Growing up listening to and falling in love with country music, country singer Jess Moskaluke adored the greats from Dolly Parton to her idol Shania Twain.
Today, she is amazed at the road she now travels.
Celebrated as the first female Canadian country solo artist since Twain to achieve platinum single status (with her hit track Cheap Wine and Cigarettes), Moskaluke continues to dazzle the Canadian country music world.
Moskaluke is also a part of this year’s Westerner Days line-up in Red Deer – set to perform on July 19th in the ENMAX Centrium. Doors open at 7 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m.
Her music – catchy, powerful and at times even poignant – continues to rock the radio airwaves as she achieved not one, but two consecutive Top 10 hits with her respective singles Kiss Me Quiet and Take Me Home in 2016 as well.
And last fall, Moskaluke released her third single Elevator and as of Dec. 31st, she was named the top spun Canadian artist at Canadian Country Radio and the top spun Canadian female artist for the second year in a row.
A small town girl and proud resident of Rockville, Saskatchewan, when she first posted her music online, no one could have anticipated the bright future that lay ahead for the gifted songstress.
Many years later with her growing fan base, she now has more than 19 million views on YouTube to date and received her third consecutive 2016 Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA®) Award™ for Female Artist of the Year.
She was the first resident of Saskatchewan in the history of the awards to achieve this title.
“Everything has happened so quickly, it has been a wild few years! I am so proud to be part of the country music industry. We support and celebrate each other and I am thrilled to be a member of the Canadian community and this genre.”
In between her tour dates, including performances at the Calgary Stampede, Boots and Hearts and Big Valley Jamboree, Moskaluke spent a great deal of time in the studio recording her third EP Kiss Me Quiet which was released back in 2015.
Featuring six tracks and two bonus acoustic tracks, the album showcases her signature pop/country style with showstoppers like the title track, Good for You and the robust sensibilities of Elevator.
And with her first single Kiss Me Quiet, she hit another new career milestone, becoming the top charting Canadian artist on both the BDS and Mediabase country radio charts.
Indeed, 2015 marked a year of many firsts for Moskaluke including her first Juno nominations (Country Album of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year), a cross-Canada tour having joined Chad Brownlee’s ‘When The Lights Go Down’ Tour, as well as her first arena shows.
In October of 2015, she also joined Paul Brandt and Dean Brody’s ‘Road Trip’ Tour throughout the western Canada dates.
“I could not wait to join the tour after the CCMAs. It was amazing — Paul Brandt was actually the first concert I had ever attended!”
In July 2015, she and Brandt also released the single I’m An Open Road.
“Paul is incredible to collaborate with – we had so much fun making the music video.” They also performed the song during the CCMA national live television broadcast on CBC TV in September of that same year.
As to the season when she really broke through, in April 2014, Moskaluke released her 10-track album Light Up The Night, which featured the hit Cheap Wine and Cigarettes, a single produced by Corey Crowder (Chris Young, Jamie Lynn Spears) and mixed by Scott Cooke.
The single became the highest charting song on the iTunes top 200 singles chart for any Canadian artist.
Following the release of her new CD, a CMT Canada special, ‘Jess Moskaluke Live at The Edison’ also aired nationwide on April 21st, 2014.
Ultimately, there isn’t a moment that Moskaluke would take for granted.
And as her web site, points out, John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
These words, as noted, mean everything to Moskaluke. She can still hear her father sharing this, encouraging her as she contemplated what the future might hold.
Sadly, he passed away in 2006 after a lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis, but his memory lives on in her music.
“My dad is my hero for teaching me how to be brave and that being brave is not the absence of fear, but rather in the presence of fear possessing the ability to overcome such emotions and persevere.”
These days, she is a devout supporter and spokesperson for the MS Society, participating in many philanthropic initiatives in hopes of one day finding a cure. When she is not on the road touring, Moskaluke balances her time at home in Saskatchewan and in the U.S. writing in Nashville.
For more information about Westerner Days, check out www.westernerdays.ca.