Newcomers Adam Sanders, Baylor Wilson, Chris Bandi, Joe Hall and Nora Collins are the latest additions to CMT’s Artist Discovery initiative. Learn more about them and check out their videos.
Adam Sanders, “About To”
Adam Sanders has country music in his blood, having spent many summers in Nashville bouncing in and out of studios on Music Row with his uncle, Scotty Sanders, a prominent session musician. He was immediately hooked and moved to Music City in 2007 worked construction jobs. After snagging his publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog Music just two years later, things started moving quickly. Album cuts by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley led to writing two No. 1 singles — Cole Swindell’s “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” and Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night.” Sanders’ “About To” has cool beats and a sexy, driving melody you won’t be able to get out of your head.
If his past songwriting success is any indication, the hits will soon be rolling in under Sanders’ name as an artist.
Baylor Wilson, “Turn Around”
Baylor Wilson is a survivor — literally. She and her mom navigated their way to a fifth place on the CBS reality series Survivor: Blood vs. Water. So navigating the music business should be a piece of cake, right? Wilson has been writing since a very early age in her native Dallas, Texas. Her early work caught the attention of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Jeff Hanna, who told her she needed to move to Nashville. She took his advice, packed up and enrolled at Belmont University where she won a country showcase on campus. With her single, “Turn Around,” she delivers an addictive song about wanting to slow down a dreaded goodbye.
We can all relate. In most breakups there is always one heart left on the fence when the other is ready to walk away. Her strong, yet soothing, velvety voice sings the story beautifully.
Chris Bandi, “Man Enough Now”
Chris Bandi’s brand of country is a little different than many. The St. Louis native’s music is a mix of pop, country and rock, as heavily influenced by Bruce Springsteen as much as Garth Brooks. A fateful introduction to songwriter-producer Jason Massey changed the course of Bandi’s career. When the two sat down with Bandi’s idea for his current single “Man Enough Now,” the stars aligned and a debut was born. Now, Massey and Bandi are on a mission to spread the music far and wide. Bandi’s single is a refreshingly honest confession from a guy who’s not ready to settle down just yet.
In the song, he’s not a bad guy — just a kid in his heart and mind who’s unsure of commitment. But the kid grows up and realizes he made a mistake and let love slip away. And the video is perfect. We’re dying to know how this story ends.
Joe Hall, “Do It Again”
What a relief that pitcher Joe Hall put down the baseball and picked up a guitar back in his hometown of Dacula, Georgia. Growing up in a house full of music and encouraged by his father, he pretty soon found himself picking out his own songs on his dad’s guitar. He began playing clubs all over Atlanta, including the famed Wild Bill’s, and drawing big crowds. Along the way, he began traveling to Nashville once a week to write songs and found himself in the company of songwriter-producers such as Derek George, Mark Bright and Scott Davis. Soon it was time for Hall to make his own project. Among the initial tracks is “Do It Again” is a catchy, melodious love song.
Girlfriend, Hall’s acoustic album, was produced at Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Studios.
Nora Collins, “Recover”
Nora Collins may be young, but the Brookfield, Wisconsin, native has already released four albums of original music, won the Wisconsin State Texaco Country Showdown and countless other industry awards. She has also opened concerts for likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Ashley Monroe and Josh Turner, to name a few. Her sweet, lilting voice pulls you in with its innocent charm and then turns on a dime and blows you out of the water with its pure power. Her single, “Recover,” is a confessional monster of tune about not wanting to give up the high of love.
Collins’ lyrical strength and vocal prowess are fresh and unique. She’s just signed a publishing and development deal with MV2 Entertainment, so she’s an artist to watch, for sure.