Ash Bowers has taken the lessons he’s learned and relationships he’s forged since moving to Nashville and parlayed them into one of Music Row’s most unique and diverse careers. Hailing from Jackson, Tennessee, Bowers came to Nashville chasing the music of his heroes — Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks and Jerry Lee Lewis. He quickly landed in the studio as the first recording artist signed to Broken Bow Records imprint, Stoney Creek, and began making music with the man behind Chesney’s hits, producer Buddy Cannon.
Ultimately, he decided to focus on his songwriting and soon found success with Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry, Dustin Lynch and Randy Houser. Bowers also co-founded publishing venture Wide Open Music with his friend, Steve Williams. In 2016, he took fellow songwriter Jimmie Allen under his wing, and signed him to Wide Open Music before helping Allen land a record deal at Stoney Creek. Together, they began writing and recording songs that would form the basis of Allen’s debut album, Mercury Lane, which Bowers co-produced with Eric Torres. Bowers also serves as artist manager for Allen, shepherding the newcomer’s career as he tours the country. Bowers also serves as manager and producer for breakthrough country artist Matt Stell, whose debut single, “Prayed for You,” hit #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
The country music industry has long been filled with its share of characters. From Willie to Hank and Dolly to Waylon, every legend starts out as just another artist that doesn’t fit easily into some predetermined box. And as hard as country music may try to fit Matt Stell into one of those boxes, it’s darn near impossible. Heck, he’s 6’7. But more so than the physique that helped Stell become a collegiate basketball standout, the Platinum-certified singer has proven via the songs he sings and the shows he puts on that he is too powerful of an artist to fit into some sort of singular category.
In fact, to describe Stell in a few words would be a complete disservice to the man he is and the artist he looks to become with his latest EP, Better Than That, released in October 2020. Co-produced by Stell with EMG’s Ash Bowers, the EP features eight tracks, five of which he wrote, including his multi-week #1 smash, “Prayed For You,” one of NSAI’s 10 Songs We Wish We Had Written for 2020, and his second consecutive #1 single, “Everywhere But On.” He is only the seventh new artist to have back-to-back #1s in the past five years. The EP also includes the recently released “If I Was A Bar,” and its innovative music video filmed during quarantine, where Stell played all 13 characters.
He kicked off 2020 with a performance on “Good Morning America,” leading into his first headlining tour. He started “Penned Up,” his hugely successful eight-week Instagram Live series, was the first-ever artist to receive a virtual plaque from the RIAA for his Platinum breakthrough debut single, “Prayed For You,” and performed the National anthem for a NASCAR Cup Series Race. Stell was also featured on “Over Yonder,” a collaboration with viral sensation and Christian rapper Lathan Warlick, which powerfully blends hip hop patriotism with a call for unity.
The Arkansas native has come a long way from playing college basketball for Drury University and choosing to head to Nashville instead of Cambridge, MA, where he was accepted into Harvard University’s Extension School Pre-Med program. Following his dream of writing and performing, the self-taught vocalist and guitar player moved to Music City in 2014, landing a publishing and management deal with Wide Open Music/Endurance Music Group, and a record deal with music industry powerhouse Barry Weiss’ RECORDS Nashville/Arista Nashville. For more information, visit mattstell.com.
A midpoint between past and future, and a combination of vintage and chic, Natalie Madigan encompasses both new and old with her indie-pop sound. Her music showcases themes of love, heartbreak, and growth in the human experiences of life through the lens of her ever-changing perspective. Madigan’s mystic approach to songwriting has led to self-revelation and inspiration that has touched her fans since the beginning of her career. Her latest EP, Put the Light Back (April 2021), features the single “Empath” which has been spotlighted on Apple Music’s Acoustic Chill and New in Singer-Songwriter playlists.
Born in Murfreesboro, TN, Madigan has always been close to Music City, and growing up she was always making music in some capacity. By first grade, her parents already had her enrolled in piano lessons, which she would continue for the next 12 years. Grade school led her to participate in musical theater, voice lessons, and choir. She began writing her own songs in early middle school, and recorded demos on GarageBand throughout high school. Her acceptance into Grammy Camp Nashville her senior year of high school was what made her decide to pursue a career in the music industry, and she went on to study Audio Production at MTSU. During that time she refined her songwriting, singing, and production skills, and went on to write and record an entire album, What It’s Like To Be Known, released in January 2020. She earned early placements on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Young and The Restless and more.
Madigan is passionate about mental health advocacy, which is reflected in her music. She is always emotionally transparent and strives to connect with her audience through her lyrics. This is what makes her songs stand out in the pop world. She takes themes of self reflection, growth, anxiety, and relationships and spins them into melodic masterpieces. With her writing, singing, and production skills, Madigan is ready to make her mark on the music industry.
In 2011, Seth Alley drove the eighty-nine miles from Sparta, Tennessee to Nashville to sell his CDs out of his dad’s Dodge minivan. By 2013, he was signing the publishing deal, record deal, and management contract of his dreams. Fast forward to four years later, and his hometown was still asking him if he’d made it yet. Today, Alley is independent – in both label and artistry. Frustrated with the “Country Music Formula,” he turned to his early influences like the Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, Coldplay and Tupac for inspiration. He soon charged to the forefront by mixing hip-hop beats with the storytelling lyrics of country music. Now in control of his writing, production, and lighting design, Alley is determined to forge a new lane in country.
Founding LANCO band member and songwriter Tripp Howell hails from Dalton, Georgia, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. He has writing credit on numerous LANCO cuts, including the band’s singles “Rival” and “What I See.” A longtime Jimmie Allen collaborator, he co-wrote “Deserve to Be” from Jimmie’s debut record, Mercury Lane, his single “Big in a Small Town,” which also serves as the theme song of the Netflix series Titletown High, and “Settle on Back,” from Tulip Drive. He signed a joint publishing deal with Jimmie and EMG in February 2023.