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.