H.E.R. hopes her signature Fender guitar will inspire other women to pick up the instrument
H.E.R. says it’s “so inspiring” to see more women playing the guitar.
The ‘I Can’t Breathe’ hitmaker has just launched her own Fender Blue Marlin Stratocaster – which is named after one of her favourite fish – and she admitted she “barely thought it was possible” to play the instrument herself as a Black woman.
H.E.R. – whose real name is Gabriella Wilson – said: “I think a lot of women, especially young Black women, young Filipino women, don’t really think that these kinds of things are possible and I barely thought it was possible. So it’s insane to know that I’ve done it… It’s inspiring so many women to want to play instruments and want to pick up a guitar and know that they can… (The guitar is) called the Blue Marlin because I grew up going fishing with my dad a lot and I just think it’s one of the coolest looking fish.”
She is the first Black female artist in Fender’s 77-year history to launch a signature guitar.
The Grammy-winning artist was just seven when she first started playing the guitar, inspired by her musician father Kenny Wilson and him playing Prince and Lenny Kravitz records.
She recalled in an interview with Reuters: “I was five years old, six years old when I started playing piano and then I picked up the guitar not long after when I was seven, and he (Kenny) taught me how to play the blues … I started performing when I was like six years old. My first time being on stage was with my dad and his band and I remember my mom at one point kept booking like gigs for me, like there were festivals and things around the neighborhood.”
Speaking about the tribute guitar to her father in conversation with the man himself, H.E.R. said: “I distinctly remember my father teaching me how to play my first blues scale on a Fender mini black-and-white Stratocaster. Filming this interview with him, reflecting on my musical journey, and the development of my second signature Fender guitar has been a surreal ‘pinch me’ moment. I designed my Limited Edition Stratocaster guitar with a colour, shape and sound that is 100 per cent my own so that young women and players from all backgrounds feel inspired to pick up this guitar, tap into their thoughts and create amazing music.”
The Blue Marlin comes in an oceanic colour with an iridescent finish that shifts in the light and has a custom neck engraved with H.E.R. artwork.
A limited batch of just 300 Blue Marlin guitars are on sale for £1,199.00.