Fender Musical Instruments Corporation today announced the release of two ukuleles inspired by singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal. The 2017 Billboard Rising Star award recipient popularized ukulele when she won Season 11 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2016 at age 12. The Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele and Moonlight Ukulele were created with the classic clean, legendary Fender tone to inspire and capture hearts of the next generation of musicians. The release of these two artist signature models comes at an exciting time for VanderWaal who has just come off a summer tour with pop-rock band Imagine Dragons and is slated to make her 2019 film debut as the lead in Disney’s book-to-film adaptation of Stargirl.
“What I think is cool about Fender, and what originally drew me to them, was the Fender electric guitar headstock, which I’ve never seen on another ukulele,” said VanderWaal. “I feel like a rockstar when I’m tuning it. I wanted these ukuleles to be pretty, but also have a great sound. Fender perfectly accomplished that and made my dream ukuleles come true. I’m seeing my passions come full circle. I think everyone has music inside them and my hope is that I can help them find it.”
The performance-inspired GRACE VANDERWAAL SIGNATURE UKULELE incorporates everything that Grace loves about playing live for her fans. From the stage-ready, Fishman® Kula preamp pickups, dark walnut exterior and custom deluxe gig bag, the instrument itself reflects Grace’s boho-chic style and mission to inspire the next generation of players. The concert body is constructed from sapele wood which gives the signature ukulele a balanced, earthy tone that serves as the perfect support for her uniquely soulful voice. VanderWaal personally selected each detail to make the ukuleles sound rich and embody her personal style, which is reflected in the custom gold hardware and rosette. In addition, her signature adorns the Telecaster headstock, as well as the custom soundhole label–the first of its kind on a Fender instrument. VanderWaal also worked with Fender to create the GRACE VANDERWAAL MOONLIGHT UKULELE – a navy blue-colored version of the California Coast Series Venice Soprano uke – perfect to play by the beach or at home with friends and family. It features all the same personal touches on the Signature model, but at a more accessible, entry level price point for those just beginning their musical journey.
“Designing the Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele with Grace was effortless,” adds Billy Martinez, VP Category Manager of Acoustics and Squier Divisions. “She knew she wanted personal touches, such as the gold hardware and her signature on the headstock, but was most passionate about the electronics so she could be stage-ready at all times. Having Grace join the Artist Signature Series brings that same on-stage energy to Fender Ukuleles and underscores that no matter how wild your dreams, anything is possible.”
To assist players that want to follow in VanderWaal’s footsteps, Fender has included a 30-day free trial of Fender Play – the perfect companion and complete learning app for ukulele, guitar and bass – with the purchase of either signature ukulele. Six of VanderWaal’s hit songs including, “I Don’t Know My Name,” “Just a Crush,” “Clay,” “Gossip Girl,” “Light the Sky,” and “So Much More Than This,” are offered in the app’s ukulele lessons, so fans can sing and play along with VanderWaal in minutes. To check out a lesson preview of “I Don’t Know My Name,” click here.
The Grace VanderWaal and Fender partnership also supports Grace’s efforts to bring music to underserved schools. Her foundation “Little Miracles” strives to give the gift of music to local schools and communities where music programs have been reduced or cut altogether. Fender has donated several ukuleles to this cause and will continue supporting Grace in her work with the foundation. To learn more visit GraceVanderWaal.com/LittleMiracles.
Fender’s popular artist signature models are geared toward product progression and storytelling, creating instruments designed to the unique specifications of the world’s most iconic artists. The Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele and Grace VanderWaal Moonlight Ukulele give fans and players at all experience levels a chance to embark or continue on their musical journey. To learn more about this new artist signature model and her mission to pave the way for the next generation of players from VanderWaal herself in the “Fender Presents: Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele” video, click here. Also, make sure to watch an exclusive performance with Grace of her single, “A Better Life,” a song from her debut album, Just The Beginning, out now. For approved images of Grace VanderWaal and her Signature Ukulele as well as product images of both models, please click here.