She is an underrated artist that could have potential as a pop country artist, so this Female Friday I have decided to feature Gwen Sebastian.
How You Might Know Gwen
She was a contestant on Season 2 of The Voice, but many more will know her from singing with Blake Shelton on his hit “My Eyes.”
Gwen Sebastian (born May 3, 1974, in Hebron, North Dakota), has had a hard time getting consistent recognition. After dropping out of nursing school to move to Nashville, she was eventually signed to a record deal in 2009. She released the single “Hard Rain” and the EP “V.I.P.” Both the single and the EP struggled for chart success, but Gwen was named by Country Weekly as a new artist to watch in 2010. During this time, Gwen also released a Christmas album titled Christmas in July.
Sebastian participated in the second season of The Voice, where she met Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. She was eliminated in the battle round, but she toured with Shelton after the show. In 2013, she released a self-titled album. Singles from this album include “Suitcase” and “Annie’s New Gun,” a duet with Miranda Lambert. She is best known, however, for her appearance on Blake Shelton’s hit “My Eyes.” To me, this proves Blake can and does help talented people, and it’s not always the RaeLynns of the world getting that privilege. “My Eyes” made me want to figure out who Gwen Sebastian was, and when I discovered her music, I was interested and wanted to hear more. I do think she needs more recognition, or she could be in danger of losing her label in the next few years.
Why Gwen Belongs on Country Radio
Firstly, she’s been there. “My Eyes” hit the top of the airplay chart just like “Lonely Tonight.” Gwen Sebastian should have the same name recognition that Ashley Monroe should, yet neither of them get airplay when they are not connected to Blake. Gwen is more on the pop country side, so not the best choice for traditionalists, but there’s room for good pop country too, and Gwen fits that role. Radio is more willing to accept pop country, so it should be easier for her to get airplay than it has been thus far. She also has a perfectly unique alto; similarly to Lindi Ortega, if you turn on the radio, you would know immediately that it is Gwen Sebastian singing. So she’s got originality, pop country leanings, and name recognition, along with her talent, and yet she can’t get on the radio…seems like a major problem.
Tracks I Recommend
I haven’t actually listened to much of the earlier Gwen Sebastian material, but her 2013 album is mostly good. I’ll highlight my favorites, but you should give the whole album a listen.
1. I’m Not Who You Think I Am–Gwen Sebastian
2. Annie’s New Gun (featuring Miranda Lambert)Gwen Sebastian
3. Bring it to Me–Gwen Sebastian
4. SuitcaseGwen Sebastian
5. One Like ThatGwen Sebastian