Arctic Monkeys part of 'Freshman Five.'
Arctic Monkeys, the Federation, Gym Class Heroes, Lady Sovereign and MF Doom have been selected as the inaugural "mtvU Freshman Five," an initiative created by the college-focused network to champion up-and-coming bands on their television programs and Web site.
To be chosen twice a year, the crop will lend exclusive interviews and performances to the network as well as have their music videos featured on the mtvU series "The Freshman."
"We see these five as unique artists in that we can see at this moment there is an acceleration of interest from the college audience," mtvU GM Stephen Friedman tells Billboard.com. "It makes sense for us to put a stake in the ground and say these are the five you're going to want to watch."
In addition to "mtvU Freshman Five," the New York-based broadcasters are offering a sneak peak from Matisyahu's upcoming album, "Youth," due March 7 via Epic. The network will premiere an exclusive live performance for each of the seven days leading up to the release date as part of its "mtvU Exclusive Live Leak" feature. A video for the title cut will premiere Feb. 13 on mtvU.
In addition, mtvU has added two major interactive developments to their programming: "Breaking the Video" and personalized web pages for its annual "Best Music on Campus Contest." The former will allow students to pitch, produce and direct music videos for O.A.R. and Damone this spring. Artists will choose winning concepts from submissions from Columbia University and Brooklyn College, with the winning entry to be produced and broadcast on the network.
"Not only are we able to identify new talent out of college and move forward to put them on mtU, but they bring with them the passionate fan base of their schools," says Friedman.
Lastly, mtvU will bring its Campus Invasion '06 Tour to 20 college campuses in April. The trek will feature performances by Motion City Soundtrack, Straylight Run and HelloGoodbye.