The past 18 months have been a time of unprecedented upheaval for people from all walks of life, in every corner of the world. For artists, the Covid-19 pandemic created a need to seek out new musical outlets. Performances went virtual. Recording, meanwhile, for a time, moved out of the studio and into the home. And while software advances have made laptop recording an increasingly viable option, there’s something uniquely inspirational about the collaborative process – making music together with other musicians, in the moment, in a fully-equipped studio – that just can’t be replicated alone in a bedroom or virtually on a computer screen. No one understands this quite like Fender®, which for 75 years has been dedicated to providing artists with the tools to spark inspiration and harness creativity. That dedication continues today with the launch of Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender.
Record in a world-class studio – for free
To celebrate the recent launch of the Player Plus series – Fender’s new line of guitars and basses designed with the unique characteristics of modern players and creators in mind – Fender® has partnered with notable and select global recording studios in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Mexico and Japan to offer free studio time, engineering, mixing and consulting to independent artists. It’s a goodwill gesture aimed at getting artists out of the house and back in the rooms where the magic happens, which embodies the boundless creativity and inspiration Player Plus is all about.
These rooms are some of the most revered in the world, from EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, Flux Studios in New York and Welcome to 1979 – which has hosted the likes of Billy Gibbons and Pete Townshend – in Nashville, to London’s legendary RAK Studios, Tokyo’s Freedom Studio Infinity and Melbourne’s Sing Sing. Other facilities, on offer as part of the Fender Artist Giveback, include Studios 301 in Sydney; L.A.’s MDDN, owned by Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden; Coastal Sound Recording Studio in Liverpool; Sheffield’s Steelworks Studios; Chamber Studios in Edinburgh; Camden Recording Studios in Dublin and Pieza Estudios in Mexico City. Step through the studio doors and unlock your creative potential, courtesy of Fender and powered by Player Plus.
How, exactly, can you do this? Fender® is calling for open submissions on Fender.com, with two winning artists per city (26 artists in total) each receiving 10 hours of free studio time plus extra tools to get off on the right track. That’s right – Fender® will cover the cost of your recording time, as well as the use of an on-site engineer and a $500 credit for a mixer. This offer is designed to kick start and supplement the recording process coupled with a mentorship component to help artists take the next step in their careers.
How to enter
To enter to win the Player Plus Studio Sessions, players must submit a recent single or music video, as well as a live performance to best showcase their talent, playing and skills. Only original music written solo or with co-writers can be submitted. Instrumental acts, bands and solo artists are all welcome. Players must be 18 years of age and able to make their way to the nearest selected city and studio on their own, as travel will not be included.
Once an entry is received, each submission will be viewed by a judging/selection panel made up of noteworthy producers, artists and journalists, as well as Fender CEO Andy Mooney and the brand’s VP Marketing/Head of Artist Relations Matt Watts. Other judges on the panel include: legendary singer-songwriter and producer, Nile Rodgers (U.S.); Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde (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), Emily Kokal, singer and guitarist for the band Warpaint and more. Submissions will be judged on set criteria including songwriting, performance quality, creativity, technical ability and originality.
Most importantly, all players must be fully independent artists to enter. Player Plus Studio Sessions is designed to reaffirm our commitment to musicians, and in particular, independent musicians, which have been hit hard during the pandemic. Together, with the new Player Plus series, the Player Plus Studio Sessions program offers a leg up to the next generation of musicians shaping the future of guitar in music and culture. Player Plus Studio Sessions aims to showcase up-and-coming musicians’ individual creativity. Winners must record original music with the studio time – no covers or sampling allowed.
Powered by Fender’s Player Plus Series
In addition to earning valuable studio time, artists will receive a one-hour consultation with Ari Herstand, CEO of Ari’s Take and author of 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. You can download it free in English and Spanish here.
Winners will also receive a Fender® Player Plus guitar or bass – one per artist or band – to use in the studio at their recording session (a requirement for winners) and keep for future shows and creative endeavors. The new instruments bring Fender’s most iconic models into the modern era, with noiseless pickups that provide classic Fender® sound with enhanced clarity, advanced switching capabilities for a wide variety of tonal options. Upgraded features like rolled fingerboard edges and locking tuners and hot, fresh finishes including Belair Blue, Silver Smoke and Tequila Sunrise complete the package.
As part of this program, the next-level Player Plus experience will be made available to everyone. At each of the 13 participating studios around the world, Fender® is hosting a branded playing space where musicians recording at these studios can stop in and try out Player Plus guitars and basses for themselves in a creative and inspiring space. Sit and jam out on select Player Plus models, and learn about the line, all while experiencing the next evolution in Fender® design.
To win 10 hours of free studio time and unleash your creativity with a Fender® Player Plus guitar or bass, head to Fender.com now and enter the Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender. Restrictions apply, see full rules for details.
Winners will be contacted in early November and announced on November 10. Recordings are currently scheduled to take place throughout November and December 2021 and throughout early 2022 in Australia.
Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value or delay the award of some or all of the prizes. Winner is responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein. All prize details are at the Sponsor’s discretion. Further, based upon global pandemic considerations, it may be necessary to change, modify,postpone or cancel any or all portions of the awards as outlined herein.