7 Best Music Artists to Watch in 2021

Hometown: Gardendale, Alabama

Recent project: The country pop single “Shut It Down”, Apple Music radio host The Tiera Show

First artist she was obsessed with: Taylor Swift

When Tiera first arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, she wondered if her career could follow Taylor Swift’s path. “I was like, I’m going to move to Nashville. I’m going to play the Bluebird and someone is going to find me out,” the 22-year-old says teen vogue. “I quickly understood that this is not how it works. I wouldn’t even say it was easy for Taylor Swift.

So she did things the tried-and-true way, performing at local venues and building relationships with publishers and other songwriters. “I had been trying to get to Nashville for so long and it felt like all this big world to me,” she says. “There were so many things I wanted to do. Honestly, I haven’t stopped since the day we moved here.

His teenage years were shaped by some of country music’s most formative spaces. Tiera went to college for a year in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, home to historic FAME Studios, which shaped the careers of artists like Aretha Franklin. The area is still an incubator for Americana and folk music today, influential for contemporary artists like Alabama Shakes and Jason Isbell. She wrote with “incredible” local songwriters while there, while traveling back and forth in Nashville. Eventually, Music City stayed – she and her parents moved there when she was around 17.

Tiera has released a handful of singles so far, including a sweet cover of Halsey and Marshmello’s “Be Kind” and the endlessly charming original song “Found It In You” – pure, catchy, upbeat country storytelling with the Tiera’s hovering falsetto atop the magic. the Nashville Scene astutely noted recently that she is “a writer who learned to write for her own voice at a young age”.

As she continued to release songs as an artist, her career took a new turn. Earlier this year, she became one of the few women in country music to host her own radio show. The Tiera Show, which streams on Apple Music, features songs curated by Tiera, along with her own clever commentary. It’s been an especially fun outlet for her, especially as a way to connect with fans when Nashville’s lifeblood — live broadcasts — aren’t possible due to COVID-19. Best of all, the show exists outside of the sadly very real tradition that country radio won’t play two female artists back to back.

“I don’t want to shit on traditional radio, but fans have been saying for so long, ‘I want to hear people who look like me,'” Tiera says. “There are so many amazing women in country music who all sound so different and have different perspectives and sounds and I just think that needs to be represented on radio.” For her, this balance is natural: it’s what she and so many other country music fans listen to anyway.