Introducing the Artist Development Program Class of ‘21!

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Four years after the inaugural launch of AMF’s highly selective signature Artist Development Program (ADP), the music landscape looks drastically different. In fact, it’s hardly recognizable. While so much has changed and will continue to change, AMF’s commitment to investing in Austin’s most talented independent artists is unwavering. 

ADP itself has always embodied the spirit of adaptation and innovation, and this year we are proud to introduce 5 incredible artists who are boldly charting a new path forward! 

Guided by AMF’s core faculty of mentors, ADP participants will work one-on-one and in peer-to-peer sessions (virtually!) over the next six months to define, develop, and execute their creative and professional strategies. All of this while also making an album with GRAMMY-nominated producer, Frenchie Smith, and our very own Einar Pedersen right here in ATX! 

“The significance of our non-profit investing directly in the creative process is something that cannot be overstated,” says AMF lead Artist Consultant and ADP Mentor Einar Pedersen. “AMF has taken the bold stance to begin the greater education of the ADP with the cornerstone of progression in a life of music: investment of any kind comes from viscerally and emotionally impactful music that simply excites people. Our selection process is based on that feeling. Our committee makes a playlist of about 50 songs from artists that we have all been knocked out by over the year and are showing real, organic movement. The only requirement is that no two acts are alike.”

ADP was designed by AMF to serve as an innovative model that works to support the viability, growth, and visibility for Austin’s musical talent. We understand that by investing in the development of artists who contribute to our City’s economy and rich culture, we are investing in the future of Austin music

We look forward to working with this outstanding group of professional musicians. Without further ado, AMF is proud to introduce the Class of 2021.

 

Aubrey Hays

Aubrey Hays - ADP '21 Announce - Austin Music Foundation

Floating lily pads on tranquil lakes are what Aubrey Hays’ shimmering guitar and vocals most closely resemble. Beneath her trembling vibrato are warm musical arrangements that propel touching stories of travel and lament. Regardless of the vulnerability in her playing, Aubrey Hays takes the stage with the confidence and presence of a seasoned veteran. 

In February 2020, Aubrey released her debut studio sing

le “Isn’t It Enough.” The single touches on only a slimmer of Aubrey’s musical ability which includes multi-instrumental talent on over 10 instruments and experience playing bluegrass in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Her EP is set to be released later this year.

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Deezie Brown

Unexpected and unconventional, Deezie Brown’s sound is uniquely positioned to make shockwaves in the alternative hip-hop scene. His daring album debut, Judith, was released in February 2018. The album centers biblical themes as it interrogates power, war, and modern-day isolation. Deezie’s

 musical output finds its most fluent expression where it lays siege to various ‘enemies’ – whether these are flailing relationships, personal obstacles, or mere mortality. Off-kilter production aesthetics are brought into focus by Deezie’s precise and melodic raps. His hard-hitting and often disorienting tracks hit with the full force of hip-hop spectacle.

It doesn’t take a deep listen to recognize that an accomplished and talented musician such as Deezie Brown is no stranger to the hustle. Any direction will be a welcome one from this spontaneous and dedicated artist. His sophomore album is expected in September. 

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DRINT

DRINT’s silky baritone pulls on the heart like a sack of bricks. The self-made artist’s debut EP, Don’t Save Me, displays a breadth of material unknown to most young or promising artists. He’s able to transcend the deep tones of his singing voice, leaping into a trained falsetto and back again, with frightening ease. Everything about Drint’s music and presence make the case for a persistent and passionate newcomer with the popular appeal and musical sensibility to pull it off.

DRINT, or Roddrinskee Johnson, feels equally at home in front of saw-wave walls of sound or cinematic string textures. He delivers a soulful performance with strong low frequencies and all the high energy of Austin’s youthful R&B scene. 

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Pelvis Wrestley

Pelvis Wrestley is a band with a mission: to reclaim Americana in the spirit of queer patriotism. Their frontman, native Texan and Pacific Northwest-émigré Benjamin Violet, resists every attempt to categorize their music as anything other than Country despite its glamorous synths and electronic beats. This profound allegiance gives rise to a genre-redefining sound that celebrates self-preservation and discovery. Pelvis Wrestley’s camp aesthetic can best be described as Dolly Parton meets David Bowie with a hearty seasoning of synth-pop.

Pelvis Wrestley’s debut album Vortexas Vorever is set to be released on September 18. Snippets of new album tracks can be found on the band’s Instagram, alongside links to Change.org petitions and calls to #queerantine. What is undoubtedly clear for this bright and promising country pop group is that defiance and patriotism run together like two sides of the same coin.

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Stone Wheels

Stone Wheels blends a nostalgic intuition for Woodstock-esque sounds with Texas’s own vibrant songwriting tradition. Andrew C. Gerfers heads this certifiably Austin-native project, contributing catchy and thoughtful lyrics to accomplished story-telling tracks such as “Overgrown Trails” or “Chelsea”. Their 2018 self-titled debut album elevates Gerfers’ song-world out further with crowning musical arrangements. At its core, Stone Wheels remains affixed to its country music heritage while challenging that genre’s characteristic and conventional timbres.

The driving motivations behind Stone Wheels’ promising output are high energy and good times. An affinity for nature, deeply embedded in the band’s songs, finds outward expression in the psychedelic earth-tones of “Overgrown Trails” or the mixed-meter madness of “I’ll Give Again”. The band is not content to brand itself as a mere country outfit, although its name and song titles may deceive; give them a deep enough listen and you might find yourself on an unexpected trip.

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Be sure to follow AMF on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with ADP. We can’t wait to share this journey with you! Learn more about the Artist Development Program here.

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