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Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender – Winners Announced

Christian Wissmuller • News • November 17, 2021

EastWest Studios (courtesy of EW Studios)

In September, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced the launch of the Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender®. Amidst lockdowns and social distancing, it’s no secret that artists have been struggling for both inspiration and support. Enter Fender. This global program seeks to fulfill the creative aspirations of independent artists around the world by getting them back in the studio and providing them with the tools they need to create their musical art. To bring this program to life, Fender has partnered with notable recording studios in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Japan and Mexico to host Fender-funded studio sessions with engineers, a mixing credit, Player Plus gear and mentoring resources for winning artists.

Inspired by the recent launch of the Player Plus series, Fender’s new line of guitars and basses are designed with creators and independent artists in mind to be the tool that these artists use to bring their passions to a global stage. The Player Plus Studio Sessions aim to take that same goal a step further by purposefully supporting rising talent, helping them share their message and creativity through original music. This new global program reinvigorates Fender’s ongoing commitment to musicians, and in particular, independent musicians.

Participating studios by market include:

The entry period ranfrom September 27 through October 20, 2021 with winners announced on November 10, 2021.

Player Plus Studio Session U.S. winners

Each submission was reviewed by a panel of judges made up of noteworthy producers, artists, journalists and Fender Executives including: Fender CEO, Andy Mooney; Fender VP of Marketing and Head of Artist Relations, Matt Watts; legendary singer-songwriter and producer, Nile Rodgers (U.S.); Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde (U.S.); Emily Kokal, singer and guitarist for the band Warpaint (U.S.); singer-songwriter and lead vocalist/guitarist for Mercury Prize-winning and Grammy-nominated Wolf Alice, Ellie Rowsell (U.K.); Joaquin Pavia Wakks, artist manager and CEO of Nakama Entretenimiento (Mexico); Director at Heartstop Music and Secretary of the Association of Artist Managers, Alastair Burns (Australia); and legendary Japanese guitarist, singer-songwriter CHAR (Japan). Submissions were judged on set criteria including: songwriting, performance quality, creativity, technical guitar playing ability, originality and more.

“I’ve been a fan of Fender since I bought my first Mustang back in 1970, and I still carry my 50 year old Stratocaster across my back as I travel around the world,” said judging panelist, Nile Rodgers. “I’m passionate about nurturing new artists, it’s something that I’ve done my whole life, and as a producer it’s very exciting to provide undiscovered artists with the tools they need to speak through their music and not just play. My hope is that by allowing these musicians to take their craft to the next level, we will discover something completely unique that the world has never heard before. With the new Player Plus line, I believe Fender’s come up with some really special gear that will be defining instruments for a new generation of artists and creators.”

“At Fender, we are dedicated to providing artists with the resources they need to fuel their creativity,” said Andy Mooney, CEO of Fender. “Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender® is the manifestation of Fender’s dedication to artists at every stage of their journey. The hope is this program will jump start their artistic careers enabling them to fuel their passion to achieve their dreams.”

In addition to earning valuable studio time, the winning artists will receive a one-hour consultation with Ari Herstand, CEO of Ari’s Take and author of the bestselling book How to Make It in the New Music Business. Herstand is also the author of the 2021 Fender Artist Playbook, a step-by-step guide for emerging artists to tackle the new frontier of music, from cracking TikTok algorithms to leveraging alternative revenue streams, digital marketing tips, NFTs and more. Winners will also receive a Fender® Player Plus guitar or bass to use in the studio at their recording session and keep for future shows and creative endeavors. The new instruments bring Fender’s most iconic models into the modern era. Noiseless pickups provide classic Fender® sound with enhanced clarity and advanced switching capabilities for a wide variety of tonal options. Upgraded features include rolled fingerboard edges and locking tuners and hot, fresh finishes including Belair Blue, Silver Smoke and Tequila Sunrise.

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