MTV today announced four new additions to its 2015 “Artist to Watch” campaign, the network’s annual year-long spotlight for musical artists on the verge of superstardom. The 2015 “Artist to Watch” summer class includes chart topping singer-songwriter Jacob Whitesides, pop-soul singer MAX, rapper Fetty Wap, who performed his hit Trap Queen with Fall Out Boy on the “2015 MTV Movie Awards,” singer-songwriter and guitarist Benjamin Booker and electro pop trio and breakout performer at the “2015 mtvU Woodie Awards,” Years & Years. These newly selected acts join a 2015 “Artist to Watch” list that’s includes genre-bending alternative folk/rap/soul musician and producer Raury, pop singer Jacquie Lee, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, and electronic R&B artist FKA twigs, among others.
“MTV has been a massive part of my career at such an early stage. Anytime I see MTV on my schedule during a long press day its a huge relief. Everything we’ve done together thus far has been huge and I look forward to seeing all we can accomplish together in the future! ” – Jacob Whitesides
“It’s a great feeling to be an MTV Artist To Watch. MTV gave me my first TV performance on the Movie Awards so I’m forever grateful. It’s dope to be recognized by such an iconic brand.” – Fetty Wap
To celebrate the summer class of the 2015 “Artist to Watch” campaign, MTV will host a showcase at New York City’s famed Highline Ballroom, on Monday, June 22 with performances from Jacob Whitesides, MAX and Raury. Tickets are available here.
The current 2015 “Artist to Watch” class includes: Bea Miller, FKA twigs, Hoodie Allen, Jacquie Lee, MisterWives, Priory, Rae Sremmurd, Raury, Ryn Weaver, Shawn Mendes and Ty Dolla $ign.
MTV’s “Artist to Watch” campaign connects fans and artists across every screen. Every two weeks, MTV features a new “Artist to Watch” with live performances, interviews, videos, song placements in shows and more, across its television (MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams) and digital platforms (MTV.com, MTV Artists, MTV News and the MTV App), as well as its social media channels (@MTV, MTV on Facebook, MTV on Instagram and MTV on Tumblr) that reach more than 220 million fans.
MTV’s Summer “Artist to Watch” 2015 Class additions (in alphabetical order):
Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Booker’s self-titled debut LP released on ATO, has been dubbed “contender for rock record of the year” (SPIN). He landed a spot on tour with Jack White, and performances on Letterman, Conan, and Jools Holland, among other highlights.
Fetty Wap – For the Trap&B artist named Fetty Wap known for sharing his love about his ride or die chick on his breakout hit “Trap Queen,” his hustle never stops. Willie Maxwell II hails from New Jersey, like Redman and Joe Budden, calling home to a city called Paterson. On his records, Fetty Wap’s wobbly voice cuts through trap instrumentals and melodies, making his honest and aggressive lyrics a staple of Jersey’s rap scene. This year, Fetty Wap’s profile rose when he earned co-signs from stars like Trey Songz, Rihanna and Kanye West. Currently, “Trap Queen” is No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 63 on iTunes, 100+ million YouTube plays and over 70 million SoundCloud plays.
Jacob Whitesides – Singer/songwriter Jacob Whitesides, from the smoky mountains outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, learned guitar at a young age and honed his vocal skills while winning over the Youtube community with his cover videos and original music. Jacob’s undeniable talent, entrepreneurial skills, along with a genuinely devoted dialogue with his devoted fan base (aka Whitesiders), have led him to unprecedented independent success. His EP, A Piece Of Me, which he self-released in February of 2015 reached #5 on the iTunes Overall Albums chart in the U.S., and spent days at #1 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter chart. In May, after a sold out headlining tour in Europe, BMG announced their partnership with Jacob and the formation of his own label, Double U Records, for which he will serve as CEO, a ground breaking statement for a 17 year old entrepreneur, let alone a chart-topping recording artist.
MAX – MAX is a New York City born pop-soul singer, actor & dancer, known for his powerful acrobatic tenor which commands attention. His already devoted fan base has grown an incredibly strong social media presence with over 1 million followers on YouTube, 350,000 followers on Twitter and over 850,000 likes on Facebook. His new single on DCD2 Records, “Gibberish” (feat. Hoodie Allen, another ‘Artist to Watch’ candidate), was one of the selected tracks featured by YouTube for the 2015 YouTube Music Awards alongside songs by Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX. The groundbreaking music video for “Gibberish” accumulated over 4.5 million views in just one week, and the song has racked up over 6 million plays on Spotify to date. MAX will be featured on the “Boys of Zummer” tour this summer alongside Fall Out Boy, Wiz Khalifa, and Hoodie Allen.
Years & Years – Formed in London, Years & Years consists of bassist Mikey Goldsworthy, keyboard player Emre Turkmen and vocalist Olly Alexander. The electro-pop trio will release their hotly anticipated debut full-length album, entitled Communion, on July 10th via all digital and physical partners. The album is available for pre-order now at all digital retailers. Their current US single “King” hit No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart while the video has racked up over 42 million views. In addition to winning the BBC Sound of 2015 Poll, the band were also short-listed for the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. Years & Years will return to the U.S. on tour this summer, dates to be announced soon.
MTV is the world’s premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV’s sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.comis a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
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