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Monday’s KIX Live Celebrates The Best Of 2022

2 December 2022 | 11:34 am | Mallory Arbour

Tune in this Monday from 7pm!

On Monday, December 5 at 7pm, KIX Live ‘Best of 2022’ episode will feature performances from Rachael Fahim, Hayley Jensen and Clayton Bellamy, Max Jackson, Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham, Andrew Swift, Jess Moskaluke, Travis Collins, Southbound xo, Hinterland, Adam Brand, James Johnston and Casey Barnes, plus the final ‘Centre Stage’ artist for the year will be announced!


Rachael Fahim

Rachael Fahim started competing in talent quests at roughly ten years of age. She released her debut single, Say It in 2015 and the follow-up, Rope in 2016, before going on to win Toyota Star Maker in 2017. Her prize pack included the recording of three singles and three video clips, a brand-new Toyota RAV4 with unlimited fuel card for 12 months, and guaranteed performances at major festivals throughout Australia. She released of her self-titled EP later that same year.

For the past three years, she’s been the second highest streamed female country artist in Australian history after Kasey Chambers. She’s seen over 11 million audio streams since the release of her Iconic EP in 2019, which features the singles Brake Lights, Even If I Wanted To featuring Brad Cox and What I Don’t Know.

Fahim was also the co-creator (and a former member) of Southbound xo with Missy Lancaster, Sarah Bernardo and Andrea Krakosvka. Before she left the all-female country rock super group to work on solo projects, they topped the country charts with the singles Drink, Get Drunk On Me, Drink, Find Our Way featuring Shannon Noll and This Is Us.

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Her current single, City Girls In The Country, follows Middle Ground, which spent a massive 5 weeks at #1 on the official Australian Country singles airplay chart, and Darts In The Dark.

Hayley Jensen 

After placing fourth on Australian Idol, Hayley Jensen formed her own record label (White Dove Music), released a solo album titled Note To Self and released a number of singles while touring the country. Following her work with alternative pop/rock band Seasons (who later became Silver Cities), Jensen appeared on The Voice Australia in 2014, where she was described as ‘the whole package’ by coach Kylie Minogue.

2016 saw Jensen return to country music with her single The One. She was nominated as a Toyota Star Maker Finalist and released two further singles, followed by the EP Past Tense & Present Peace in 2017, which became her first #1 iTunes Country Chart. In 2018, she was a CMC Award finalist for ‘New Artist of the Year’ and released her album Turning Up The Dial.

Following touring Australia, the UK and Canada, in early 2020 she joined Beccy Cole for a duet of Sarah McLachlan’s Angels, the song which got her to the top 12 on Australian Idol. In 2021, Jensen released her third album, Breakin’ Hearts, which peaked at #1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart and #25 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart.

Her current single, Four Boots, was co-written with Canadian country acts Dan Davidson (with whom Jensen featured on the duet Really Shouldn't Drink Around You) and Clayton Bellamy (of Canadian trio, The Road Hammers) who also features as guest vocalist.

Max Jackson

Raised on country music in Coonamble, NSW, Max Jackson has been forging her way to a successful career, stepping from talent quests, to graduating from both the Talent Development Project (CEO Mary Lopez), and the CMAA’s Academy of Country Music to being part of a successful group The Apprentices (2012).

Inspired by female writers who really have something to say, like Kacey Musgraves, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crowe and Dolly Parton, Jackson has been happy as a behind-the-scenes songwriter, honing her craft, and taking trips to Nashville and Los Angeles, and writing with international and Australian artists. A highlight was a co-write with pop artist Svrcina on the song Astronomical, which was included in the smash TV Series, Legacies.

She released her debut album (as well as its deluxe edition with three extra songs) in 2020following a Christmas album in 2017. Her current single, Stratosphere, follows Runnin’ which peaked at #14 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart.

Jackson also tied the knot to The Viper Creek Band guitarist Jeremy Minett last September.

Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham

After being invited to join Song Club – a loose collective of musicians whose task is to write a song to a brief within a week – both 13x Golden Guitar-winning country sweetheart Felicity Urquhart and 4x ARIA award-winning Josh Cunningham (The Waifs) found in each other musical and song writing partners, and through the process, they also fell in love.

In 2021, they released their acclaimed ARIA nominated album, The Song Club, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Country Albums chart and #10 on the ARIA Album chart. The album has also earned four Golden Guitar nominations, including ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’, ‘Country Music Capital News Group / Duo of the Year’, ‘CMT Video of the Year’ and ‘Toyota Album of the Year’.

Their current single, Bogswamp was written under the stars in the far reaches of WA’s Kimberley region. Produced, performed, and recorded by the acclaimed duo in their home studio, the rollicking singalong captures a sound as timeless and Australian as staring at the coals of a campfire while the billy boils and a sky of diamonds shimmers overhead.

Andrew Swift

Andrew Swift has gone from strength to strength since finding his feet in the Australian country music scene as a Toyota Starmaker grand finalist in 2017. With his debut country album, Call Out For The Cavalry debuting at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Charts, the record saw five singles lifted for release, including Fire & Ice featuring Catherine Britt.

His follow up album, The Art Of Letting Go, debuted at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Album Charts and was the 5th highest selling Australian Country album of 2021. Andrew scored nominations for ‘Male Artist of The Year’ and ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’ at the 50th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth, having picked up two awards at the 2019 event – ‘Qantas New Talent of the Year’ and ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’.

His recent singles Young Lovers and The Good Old Days provide an exciting pointer towards what’s to come from Andrew’s forthcoming third studio album.

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke was the first Canadian female country artist since Shania Twain to achieve CRIA platinum single status with Cheap Wine and Cigarettes. She has since gone on to earn CRIA Gold certifications for Take Me Home, Kiss Me Quiet and a nod for her feature on Paul Brandt’s I’m An Open Road.

Jess was also notably the first Canadian female country artist since 2008 to have a song in the Top 3 with Drive Me Away and has notched another six Top 10 hits in addition to that including her first ever #1 Country Girls. She’s won a heap of awards too, including ‘Country Album of the Year’ at the 2017 JUNO Awards, ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2018 CCMA Awards, and is a three-time consecutive CCMA ‘Female Artist of the Year’ Award winner.

Kicking off 2020 with Country Girls topping the charts, Jess’ follow-up track Halfway Home landed in the top 5 at Australian country radio, where in 2019, she played the C2C Music Festival and took part in CMC’s ‘Songs and Stories’ series, performing six songs for a one-hour special. She delivered her top 15 single Mapdot, a personal ode to small-town pride and the place she’s proud to call home, ahead of the release of The Demos in February, which features her collaboration with Travis Collins.

Travis Collins

Travis Collins won Toyota Star Maker in 2004, before the release of his debut album, Start The Car, the following year. No Boundaries (2007) and his self-titled third album (2011) followed. Wired (2015) and Hard Light (2016) reached #1 and #2 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart, respectively. His sixth release, Brave & The Broken (2018) received an ARIA Award nomination ‘Best Country Album’

He was awarded the CMC ‘Male Artist of the Year’ for 2017 and 2018 and swept the Golden Guitar Awards in 2017 on the back of Hard Light, for ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’, ‘APRA AMCOS Song of the Year’, and ‘Single of the Year’. Our Backyard (2017) with Amber Lawrence secured a further three wins – ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’, ‘APRA AMCOS Song of the Year’ and ‘Single of the Year’. His last album, Wreck Me, and its acoustic version dropped in 2020.

His latest singles Just The Way and One Of Them Nights – his first in two years – are the first tracks lifted from his forthcoming album, due in 2023.

Southbound xo

Formed in 2020, the all-female country-rock superband quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting new acts in Australia country music. Established by solo artists Rachael Fahim and Missy Lancaster, along with exciting newcomers bassist Sarah Bernardo and lead guitarist Andrea Krakosvka, Southbound achieved success with all four of their singles, Get Drunk On Me, Drink, Find Our Way featuring Shannon Noll and This Is Us, reaching the top 10 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart and garnering over 8 million streams so far. 

Since the departure of Fahim in August 2021, now renamed as Southbound xo, released the singles Composure and Bar High. Southbound xo have taken their live show to major festivals including CMC Rocks QLD, Savannah In The Round and Groundwater Country Music Festival, with a bunch of headline shows to also be announced.


Hinterland made a huge impression when they burst onto the country music scene in 2020. Based on the Gold Coast, Hinterland are Rachel Bostock on the violin and vocals, her brother Robbie Bostock on lead guitar and vocals and Jesse Emmanuel on rhythm guitar and vocals. All 3 members are award-winning songwriters for previous projects – Rachel and Robbie’s family band The Bostocks, Jesse’s solo albums and also collaborations with fellow artists.

Together they are an unstoppable team – masters of their instruments, perfectionists with their craft with years of industry and onstage experience under their belts. The combination of showstopping musicianship, catchy melodies, dreamy harmonies and epic guitar and violin riffs and solos make Hinterland a standout act to watch.

The band have had a massive couple of years with no less than six Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart hits. Their current single, Strings Attached combines country, pop and rock musical elements with a Lizzo-esque sass on the verses and a soaring sing-along chorus. Driven by electric fiddle and dirty guitar tones, Strings Attached could be the ultimate summer jam for country-pop lovers who are sick of the Tinder life and ready to settle down with a real cowboy or girl.

Adam Brand

Since bursting onto the scene with his celebrated self-titled debut album in 1998, Adam Brand has taken home 12 CMAA Golden Guitar Awards and netted six ARIA Award nominations. Confirming Brand’s incomparable power as a fan favourite performer Australia wide, he has taken out seven CMC Oz Artist of the Year Awards – more than any other artist in the awards’ history.

As well as his 14 studio albums, Brand has released one holiday album, Christmas In Australia and three compilation albums. Starting with Built for Speed in 2002, Brand has enjoyed an unbroken string of #1-charting ARIA Country Albums. 2020’s Speed of Life took out the #6 spot on the overall ARIA Albums Chart, marking Adam’s sixth studio album to make the Top 10.

All or Nothing was nominated for ‘Best Country Album’ at the 2022 ARIA Music Awards. Brand also nabbed five 2023 Golden Guitar nominations, including ‘Male Artist of the Year’.

James Johnston

Growing up in the small town of Wingham on the Mid North Coast of NSW, James Johnston hit the stage at four-years-old for the very first time, performing Friends in Low Places in front of his kindergarten class and begin busking on the streets of Tamworth.

He competed on season 7 of Australian Idol, where he placed third in 2009, played in various bands (including the duo Stomp) and released original music before appearing on The X Factor in 2014. Following his exit from the reality television music competition show, he went to Nashville where his flame was once again reignited for country music.

His debut single Raised Like That peaked at #1 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart and #4 on the Australian Independent chart. It was certified gold in Australia last year, and in doing so, Johnston became the first independent country artist to achieve this milestone in more than 20 years.

Following the success of his follow up singles Small Town, Country Boys and Same Songs featuring Kaylee Bell, Johnston is nominated for six Golden Guitar Awards. Not only does he top the list for the most nominations, it’s also his first time ever being nominated.

Casey Barnes

Casey Barnes recently topped off an incredible year by winning the 2022 ARIA Award for ‘Best Country Album’, for his sixth studio album, Light It Up. The news followed the announcement that he is one of the most nominated artists in the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards with five nominations.

Inspired as a six-year-old when he saw his first gig, Barnes started playing gigs while still in high school. He released his self-titled debut album in 2007 as well as a string of singles. In 2010, he released an EP titled Red Lion Motel and the follow up, Flesh & Bone in 2014. He also released a further two albums – Jet Trails in 2012 and Live As One in 2016, respectively.

2020’s Town Of A Million Dreams debuted at #16 on the ARIA Albums Chart and #1 on the Australian Country Chart, the iTunes Country and All Genre Charts. While 2018’s The Good Life debuted at #1 on the iTunes Country Album Chart, peaking at #2 on the ARIA Australian Country Album Chart. His latest single Small Town currently sits at #10 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart.