Taron Cochrane urges Saskatchewan music listeners to check out local hip hop, metal bands and every other genre — to dig deep, peel back the layers and put the work in.
"That's the beauty of putting your guard down and listening to all genres," the music promoter told CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition during a show about which Saskatchewan musicians to watch in the new year.
While artists like Colter Wall capture Cochrane's attention with their songwriting and playing style, Saskatchewan music expands beyond country or pop, he said.
"As music lovers, everybody has individual tastes. When you hear a good song, you hear a good song."
Here are some musical acts Cochrane thinks will leave an impression in 2017.
Poor Nameless Boy
Poor Nameless Boy has steadily been building momentum since this year's release of Bravery. He has toured countries such as Germany and Australia and has been on the cover of SaskMusic's magazine The Session.
"I think 2017 is going to be the year of Poor Nameless Boy and is going to be a year that's really going to stand out for him and be one of the best of his career," Cochrane said.
If you're a fan of crooners like Sinatra and Dean Martin, Graham Dyck might be your style, said Cochrane.
Dyck hasn't released an album in a few years, but Cochrane said he thinks people are really going to like the work he puts out next.
"It's got that crooner style; it's got a little bit of pop sensibilities as well; and it's something that, I think, he's really done exceptionally well with."
Only 17 years old, Ava Wild has caught Cochrane's attention through her marketing abilities.
One campaign had her fans of her debut EP Bare making their own homemade crowns, titling the promotion "Bearing the Queen."
Cochrane said people "refer to her as a honey sweet voice with a red shoe attitude."
He described how during BreakOut West, she had delegates listening to her play her material while packed into a hotel room.
Cochrane complimented her work ethic, her art and "everything she does."
West of Mabou
West of Mabou is a five-piece band named after Mabou, N.S., but they call Regina home.
They're a Celtic group and are releasing their debut self-titled album in January at the Creative City Centre in Regina. It will be a two-day affair taking place on Jan. 14 and 15.
Cochrane said their music "will get your toes tapping."
From Kipling, Sask., Runions released an album in 2016 dedicated to his hometown titled South of the City.
"He's one of those artists that this year, he's going to do great, great, amazing things," Cochrane said. "I'm sure of it. I've seen his rise, year after year, and he continues to get better."
Runions has played Riderville and CBC's Comfort and Joy fundraising event.
Kara Golemba has been featured in CBC's Empty Room series.
After she received a grant, she recorded an EP called Every Little Light. Cochrane said the release party was a packed house.
"Kara's just getting started," he said.
Cochrane added that Golemba has worked hard, and was finally able to record and release her music after fans continually asked about it.
Earlier this month, Golemba played a benefit show with Colter Wall and Meagan Nash in Regina.
The Classy Chassys
Cochrane referred to the Classy Chassys as a must-see live.
Cochrane described them as a rockabilly, pedal-to-the-floor rocking band. Their music varies from covers to originals.
"Their song Bury Me with My Guitar is a prime example of why you can't miss these guys live," he said.