Apple Music announced Tuesday that masked alt-country singer Orville Peck would be featured as 2020’s first Up Next artist, an initiative created to prop up rising artists. Peck quickly became one of our favorite new artists of last year, rising from the ashes of the Wild West with the outlaw sensibility of David Allan Coe and the shoegaze chops of Mazzy Star. The Up Next program provides artists with a heightened platform and includes a short film shot on an iPhone 11, an interview with a Beats 1 anchor, and a late-night performance in collaboration with Jimmy Kimmel Live! Some of Peck’s recent Up Next peers include Tierra Whack, Clairo, Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish, all artists who have seen meteoric rises to stardom in the last year.
Peck has all but blown up since his Sub Pop debut album Pony, and is set to appear both at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees festival and at Bonnaroo later this year. Peck’s particular fusion of indie cred, queer narratives and rootsy country solidifies him as a bona fide crossover artist. Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson said of a recent London show: “I saw stetson-wearing country old-timers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with drag queens, hipsters, indie kids, members of the fashion elite and sweet couples out on date night.” The artist’s image has become synonymous with his sound, as he states in his Up Next short film, “I’m wearing a mask because I’m a country western star.” Back in December, the country star performed at the 2020 Dior Men’s fashion show and was seen sitting front row with Kim Kardashian West in a heavily Dior monogrammed iteration of his signature cowboy suit and fringe mask.
Peck is set to perform on Jimmy Kimmel on Jan. 29. You can check out the trailer for his Up Next short film, which is now available on Apple Music, below.