Guitar giant Fender has unveiled the second annual class of artists joining its artist development programme, Fender Next.
The programme, which is designed to support emerging musicians, gives artists access to various Fender resources and the chance to share their story and music with the company's fans worldwide.
This year's list comprises 25 rising acts from around the world: Black Pumas (US), Omar Apollo (US), Orville Peck (Canada), The Regrettes (US), Beabadoobee (UK), Dana Williams (US), Ambré (US), MIYAVI (Japan), Girl In Red (Norway), Se So Neon (South Korea), Mdou Moctar (Niger), Skegss (Australia), Phum Viphurit (Thailand), Bones UK (UK), Easy Life (UK), Eliza & The Delusionals (Australia), Joy Crookes (UK), Katie Pruitt (US), Keshi (US), Leonardo Aguilar (Mexico), Madison Cunningham (US), Running Touch (Australia), The Marias (US), White Reaper (US) and Yola (UK).
Fender Next encapsulates an elite of artists who are doing completely unique and brilliant things with guitar and bass
The group follows 2019's inaugural class, which included Sam Fender, Idles and Little Simz.
“It has been incredibly heartening to watch the Fender Next alumni – who we have often had relationships with since the very beginning of their careers – go on to enjoy huge success,” said Neil Whitcher, head of artist relations (EMEA) at Fender. “Fender Next encapsulates an elite of artists who are doing completely unique and brilliant things with guitar and bass but have one thing in common – they are all excelling in their respective fields. The 2020 class features some truly exceptional players and Fender can’t wait to support as their careers unfold.”
In 2020, Fender will expand the fan interactivity of Fender Next across several mediums and launch a dedicated microsite serving as the hub offering weekly updates on the programme's artists. It will also spotlight one of the programme's 25 artists each week on the microsite and across the brand’s social media channels. The first feature on The Black Pumas can be viewed here.
Fender will also hold interactive live events across the globe featuring Fender Next Artists, beginning at SXSW 2020 at the Mohawk in Austin, Texas, where it will host live artist performances for fans.
"It was incredible to see so many Fender Next artists from our inaugural group nominated for awards this season, and we’re proud to have provided resources and supported them on their musical journey,” said Fender CMO Evan Jones. "This new class of artists has taken guitar in a new, innovative direction, and Fender is proud to support their advancement to the next phase of their careers. These players show that guitar is alive and thriving in music, as it continues to be used in fresh, inventive ways across all genres.”