HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2022) — Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the MonoNeon Jazz Bass® V to honor the inventive bassist’s singular vision and empower players everywhere to approach the instrument with the same curious spirit that has fueled his vivid career. Known for his knack for funk and micro-tonal detail, creating a signature instrument that encapsulates MonoNeon’s spirit and ability is a tall order. As the brand that brought forth the electric bass, Fender seeks to honor the biggest pioneers of the instrument across genres and MonoNeon is one of them. Mono’s fashion sense is on par with his playing, often adorned in fluorescent layers and accessories that would give any glow stick a run for its money. Thanks to this signature model’s eye-popping yellow and orange finish and pickguard, the optics on this bass keep up with the fashion sense of the man who inspired its creation. That being said, the MonoNeon Jazz Bass® V is far more than meets the eye.
“Getting my own artist signature bass with Fender is definitely a full circle experience happening right now,” said MonoNeon. “Seeing my dad holding my bass is really crazy. He’s like my first musical hero. He’s a very funky player. I’d just practice to all of his records, try to find anything he played on and just learn it. I wanted to be just like him and I still do.”
Dywane Thomas Jr. or MonoNeon, as he is more commonly known, grew up with bass guitar in his blood. His father was a well known Memphis bass player who took every opportunity to share his love for blues and soul with his son. After growing up alongside musical family members and playing bass in church, MonoNeon published his first video on YouTube in 2013. His lifelong affinity with the bass and the power it wields was put on full display, for all the world to see. And the world was quick to embrace MonoNeon, in all of his fluorescent glory. Known in the broader pop culture space for taking viral clips of people talking and translating the pitch of their voices into a musical piece, his online following grew with each passing year but MonoNeon wasn’t only shining in front of his webcam. In 2015, he was asked
to join Prince’s live band—a dream come true for any musician, but especially for one like Mono, whose roots exist in the emotional funk and R&B music of the 1980s. By 2020, MoneNeon’s list of collaborators had expanded to include the likes of Ne-Yo, Mac Miller, Nas, Bootsy Collins, Jacob Collier and many more. This impressive resume is a testament to not only MonoNeon’s undeniable technical ability, but also his ability to translate his playing into a myriad of styles. Whether it’s smooth R&B, high octane funk or the infinite space that exists beyond genre itself, MonoNeon’s emphasis on feel, passion and emotion allows his playing to thrive in just about any sonic environment.
Accompanying the launch of the Mononeon Jazz Bass® V is “In Conversation with MonoNeon,” a video hosted by George Clinton, as he guides viewers through the “Monoverse.” The piece features a series of jam sessions, including the “Duo of Bullshit” with MonoNeon and Blaque Dynamite, as well as commentary from his mother, grandmother and father, Dywane Thomas Sr.
The MonoNeon Jazz Bass® V makes a statement – equal parts swagger and serious business. It features an alder body finished in an eye-popping neon yellow urethane finish, complemented by a neon orange painted headstock and pickguard. “These are my two favorite colors, high-visibility orange and yellow, because I love how the construction workers look on the highway. You can see them from far away. It’s inspired by them.” The 22-fret one-piece roasted maple neck is C-shaped for comfort and has a 10”-14” compound radius fingerboard and pearl block inlays. Custom Fireball™ 5-String Humbucking Bass pickups deliver luscious and robust low end with a growl, while the 18-volt active preamp provides extra headroom. Meanwhile, the 3-band active EQ gives players endless tonal capabilities and the Fender HiMass®string-through-top-load bridge increases resonance, weight and sustain. Each bass comes with a MonoNeon sticker pack and custom headstock Stance® sock.
“MonoNeon is one of the most-inventive bass players of this generation, and to honor him with a Fender® bass that encapsulates his unique style and vast talents is a privilege,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Products at Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “We worked closely with him to create a bass that not only visually represents the online persona we’ve come to know, but also embodies his funk-inspired, abstract and microtonal playing. From the eye-popping neon yellow and orange finish, to his Custom Fireball™ 5-String Humbucking Bass pickups and HiMass® bridge, this bass gives players endless tonal capabilities and robust low end with a growl.”
In true tradition, the Fender Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. High-resolution artist, lifestyle and product images of MonoNeon and the MonoNeon Jazz Bass® V can be found HERE; full product descriptions and specifications can also be found HERE. Watch a demo video HERE.
For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.