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‘My Kind of Country’: take a look at Apple TV+’s new talent search competition

Apple TV+ has released the trailer and unveiled the 12 artists for its upcoming eight-part talent search competition ‘My Kind of Country’, launching 24th March 2023.

Executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves, ‘My Kind of Country’ is being billed as a fresh take on a music competition series, breaking down barriers in country music by providing an extraordinary opportunity to diverse artists from around the world.

My Kind of Country
Credit: Apple TV+

The show features Country music stars Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck as scouts, on-hand to pick a roster of exceptional up-and-coming artists and invite them to the home of country music in Nashville, Tennessee, to showcase their unique sound. The winner will receive a life-changing experience from Apple, including global exposure across the Apple TV+ and Apple Music platforms.

Meet the contestants

My Kind of Country
Credit: Apple TV+

Jimmie Allen’s Artists:

Ale Aguirre | Chihuahua, Mexico 

Ale infuses herself into her music and bilingual lyrics with the mariachi, norteño, banda and other sounds she heard growing up in Mexico. At the age of 16 she taught herself how to play the guitar, and is now on the way to establishing herself as an independent singer-songwriter with a loyal following she’s gained from her popular YouTube channel. 

Dhruv Visvanath | New Delhi, India 

Dhruv, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer-songwriter and producer, started his musical journey at the age of seven. At age 16 his father passed away which led him to focus more energy on songwriting, allowing him to express what he was going through. He wrote the score to two independent films with Vishal Bhardwaj on “Sonchiriya” and A.R. Rahman on “Blinded By the Light.” With his guitar in hand and his heart on his sleeve, Dhruv is steadily building the love of country music in his home city of New Delhi. 

Camille Parker | Durham, North Carolina

Raised by her grandparents, Camille credits her passion for music to her grandfather, who introduced her to country music. After growing up in the church choir, Camille jumped into the industry by doing session recordings for pop and R&B, before dedicating herself fully to country music. She dreams of inspiring young Black girls to achieve their dreams anywhere, especially in the country music industry.

Justin Serrao | Johannesburg, South Africa 

Justin started out playing punk and alternative rock, but the foreign country music he heard on the radio and his father’s musical tastes introduced Justin to the music he plays today. Merging his rock sound with country influences was about following his passion, even if it meant turning South Africans into country music enthusiasts one at a time. 

Mickey Guyton’s Artists:

Ashlie Amber | Nashville, Tennessee 

A longtime singer, Ashlie worked for years before finding her way as a cruise line performer. She began singing at the age of six, and after the tragic loss of her father when she was young, music became Ashlie’s outlet and pathway back to a better place.

Chuck Adams | Nashville, Tennessee 

From growing up in mostly white neighborhoods to his different musical styles, Chuck never really fit in. Chuck initially found success as a writer in rap music and got signed to a label, but after he got dropped in 2011, he took it as a sign to follow his true path in the genre he loved – classic country. A perfectionist that gets hung up on every detail, Chuck is here to learn to let go.

The Betsies – Zel and Landi Degenaar | Cape Town, South Africa 

Afrikaans sisters Zel and Landi grew up in a tiny mining town called Witbank, listening to their parents’ record collections and singing in their church choir. As they grew up they would jam together and after moving to Cape Town they started performing together. At times they felt like outsiders for being passionate about country music in South Africa, but they are passionate about embodying American culture and the music they love.

Wandile | Johannesburg, South Africa

Raised in a family of music lovers in East London, South Africa, Wandile was more of an athlete than musician, and was a professional rugby player before his musical journey began when he picked up a guitar in 2010. Wandile is a fan of analog storytelling, where he uses his musical viewpoint to reframe harsh memories into better ones.

Orville Peck’s Artists:

Alisha Pais | Goa, India

Alisha is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Mumbai/Bombay but returned to Goa, India, during the pandemic in search of solace. She has been singing her entire life, and started performing at the age of 16. Alisha writes and performs songs with an unflinching rawness and hopes her music will bring joy to people’s lives and help them connect to their most authentic selves.

The Congo Cowboys – Julie Sigauque, Simon Attwell, and Chris Bakalanga | Cape Town, South Africa

The Congo Cowboys are a South African group that blend country music with the music of Africa, bringing the banjo full circle and returning the instrument to its African roots. They perform in English and Lingala, the official language of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They simply hope their music brings people to the dance floor and gets them moving as their diverse sounds and cultures intermingle. 

Ismay Hellman | Petaluma, California 

Ismay is non-binary singer-songwriter. When they’re not jamming to country and bluegrass with family and friends in the barn, Ismay tends to the family ranch in Petaluma. Musically, they struggled with fitting into typical country music, but the sound and vibes of nature are infused into their unique voice, bringing a fresh perspective to classic bluegrass tones.

Micaela Kleinsmith | Cape Town, South Africa 

Micaela grew up watching singing competition shows and dreaming of being on stage. Bullied heavily as a child, music became Micaela’s escape and eventually became a way to make friends. She started writing songs at the age of fourteen and continued to rise as an artist, eventually landing a spot on South Africa’s Idols in 2016. 

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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