According to an age-old cliché, getting knocked down ain’t what matters – it’s how you get up, and Sony Music Nashville’s Nate Smith (Country) knows firsthand. With a personal journey scarred by disaster, but defined by revival, he could have stayed down multiple times through life, and instead grew into something else entirely: A beacon of country-music hope.

Featuring a mix of gritty backwoods soul, rock ‘n’ roll swagger and velvet-thunder vocals, Smith is a Nashville artist with a unique connection to life’s inner tug of war. And with his first batch of major-label music, he’s aiming to tip the scales once and for all.

“I just feel lucky that I get to be the messenger for these songs,” says the rising singer-songwriter. “I’m not here to be cool or anything like that. It’s literally just to hit people in the heart.”

Also featuring: John Morgan (Country)

John Morgan may have earned a reputation for writing “Sad Boy Country” songs, but with the release of his debut EP Remember Us?, John proves there’s a lot more in his creative arsenal than heartbreak anthems. With a distinctive voice that echoes both his bluegrass roots and his appreciation for stone-cold country, John has quickly earned a reputation as a songwriter of considerable depth and a riveting performer who knows how to command a stage.

But John’s real strength lies in his authenticity. His songs are easily relatable slices of life, and he delivers them in a straightforward manner that makes it feel like you want to grab a beer with him after the show. It’s that combination of unassuming intellect and earnest country boy charm that is connecting with country fans.