"I first heard Mariya in a country bar in Calgary, Alberta. She captivated the room with just an acoustic guitar and her voice and "Hands On My Body" sounded like a hit, even in that simple setting.”
Executive Director, Alberta Music
From hosting the Country Music Alberta Award Show in 2021 alongside the legendary George Canyon to playing guitar and opening for Ru-Pauls Drag Race superstar Trixie Mattel, Mariya Stokes always appears where you'd least expect her.
Known for her quick wit, quirky sense of humour, and signature retro style, Country Music Alberta's two-time Horizon Female Artist of the Year (2019 & 2020) is currently recording her debut album with Juno Award-winning producers and frequent collaborators Spencer Cheyne and Justin Kudding.
Growing up in Stavely, Alberta, an hour south of Calgary, Stokes spent time in her parents' small-town bar, and at eight years old, was sneaking in on Friday afternoons to sing with the local jam band. Now a seasoned performer, she has opened for Doc Walker, Jade Eagleson, and Jann Arden and was one of three artists selected to work with 19-time CCMA winner Terri Clark at National Music Centre's RBC Master in Residence program in 2019. In addition, Stokes' was the 2019 runner-up in Project WILD, a country-focused artist development program run by WILD 95.3 FM (Calgary) and Alberta Music.
Her small-town, community-minded values have followed her to the big city: Stokes was a 2020 Artist in Residence at the Women's Centre of Calgary. A past volunteer at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre, she worked on two charity records and independently organized numerous coat drives for the organization. In addition, she is a member of the 2022 CCMA Host Committee, taking part in planning the Canadian Country Music Association's upcoming awards week in Calgary in September.
Focusing heavily on songwriting, Stokes has had songs recorded by artists in multiple genres, including CCMA nominees Leaving Thomas, alt-pop singer Celia Palli, country-rocker Devin Cooper, and pop singer Hayden McHugh.
With confident, expressive vocals and gritty steel guitar, Stokes' current single, "Break My Heart," is a laid-back, pop-country feminist anthem and was nominated for "Horizon Single of the Year" at the 2021 Country Music Alberta (CMAB) Awards. Dripping with attitude, "Break My Heart" solidifies her commitment to empowering women and telling their stories.
A three-time CMAB "Songwriter of the Year" nominee, Stokes' 2019 feel-good debut,"Hands on My Body," pushed country music boundaries with an R&B feel and sex-positive lyrics. Her second single, "Christmas, Arizona," landed in the Top 100 on the BDS Canadian Holiday Chart and was followed by a vulnerable, heart-wrenching ballad: "Rebound." Released in October 2020, “Rebound” was featured across Canada as the "Next Big Thing" on the Casey Clarke Country Countdown and has over 200,000 streams on Spotify.
"I'm a songwriter first. My songs are rooted in country storytelling, but I'm not afraid to bend outside the genre if it feels right. My sound changes drastically with each release because I'm constantly evolving, and I like to surprise my fans and keep them excited for what could be coming next. We're hitting the road again in 2022 - I can't wait to see everyone and share my upcoming record with you." - Mariya Stokes
TOTAL STREAMS - 530,000 +
#1 Most Active Indie at Canadian Radio (Yangaroo/DMDS) in August 2019
Added to Stingray’s Pop Adult Streaming Channel
Added to 2,400 + independent playlists on Spotify
Over 190,000 streams across platforms
Spotify Editorial Playlists: "New Music Nashville" and "Down Home Country"
#8 on iTunes Canadian Country Chart (TopCountry.ca)