Miguel, Robert DeLong Featured In Jack Daniel's 'Uncut Sessions' Music Series

Courtesy Photo
Miguel photographed in 2015.

Miguel, Robert DeLong and Run The Jewels are the first artists to appear in “Jack Daniel’s Uncut Sessions,” a new online music series that debuted Wednesday (May 13) and created by Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

The series features Miguel’s debut live performance of new single “Coffee,” as well as bonus clips of the singer discussing how the track helped shape his upcoming third album wildheart (due June 30). DeLong also contributes an exclusive performance (and, through June 14, MP3 download) of current single “Long Way Down,” and breaks down how video-game controllers and drum beats shape his music. Both the Miguel and DeLong installments were filmed in Los Angeles. Run The Jewels’ installment will debut May 25, and was filmed at the Atlanta barber shop owned by the hip-hop duo’s Killer Mike.

The program is the latest foray into contemporary music for Jack Daniel's, which in 2012 teamed with Frank Sinatra Enterprises for a limited-edition “Sinatra Select” blend and interactive experience at Las Vegas’ McCarren International Airport. The clips are filmed in black and white and framed by a circular camera lens on the official "Uncut" micro-site, created in partnership with Jack Daniels’ agency of record FCB/RED and music consultants Jingle Punks.

“We wanted to provide artists a platform and an informal setting to perform a song of their preference, the way wanted to record it,” says Jesus Ostos, Jack Daniel’s senior brand manager at Brown-Forman. “Each of these artists, regardless of genre, are pioneers at what they do, just like our brand.”

The bourbon and whiskey category is in the midst of a sales upswing — U.S. revenue increased 9.6% in 2014, to sales of $2.7 billion, according to the Distilled Spirits Council’s annual Industry Review report. That’s also contributed to more competitive activity in entertainment, from Johnnie Walker’s recent partnership with “Entourage”’s Johnny Drama  (brokered by music marketing agency Cornerstone) to Jim Beam’s ongoing partnership with Kid Rock, to Jameson’s ongoing support of The Best Fest’s tribute concerts to Tom Petty, Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan to, most recently, Pitbull’s No. 23-peaking hit “Fireball”, which shares its name with Sazerac’s cinnamon-flavored whisky.

Jack Daniel’s core Tenneesee Whiskey brand grew net sales by 6% to nearly 11.5 million cases in 2014, according to the company’s financial statement, but its sister brands grew even faster – Tennessee Honey increased by 36% to 1 million cases, while Gentleman Jack lifted by 14%. Brown-Forman’s Ostos hopes “Uncut Sessions” helps the brand reach the younger 21-to-29-year-old consumer “and renew our relevance with them,” he says.