Jameson, the UK’s number one Irish Whiskey, is partnering with Sofar Sounds to give UK musicians a platform to be Seen & Heard during the latest national lockdown, helping to support the best new artists of tomorrow, today. Launching on 13th January, Sofar’s online Listening Room will offer a diverse line-up of 15 up-and-coming artists the opportunity to perform to a captive virtual audience. The free gig series is designed to highlight and support artists following a challenging year for live music, and follows Jameson’s 2019 partnership with Sofar Sounds on a series of intimate gigs also featuring fresh UK talent.
The Seen & Heard Listening Room series will profile a different emerging UK artist every night for two weeks through a 20-minute stripped back set, which will premiere nightly at 7pm in Sofar’s Listening Room. Two of the artists have been selected following an open call inviting UK musicians to submit a recording of their set for a chance to perform in the Seen & Heard Listening Room series.
The line-up includes Otis Mensah, a writer and performing artist with an alternative take on Hip-Hop music and abstract poetry from Sheffield; I.M.O, a Birmingham-based band with an upbeat underlined funk sound; and TIËRNY, an alt-pop poet making self-described ‘Baroquetronica’ music representing the LGBTQ+ community. All the performances were recorded ahead of the latest lockdown and in accordance with national tier restrictions.
In addition to the musical performances, each week a virtual ‘behind the scenes’ conversation will premiere with one of three participating artists. This includes Liverpool musician TIËRNY, who won a professional music video shoot through Jameson’s Seen & Heard competition last year. Sofar will also curate a bespoke Spotify playlist featuring tracks from the musicians performing in the series, allowing them to keep the music playing following their initial broadcast.
Every element of the program will be housed on Sofar’s online content platform, where viewers can immerse themselves in content, editorial, and the music of the featured talent. All campaign performance and interview content will go live on YouTube, supported by social content across Instagram and Facebook to maximise fan views and engagement, generating over 3.3m impressions.
To enhance the virtual experience, Jameson is also offering consumers the chance to purchase drinks kits to replicate the real-life experience of being at a live Jameson x Sofar Sounds gig at home. Viewers can select from serves including a Jameson, Ginger & Lime, a Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition & Aromatic Tonic and a Jameson Black Barrel Old Fashioned, and the drinks kits will contain all the ingredients required to enjoy these perfect serves at home. Each kit will contain four drinks and will be available from Create Cocktails for £25.
Jameson is leading the remarkable growth of the Irish Whiskey category, and is seeing a significant performance in the Off-Trade (+25.1% value) and growing three times faster than Total Whisky (+7.1%).
Laura Stephen, Brand Director at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “The Jameson Seen & Heard platform proudly champions new music and we’re excited to be partnering with Sofar Sounds once again to support performing artists and create real impact in the music space. It continues to be a challenging time for live music and we hope by giving some of the UK’s brightest emerging talents a virtual stage, passionate music lovers will join in and support local artists in the community.”
Matt McDonagh, VP of Global Commercial Partnerships for Sofar Sounds, said: “Throughout 2020, Sofar Sounds has focused all its efforts on supporting artists through our Listening Room, a global artist fund and our In Session webinars. We’re delighted to be able to spotlight these 15 talented UK artists through Seen & Heard; working with Jameson to bring their creative ambitions to life and creating spaces where music matters. For Sofar to be able to spotlight these artists in and around our UK hometown, makes it all the more powerful for us.”
Scott Bilbe, Account Director, Havas Media Group, added: “This new series further strengthens the successful partnership between Jameson and Sofar Sounds. Seen & Heard offers artists a great platform, enabling them to reach new fans at a challenging time for the music industry, while also putting the Jameson brand front and centre and reinforcing its credentials in the music space.”
TIËRNY, Liverpool-based artist and winner of Jameson’s 2020 Seen & Heard competition, comments: “This year has proven difficult for all, but has profoundly affected the creative industries. As an independent artist, partnering with Sofar and Jameson for their Seen & Heard initiative has been critical in ensuring my survival, allowing me to work with like-minded professionals and realise creative ambitions I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to. I want to thank everyone involved for their support and for giving a lifeline for musicians such as myself in these unprecedented times.”