Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has unveiled the fourth annual class of artists joining Fender Next.
The artist development programme is designed to elevate rising musicians who are pushing the guitar forward in music and culture.
Each Fender Next artist will receive Fender gear, alongside holistic, 360 marketing support on Fender platforms to share their story and connect with millions of music fans worldwide.
“This next generation of guitarists are creating and sharing music in new, inventive ways and this year’s class is a testament to Fender’s investment in the future they are piloting,” said a statement.
In its first three years, Fender Next recognised and backed artists who have gone on to secure critical acclaim and commercial success. With nearly 10 Grammy nominations between them, Fender Next alumni have won CMA awards (Ashley McBryde), BRIT Awards (Little Simz, Holly Humberstone and Sam Fender) as well as other accolades and honours.
With heightened interest in guitars spurred by the pandemic, Fender Next provides an opportunity to develop a diverse set of rising artists.
“As a storied brand in the music industry, it’s our duty to continually use our platform and resources to uplift artists early on in their careers,” said Evan Jones, CMO of Fender. “We’ve continued to invest in all aspects of the artist experience offering the full suite of Fender support to new players and veteran guitarists alike.
“The 2022 Fender Next class is an exceedingly creative bunch that represents a diverse span of musical genres. Each artist has found unique ways to connect with audiences to share their talent with the world. Like many Fender Next artists who have come before them, these acts will go on to lead and define the industry and it's our honour to help them pilot their legacies.”
The 2022 Fender Next class is an exceedingly creative bunch that represents a diverse span of musical genres
This year's Fender Next class includes 25 rising artists (12 North America, 2 Australian/Aboriginal, 4 European, 4 Asian, 1 African, 2 Latin American artists) across genres, generations, genders and backgrounds.
After an open call and a record number of 850 submissions from the public and A&Rs, the 2022 roster was selected by Fender’s artist marketing team. As part of the process, they sought guidance from key industry leaders at record labels, streaming services, talent buying agencies and executives in addition to other music entities. More than half of this year’s artists are female-identifying.
“For over 75 years, artists have been at the centre of everything that we do,” said Matt Watts, SVP of marketing at Fender. “From global touring acts that sell out arenas to new players finding their voice on social media, Fender guitars have been a fixture in bringing music into the world. The proliferation of Fender products allows us to reach millions of people across the globe through countless albums, stages and platforms.
“Fender Next is our commitment to wielding this influence, bringing new perspectives and sounds into the industry. This year, in particular, we are especially excited to see more Latin music represented in our line-up and can’t wait to see what these artists create with their new Fender gear.”
The Fender Next Class of 2022 Includes:
• 100 Gecs (USA)
• Alewya (UK)
• Anly (Japan)
• Bruses (Mexico)
• Budjerah (Australia/Aboriginal)
• Chris Renzema (USA)
• Claud (USA)
• Dijon (USA)
• Dylan (UK)
• Ed Maverick (Mexico)
• Fool and Idiot (Taiwan)
• Ian Munsick (USA)
• INK (USA)
• Jun Xiao (Mainland China)
• MAY-A (Australia)
• Mereba (USA)
• Paris Texas (USA)
• Ryokuoushoku Shakai (Japan)
• Self Esteem (UK)
• Shannon Lauren Callihan (USA)
• Still Woozy (USA)
• Teezo Touchdown (USA)
• The Cavemen. (Nigeria)
• The Linda Lindas (USA)
• Wet Leg (UK)
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of this year's Fender Next, alongside so many incredible artists,” said Dylan. “From growing up playing cardboard Strats with rubber band strings and Fender drawn on the headstock, it has been a long time dream to collaborate with them after seeing so many of my idols using their guitars.”
Fender will drive increased exposure for the new class of Fender Next artists through the brand’s content, advertisements and social channels which boasts more than 10 million fans worldwide.
Fender Next benefits include:
• Access to guitars, amps, effects pedals, accessories and audio equipment serving artist needs across the signal chain.
• Amplification from Fender's industry-leading marketing efforts will bring fans even closer to their favourite artists through social media and creative ad campaigns. Select artists will get an Artist Check-in video produced for Fender’s YouTube channel; Instagram takeovers; PR/communications support; the opportunity to be featured in Fender marketing launches and ads; or a Fender Sessions video featuring intimate performances and conversations.
• Inclusion on Fender official playlists through music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and more.
• This spring, Fender will be taking the connection between fans and bands one step further, as select Fender Next artists get their songs integrated and taught to fans and aspiring players on Fender Play, Fender’s complete online learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele.