2018 is off like a rocket and make no mistake about that. With the economy in the best shape that it’s been in quite a while, this has the music business and consumers pretty fired up about what is to come in this new year. You can sense this all in the music and in how the labels are being a bit more upbeat in their forecasts. When people have a bit more money to spend it moves across to our music industry and from the looks of it so far it’s safe to say that 2018 will without a doubt will be a very good year indeed.

Major label artists have come out with a deluge of material as they get set to take on the powerful economy. Bruno Mars stepped it up with rising star Cardi B to take the new and well received “Finesse” (Atlantic) out for a spin. Superstar Justin Timberlake is out and about early with his new “Filthy” (RCA/RLG) track and radio from Top40 to Hot AC is loving this all big time. Strange pairings about at Country radio from rock ever strong as Carrie Underwood joins rapper Ludacris in “The Champion” (Capitol Nashville) to the teaming of Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line with “Meant To Be” (WB/WEA).

This issue also celebrates the nominations for our 2018 New Music Awards. Once again NMW honors the very best from the major and independent artists arena. In addition to lauding top artists we also pay tribute to radio stations, their programmers, record labels and industry professionals. There is an open ballot on our website for our subscribers and the general public that allows all to have a helping hand in turning nominations into wins. The list of nominees were also put together by a voting process & the outpouring of attention from the general public was quite overwhelming.

It’s that time of year to also celebrate the Country Radio Seminar aka CRS. Once again New Music Weekly will be on hand to participate in all of the festivities. This gives us the opportunity to break bread with many of the industry pros and to meet and great artists on a first hand basis to find out more about them and what their plans are musically for the new year. Much of the information that we gather from this event we are able to use for the entire year and there is really never a time when more industry folks and artists, along with radio and their programmers can be found gathered in one location.

Last year CRS opened the doors to many new artists and we had the pleasure of hearing and seeing them for the first time. It was just last year around this time that we were first introduced to the band Midland. Their debut single “Drinking Problem”, first previewed to radio programmers at this grand event went on to hit #1, setting this act for more great things to come including their powerful follow-up “Make A Little”. Maren Morris also premiered “I Could Use A Love Song” and one year later she has taken that anthem to the very top of the Country charts. Quite a lot of great songs break first at CRS.

The timing of having the CRS at the same time of our New Music Weekly nominations puts the spotlight on all artists, labels and the like. It lets us look back to where we were and gives us a road map to where we are going. Artists that shined brightly last year are set up to do even better in the future and a little attention from our nominations process can only help them do a little better. It will be interesting to see how many are around to do even better things in 2018 and we will be here to cover all of that for you to be sure.

New Music Weekly continues to deliver the very best “tools of the trade” to help new artists break through. By was of our weekly charts, our STS tracking services and the media coverage we deliver, NMW is your very best bet for helping to break artists and bands from coast to coast. Our panel of reporting stations are in the corner of the independent artist and when a single is right for a particular format you can bet it will get the attention is so deserves. We applaud all of our NMA nominees and we wish them the very best as they move towards the winner’s circle. We also look forward to a great CRS.