By Pasadena Weekly Staff

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. launched the Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender.

Amid lockdowns and social distancing, artists have been struggling for inspiration and support. Fender’s 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 United States, United Kingdom, 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.

Fender is calling for open submissions at To enter, independent artists must submit either a recent single, music video or live performance to best showcase their talent and creativity. Instrumental acts, bands and solo artists are welcome to enter.

Eligibility requirements are as follows: Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, play or have a band member play guitar or bass, and be a fully independent artist. Additionally, applicants must be able to travel to the nearest selected city and studio, as winning does not provide travel to and from the studio.

Participating studios by market include:

• U.S. studios: EastWest Studios (Los Angeles), MDDN (Los Angeles), Flux Studios (New York City), Welcome to 1979 (Nashville).

• U.K.: RAK Studios (London), Coastal Sound Recording Studio (Liverpool), Steelworks Studios (Sheffield), Chamber Studio (Edinburgh), Camden Recording Studios (Dublin).

• Australia: Sing Sing (Melbourne), Studios 301 (Sydney).

• LAT AM: Pieza Estudios (Mexico City).

• Japan: Freedom Studio Infinity (Tokyo).

The deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 20, with winners announced on Nov. 10. Each submission will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of producers, artists, journalists and Fender executives, including Fender CEO Andy Mooney; Matt Watts, Fender vice president of marketing and head of artist relations; singer-songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde; and Emily Kokal, singer and guitarist for the band Warpaint.

Submissions will be judged on set criteria including songwriting, performance quality, creativity, technical guitar playing ability and originality.

“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,” Rodgers said.

“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.”

Mooney added, “At Fender, we are dedicated to providing artists with the resources they need to fuel their creativity.

“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, chief executive officer 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 and NFTs.

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.

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.