Often referred to as 'The Queen of Country Music' in New Zealand, Jody Direen continues to mark her path as she steps the stairs to stardom. Hailing from a small mountainous alpine town of Wanaka, New Zealand (NZ), Jody began touring her home country at 20 years old as a solo acoustic artist. She released her debut album 'Here We Go' in 2011 with her own writing credits behind every original song. The album proved to be a hit with her local fanbase and in 2012 she won the Horizon Award (CMANZ) which also secured her a guest spot performing at the CMA Festival Global Artist Showcase in Nashville, TN (the largest country music festival in the world).
Jody loved Nashville so much, she stayed on to write and record her next album for three months. During this time, U.S based talent management company Bear Grylls Ventures managed and supported her. Under the their guidance, her first single 'Loud' off her second studio album 'Breaks Out' was released with an edgier sound. 'Loud' launched straight to #1 in the NZ iTunes Country chart and remained in the NZ TOP 20 for two weeks peaking at #14. 'Loud' succeeded across the ditch in Australia too debuting on the Country Music Channel (CMC) at #10 and #13 on Australian Country Radio.
Honoured by CMANZ as the 2015 Female Artist of the Year and crowned Best Female Vocalist by VAC (Benny Awards) that same year, Jody also received her first three CMC nominations for New Oz Artist, Oz Artist and Female Artist of the Year.
The release of 'Breaks Out' was a turning point in Jody's career with fourteen tracks laden with inescapable hooks and powerful vocals. Fans connected with Jody all over the world through her new music with Jody's writing credits behind a majority of the songs. The second and third singles off the album, 'Tattoo' and 'Together' both charted Top 10 across New Zealand.
The album, 'Breaks Out' made #1 on the NZ iTunes Country chart and peaked at #10 across all genres as well as making its debut at #12 on the Official NZ Top 20. 'Breaks Out' was selected as a finalist in the 2016 NZCMA's Best Country Album of the Year.
With guest appearances on TVNZ's 'Good Morning' and 'The Paul Henry' Show, New Zealand was falling in love with the small-town country girl with massive dreams. Having opened for country greats such as Kenny Rogers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more recently LeAnn Rimes and Scotty McCreery, Jody is already living her childhood dream.
After touring New Zealand for a solid five years including trips to Nashville and Australia for song writing and recording, Jody signed with major record label, ABC Music and partner label Universal Music. She has since performed large scale international festivals performing alongside some of the worlds biggest country superstars such as Lady Antebellum, Kelsey Ballerini, Jason Aldean, Kip Moore, Lee Brice and much more.
ABC Music release 'Together' as Jody's first label-released Australian single charting Top 10 on Country radio as well as CMC.
Jody set out on her first tour of Australia late 2016 with the Wolfe Brothers, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Christie Lamb, Troy Kemp and Canadian star Gord Bamford. This supported the release of her third studio album 'Shake Up'. The first single 'Gimme the Beat' blazed up the Australian country radio chart peaking at #2. It made #1 on the New Zealand Heat Seekers chart and the iTunes Country chart. Gimme the Beat received over 80,000 video views on Facebook.
'Shake Up' turned heads in the country music world with it's strong pop influence, with big drum sounds, tied in with session players out of Nashville finger picking banjo's or sliding steel guitars. The second single off the album 'Dirt Rich' also made waves peaking at #4 on Country radio. 'Shake Up' won the Tui Award for Best Country Album at the 2017 NZCMA's.
"I am so grateful for my journey so far, the people and fans who continue to support my music. My goal now is to keep releasing music that is real, and oozes positivity. Music that is fun, and reflects my own personal experiences. So that I can connect with and help others. Help them see happiness and hope during hard times, help them dance when their out at night or in their living room, help them create amazing memories influenced by my songs. Help them realise they are not alone in the world. That is what I want my contribution to the world to be."