Just 22 years old and already a seasoned veteran of Nashville’s elite songwriting community, Conner Smith has become one of Country’s most hotly-anticipated new artists – an uncommon talent mixing prime-of-life passion with old-soul perspective. After penning his first song at 6 and scoring a publishing deal at 16, the Country prodigy wrote five of the six songs on his Zach Crowell-produced 2022 debut collection DIDN’T GO TOO FAR (The Valory Music Co.). Featuring his first Top 40 hit “Learn From It,” viral smash “I Hate Alabama,” and GOLD-certified fan-favorite “Take It Slow,” the charismatic effort laid an artistic foundation that earned Smith 2022 Artist to Watch status from Spotify, Amazon Music and Opry NextStage, while also making him the only Country artist on Pandora’s Ten List 2022 and securing 2023 recognition from MusicRow Next Big Thing, CMT Listen Up, and more. As Smith continues to grow up in full view of his fans – both on the page and the stage – CMT calls him “an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.” That momentum will keep building throughout 2023 as Smith continues to deliver “next level” music as reflected with his new bluegrass-inflected twang rocking single “Creek Will Rise,” currently rising at Country radio. Recently touring alongside Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Ryan Hurd and Chase Rice, he just headlined his first-ever IF I WENT TO COLLEGE TOUR featuring multiple sold-out stops. Up Next, Smith takes on CMA Fest in Music City with a set at the Chevy Riverfront Stage on June 11 before hitting the road as support on Luke Bryan’s COUNTRY ON TOUR beginning in July, followed by Cole Swindell’s TWELVE TOUR for select dates in the fall. For a full list of tour dates and more, visit ConnerSmithMusic.com.
Drenched in authenticity and rife with barstool charm with an addictive, Tennessee limestone gravel in her voice, Nashville-born and bred songbird Lauren Watkins writes, breathes, and lives country music. The 23-year-old original grew up on the outskirts of Guitar Town, mesmerized by a jukebox rotation of country music, from outlaws like Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow to chart-toppers Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Stapleton. Moving back after four years at Ole Miss, Watkins’ unyielding, turn on a dime lyricism quickly caught the attention of GRAMMY-nominated multi-hyphenate Nicolle Galyon, who signed her to publishing and recording contracts with Songs & Daughters / Big Loud Records almost instantly. Honing in on a sound that’s both reverent of the genre’s roots and in lockstep with where it’s headed next, she’s introducing her take on country music now with seven-song teaser set, Introducing: Lauren Watkins. Catch her touring the new music on the road all summer long at notable fairs and festivals including Carolina Country Fest, Biloxi Crawfish Boil, Nashville’s CMA Fest, Faster Horses, Watershed Festival, TidalWave Music Festival, and more.