans of: Maren Morris, Ruby Amanfu, Daydream-era Mariah Carey

Why You Should Pay Attention: A cursory listen to any of Renea's singles should be proof enough, but the Los Angeles-based artist has the rare combination of stellar musicianship, creative vision and natural chops that make for a truly singular artist. She wrote and recorded her forthcoming album Coloured (due out June 22nd via Thirty Tigers) in Nashville with some of the city's most prominent songwriting talent, including Kevin Kadish, Brett James, Ashley Gorley and Emily Shackleton. In addition to being a formidable songwriter, she's also a multi-instrumentalist, not to mention, of course, that she can belt with the best of them.

She Says: "I taught myself to play guitar because I didn't want to read music. Growing up my parents forced piano lessons on me. I was always in some sort of choir or chorale in school. My mom was always singing in the house... oldies and R&B, some country artists, too. My dad practiced his trumpet three, four times a week, and I used to play with it when he wasn't around. He would play jazz music – Miles Davis, John Coltrane – and lyrical rap – Nas, Q-Tip. Living in my house, around my family, it was rarely quiet, especially on my Big Momma's three-acre farm. The rooster would crow us up around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., and then it was chaos: all the grandkids running around outside, climbing trees, me and my cousin Quinn rapping Eminem and Juvenile, my aunts and uncles outside barbecuing with the music blasting from their cars with the windows down. This was pretty much everyday: family, food, music."

Hear for Yourself: Renea eschewed video conventions for "Gentle Hands" / "Heavenly," a single clip that combines two beautifully shot videos for two equally compelling singles. B.M.

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