NPR Music, VuHaus Public Radio Music Stations Unveil Initiative to Catapult Emerging Artists

Sep 20, 2017

Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon are Inaugural Class of ‘Slingshot’

Member stations unleash the power of public radio to drive music discovery

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 20, 2017 – NPR Music and program directors from VuHaus‘ public radio music station network today announced Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of “Slingshot,” a new effort among taste-making public radio stations to elevate the profiles of exceptional emerging artists. The video, interview and live event series kicks off today at NPR.org/slingshot.

Slingshot is a new music discovery initiative from NPR Music, VuHaus and their network of public radio music stations designed to create a launch pad for emerging artists.

Slingshot will introduce emerging artists – selected by the NPR Music and VuHaus network – and help propel their careers. NPR Music and the stations will roll out the red carpet for these artists by featuring them on national programs, like Tiny Desk, All Songs, World Cafe and Heavy Rotation; and on local features, such as guest DJ opportunities and live events. Performances, editorial and interviews captured along the way will be featured on the NPR website and promoted by the entire network.

To select the Slingshot artists, program directors from the 16 participating public radio stations each nominated two emerging artists that they believe to be most promising. Once the nominating process was complete, those same 16 program directors then selected their top five artists from the list of 32. This station-driven process narrowed down the artists to Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of Slingshot artists.

NPR Music stations, from KCRW in Los Angeles, to WXPN in Philadelphia, WFUV in New York and KUTX in Austin, are the market leaders in developing new artists. This network of independent “Music Discovery” stations has introduced remarkable new talent such as Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, Adele, Vampire Weekend, Leon Bridges and Sturgill Simpson to national audiences.

“This is an exciting and game-changing opportunity for emerging artists,” says Anya Grundmann, NPR vice president for programming and audience development. “We are eager to leverage the full power of the public media system to serve as a launch pad for talent and to connect talent with our passionate and discerning audience.”

“This collaboration is a great chance to flex our musical discovery muscles with our partner stations and NPR music, and take these acts to the next level.” said Matt Reilly, KUTX 98.9 program director. “In turn, Slingshot creates another opportunity for audiences to discover new and exciting music.”

Meet Our Inaugural ‘Slingshot’ Artists

Big Thief are Adrianne Lenker (guitar/vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass) and James Krivchenia (drums). Big Thief’s newest release, Capacity, comes just one year after its stunning debut, “Masterpiece,” brought The Brooklyn-based quartet critical acclaim.

Jamila Woods’ cultural lineage – from her love of Lucille Clifton’s poetry, to cherished letters from her grandmother, to the infectious late-’80s post-punk of The Cure – structure the progressive, delicate and minimalist soul of her debut album, “HEAVN” (No. 27 on NPR’s Best 50 Albums Of 2016). Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Woods grew up in a family of music lovers. Now a frequent guest vocalist in the hip-hop, jazz and soul world, it took a surprise poetry class with a high school arts program for Jamila to finally find what is already a once-in-a-generation voice.

Lo Moon are a Los Angeles-based band comprised of Matt Lowell (vocals/guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass/keyboards) and Sam Stewart (guitar) whose sound meets at the intersection of artists like The XX and Talk Talk. With just two songs out in the world, the band is already one of the most talked-about new bands in Los Angeles’s indie scene. Lo Moon are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album with producers Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye).

Support for Slingshot comes from Spire Studio by iZotope. Learn more at www.spire.live.

About NPR Music
NPR Music collaborates with NPR’s newsmagazines, public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit NPR.org/music to find the complete Tiny Desk Concerts series, live music, extensive archives of performances, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres.

About VuHaus
VuHaus (pronounced “view house”) is a collaboration of public radio and television stations from across the country, deeply rooted in their local music communities. We share a common mission to support artists and be a source of music discovery for audiences around the world. VuHaus is a non-profit, non-commercial organization, with an aim to be true partners to artists while providing a unique window into the country’s most vibrant music scenes.

The VuHaus network includes public radio stations WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, KXT in Dallas/Ft. Worth, WXPN in Philadelphia, KEXP in Seattle, KDHX in St. Louis, opbmusic in Portland, KUTX in Austin, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, Mountain Stage in West Virginia, WGBH in Boston, Houston Public Media, WMOT in Nashville, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Colorado’s KSUT, KVNF, KSJD, KRCC, KRFC and  The Colorado Sound, Vocalo in Chicago and NV89 in Reno. VuHaus receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is operated by its founding partner, Public Media Company, a national non-profit organization focused on maximizing the impact of public media through innovation and strategic partnerships.

About KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience
Named “Best Radio Station” in the Austin Music Awards poll for three consecutive years, KUTX 98.9 is the destination for new music from the artists driving the sound of Austin today – from new and local artists, to music that has stood the test of time. Programming includes more than 300 live, one-of-a-kind performances in Studio 1A each year; the Austin Music Minute, the KUTX Artist of the Month and the KUTX Song of the Day, as well as KUTX Live events that connect music fans to local and national talent. More at kutx.org.

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For media interviews, brand assets and more details on Slingshot:

Hugo Rojo, NPR
(202) 513-2300

 

Erin Geisler, KUTX
(512) 475-8071

Michele Tharp, VuHaus
(303) 883-0973