Meet Noah Kahan, the Grammy best new artist nominee making his mark in the folk-pop genre

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From the woods of Vermont to the Grammys stage, fans often credit Noah Kahan for a resurgence of folk-pop music.

His 2022 album and its 2023 deluxe counterpart may have resonated particularly with jaded New Englanders (see “Northern Attitude” and “Homesick”) but lyrics about change, complicated relationships, anxiety and depression appealed to audiences far and wide.

“They’re singing about specific roads in a town that no one in New England knows about, let alone people in London,” Kahan told The New York Times late last year.

Nominated for a best new artist Grammy here’s everything to know about the “Stick Season” singer.

Who is Noah Kahan?

Singer-songwriter Kahan is best known his folk-pop album “Stick Season,” an ode to growing up in New England infused with self-deprecating, introspective lyrics about struggles with mental health, love and homesickness.

“If I get too close/And I’m not how you hoped/Forgive my northern attitude/Oh, I was raised out in the cold,” he sings on the opening track “Northern Attitude.”

You may know him for his various collaborations; he's collecting them like infinity stones, some fans say. There’s “Dial Drunk” with Post Malone, “Northern Attitude” highlighting Hozier’s folksy wails, “Call Your Mom” with Lizzy McAlpine, “She Calls Me Back” with Kacey Musgraves, “Everywhere, Everything” with fellow Grammy nominee Gracie Abrams and, most recently, “Homesick” featuring Sam Fender.

Kahan is laying the final groundwork of the “Stick Season” universe Feb. 9 with a new song (“Forever”) and two new collaborations on tracks from the deluxe album, “You’re Gonna Go Far” and “Paul Revere.”

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How did Noah Kahan get famous?

Kahan spent his high school years performing at open mics and uploading his music to YouTube and SoundCloud. This is how manager Drew Simmons found him, according to Spin Magazine. Republic Records offered him a contract the same day he auditioned for them.

He released his debut album “Busyhead” in 2019, followed by "I Was / I Am" in 2021. His latest album, "Stick Season," peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's album chart and is RIAA certified Gold.

What genre is Noah Kahan?

“Busyhead” and Kahan’s second album “I Was / I Am” in 2021 veer more into pop territory than the “stomp clap hey” sound of “Stick Season.”

“I was writing music that I wouldn’t listen to,” he told Boston Magazine. “My escape was writing little folk songs for myself.”

Still, they maintain focus on a subject that’s core to Kahan’s songwriting – mental health.

“The happiest person out here today should be in therapy,” he told a crowd of 40,000 at Boston Calling in 2023, where he drew the largest crowd in the festival’s 10-year history, according to Boston Magazine. His charity “The Busyhead Project,” raises money and awareness for mental health care.

His 2020 EP “Cape Elizabeth,” which he wrote in a week back home in Vermont, foreshadows his later releases with folksy guitar riffs on “A Troubled Mind” and up-north imagery in “Maine.”

When a TikTok he posted of what would later become “Stick Season” blew up, Kahan realized there was a real hunger for that kind of folk-infused pop that he’s become a household name for.

Noah Kahan performs on the T-Mobile stage during Austin City Limits weekend two, day two on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.
Noah Kahan performs on the T-Mobile stage during Austin City Limits weekend two, day two on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

Where is Noah Kahan from?

Kahan is from Strafford, a Vermont town with a population of just over 1,000 close to the border of New Hampshire. He went to Hanover High School when his family lived in the nearby New Hampshire town of Hanover where he played soccer and performed at local restaurants with his friends.

Apple Maps even has a “Hyperlocal” guide called “Noah Kahan’s New England Spots” that features New Hampshire and Vermont burger joints, steakhouses, guitar stores and delis.

How old is Noah Kahan?

Kahan is 27 and was born on New Year’s Day in 1997.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Noah Kahan? Meet the Grammy nominee bringing folk-pop back.