Justin Vernon of Eau Claire-based rock band Bon Iver is one of several professional musicians selected to mentor artists participating in Radio Milwaukee’s new music accelerator program, 88Nine Amplifier.
Joining Vernon as program mentors are producer, mixer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Butch Vig of the band Garbage (which was formed in Madison in the '90s) and Marcella Araica, who’s collaborated with Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Danja and more.
“I want to participate in this partnership because I've been lucky to have educators, friends, and colleagues sharing thoughts, wisdom, and realities of music-making with me over the decades,” Vernon said in a statement. “I want to give back to developing artists curious and eager to fortify their minds. Plus, I can always learn from anyone, so I'm looking forward to the whole experience.”
Four musicians or bands will be selected to participate in the eight-month amplifier session that begins in March. Milwaukee-area artists can apply to be part of the free program through February 12.
In addition to eight months of mentorship and learning, program participants will also receive $10,000 grants to be used in consultation with 88Nine Amplifier to further the artists’ careers, according to a press release.
For each month of the program, 88Nine Amplifier will focus on topics and skillsets to help musicians become successful long-term, including management, production and collaboration.
The curriculum also includes master classes with national and local experts including Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Rico Love; CEO of Crown World Ent. Vincent Searcy; Latitia Taylor, head of digital marketing at Cinematic Music Group; and Carmen Esteves, CEO of Esteves Creative & Marketing.
The radio station recently launched its new music accelerator after it was announced in December that Backline, gener8tor and 88Nine’s previous music accelerator, was shutting down. gener8tor, which recently launched its own music accelerator called gener8tor music, will operate separately from 88Nine’s program.
Based off the Backline model, gener8tor’s new program will serve as a top of the funnel accelerator with programing and workshops for a broader pool of artists, according to a press release.
“We realized we have to expand the resources for our market to be a top-tier music market and this new focus keeps all of the collaboration that Backline offered but with additional entry points for musicians to build their careers,” gener8tor co-founder Joe Kirgues previously said regarding the rebranding of the music accelerator.