10 Unsigned Country Artists You Need to Watch in 2018

2018 is going to be BIG for them, y’all.

2017 was SOME year for the country music scene.

So many unsigned artists gained their big breaks in the ‘biz last year, and now it’s time for a new class of talent to get the same opportunity.

To kick off the new year, Celeb Secrets Country is giving you the first look at who you need to watch these upcoming twelve months because you heard it here first — 2018 is going to be MAJOR for them, y’all.

Keep up with your country news by following us on Twitter at @CS_Country and Instagram at @celebsecretscountry.

Ryan Griffin

After co-writing Kelsea Ballerini’s no. 1 hit “Dibs,” Ryan showed us his star power on his EP Sake of Summer. His recently announced partnership with Busbee (Carly Pearce, Maren Morris) only proves that we can expect bigger and better things from Ryan in 2018. Check out his single “Backseats and Burnt CDs” to give you a taste of what to expect!

Emma White

If you’re a fan of Maren Morris you’ll love Emma White. Her song “Overthink It” took over Spotify’s New Boots playlist earlier this year. She’s incredibly talented and has the x-factor. Expect her to help break the glass ceiling in 2018!

James Barker Band

Breaking into the US is no easy task, but if anyone can do it it’s the James Barker Band. Armed with one of the catchiest singles of the past two years, “Chills” is bound to take over the airwaves next year. Even Dierks Bentley is a fan!

Logan Mize

Fresh off his tour with Cam, Logan Mize is gearing up to release new music next year. He’s got some of the smoothest vocals in the industry, and his single “Ain’t Always Pretty” is an earworm! He’s performed with the likes of Eric Church and Blake Shelton, so we’re sure he’s following in their foot steps. 

Christina Taylor

She was named one of CMT’s Discover artists and her song “That Girl” has over 365K Spotify streams. She already has her own residency in Nashville and once you see her live you’ll never turn back!


If you haven’t seen one of Filmore’s live shows make it a new year’s resolution. He’s been selling out shows around the country and his stage presence proves why. His genre bending sound is perfect for new fans of the genre, and he’s proven himself to be quite the song writer.  “You Know You Wanna” is a good place to start falling in love with his music. 

The Reklaws

The brother-sister duo release “Hometown Kids” earlier this year and it’s a certified smash! They have over 60K monthly Spotify listeners and have been recording new music in Nashville. We can’t wait to see what they cook up next!

Abbey Rowe

Abbey Rowe is the newest of the bunch, but she’s got spunk that’s entirely her own! Her debut single “Miss Wanna Be” is the perfect jam to drive with your windows down and has us waiting to see what’s next.

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 07: Recording artist Kalie Shorr poses in the portrait studio at the 2017 CMT Next Women Of Country Celebration at City Winery Nashville on November 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)

Kalie Shorr

Kalie Shorr burst onto the Nashville music scene in 2016 with her self-penned hit “Fight Like A Girl.” The Portland, Maine singer-songwriter instantly became a Sirius XM Highway Find and her newly released single “Two Hands” has already been added to Sirius XM, Radio Disney Country and TuneIn with prominent placement on Apple Music’s Breaking Country and Cool Country playlists. With a new EP coming in early 2018, Kalie was recently inducted into CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2018.


Currently playing shows nationwide, including an upcoming headlining show at the infamous Billy Bobs, Smithfield is proving to be a musical force to be reckoned with. Consisting of Jennifer Fielder and Trey Smith, Smithfield has already tackled career milestones including making their Grand Ole Opry debut, Ryman Auditorium debut and two chart-topping singles on SiriusXM The Highway’s ‘Hot 30 Countdown.’ These impressive feats all have been accomplished as an independent act and also include the duo racking up more than 2.3 million streams on Spotify and selling more than 60K downloads of sophomore single “Hey Whiskey.”

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.