Hard-rocking pop powerhouse Rykka (aka, BC-born, Swiss-Canadian singer Christina Maria) is one to keep an eye on in 2014. Her latest album, Kodiak was released to critical acclaim in 2013. Produced by Ryan Guldemond (Mother, Mother), it marks a move into a more aggressive hard rock territory that has become Rykka’s new sound.

“It was a natural progression,” says Rykka. “It took a year of writing in a faraway place to evolve into the more aggressive kind of sound of Kodiak… It’s written from an animal perspective. I decided to work with this concept to strengthen my songwriting skills, and as an answer to living in a world where hurting the environment is a cultural norm.”

In 2013 Rykka took home the $102,700 grand prize in the Peak Performance Project run by Vancouver’s Peak 102.7 radio station. She has since toured both Canada and Europe, and she’ll be recording her next album in 2014, before another tour.

Sierra Noble is a singer, songwriter and traditional fiddle player from Winnipeg who fell in love with old-time music when she was only eight years old.

“I think it was the first time I felt my heart really, really connect to music,” says Noble. “Undeniably. I knew that that was it. That was the music I wanted to play.”

She released her first fiddle album at 14 and her first solo EP when she was 18, back in 2008. “My favourite part about old-time music is the way it gathers people, and the community it creates. It’s beautiful.”

Only 23 as of this writing, Noble has already toured across Canada, Europe, Asia and South America, and played with some of pop music’s biggest names, like Sir Paul McCartney and Bon Jovi. She also played the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Her music has also been featured in numerous TV shows, including the WB’s One Tree Hill and NBC’s Parenthood. Her new album is expected in the summer of 2014.

Carleton Stone is a young singer-songwriter from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. After releasing a Nova Scotia Music Award-nominated debut in 2009, Stone met fellow Canadian songwriter Hawksley Workman, with whom he soon founded a new creative partnership. With Workman in the role of producer, his self-titled, second album was released to critical acclaim in 2011, and since then has taken home the Best Rock Recording award at the Nova Scotia Music Awards.

His third album, Draws Blood was released in March 2014, and was co-produced by Jason Collett and Howie Beck (producer for fellow Canadian artists Feist, Hayden and Sarah Harmer).

“So far I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of my heroes,” says Stone. “I can’t wait to start playing shows again and introducing these new songs to audiences.” His songs have appeared in television shows like NBC’s Saving Hope and CBC’s Being Erica, and he’ll be touring throughout 2014.