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The beauty of music is that it affects everyone in different ways. Your favourite isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste and something you’re not too keen on will attract thousands of fans to a stadium to sing their hearts out. In fact, music is so special to us that well over half (58%) remember hearing their favourite artist for the first time, whether it was with friends, parents or just loving it because it was new and exciting.

Yet, new research from Fender suggests that despite being a nation of music lovers, many of us merely stick to what we know with just under a third (31%) only sticking to their favourite genres of music. When asked how often we ‘push ourselves out of our musical comfort zones’, 42% said ‘never’ with only 10% of us trying something new each day. In fact, only 14% revealed that they would love to listen to something unusual.

The research, commissioned to coincide with the launch of Fender’s Undiscovered Artist of the Year competition, shows a pattern of musical stagnation. Indeed, just short of a third (32%) of us admit to only listening to our favourite tunes over and over, with more than a fifth (22%) saying they stick to the same music they found as a teenager.

Undiscovered Artist of the Year is encouraging people this year to get their creative juices flowing and ‘Play Something Different’. The competition is urging aspiring acoustic artists to take that step away from their musical norms and enter for the chance to get noticed in the big time alongside an icon of music such as Fender, like last year’s Undiscovered winner, Hattie Briggs.

Fender need entries by Sunday 29th April. Simply fill out the form on their website below and they’ll be in touch with the 12 artists selected for the next stage before Friday 4th May.

"Fender is looking to shine a spotlight on some incredible new talent to discover the next artist of the year. We’re looking for artists who play something different and embody the spirit of originality and creativity." Neil Whitcher, Head of Artist Relations at Fender.

The Fender Undiscovered contest is conducted in three phases: 1st phase: The participants can enter between 19th April and 29th April 2018 (registration period). Entries are made via the website below. The entry form must be completed along with a link to their performance on YouTube, Vimeo or Soundcloud. Closing date is 29th April 2018 at 23:59 (BST).

2nd phase: A Fender judging panel will make a selection of the best 12 participants from all entries. The selection criteria of the jury are artistic quality and creativity, taking into account the participant’s song (music, lyrics), mastery of the instrument, vocal quality as well as artistic performance as a whole. The 12 participants chosen by the jury will be divided randomly into 3 groups of 4 and invited to the heats, which will be held at a London venue to be confirmed on 8th and 9th May 2018. There, the participants must perform a song of their choice with a Fender California acoustic guitar. All semi-finalists will be able to keep the California guitar of their choice from a selection defined by Fender. Each performance will be filmed and released by Fender on our YouTube and/or Facebook channels (as well as other media channels as necessary) for the public to vote on. After the heats have been broadcast, the public will vote for one participant from each heat to go through to the final.

3rd phase: The winners from the heats phase (three in total, one from each semi-final) will be required to attend the final at a date and location TBC. This final will be filmed and broadcast on Fender’s social media channels. Each participant will be required to perform two songs, only one of which can be previously performed material, including their entry. The judges vote will determine the winner, which will be announced on the night.

Related Links


Fender launches Undiscovered Artist of the Year competition


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