Fender reveals sixth annual Next class of guitarists, 25 global artists to receive boost

Fender reveals sixth annual Next class of guitarists, 25 global artists to receive boost

After an open call with over 1,000 submissions received from aspiring musicians and A&Rs, Fender has revealed the 25 global artists that will comprise the sixth annual Fender Next class.

Without further ado – and take a deep breath – the list is: Adam Melchor (USA), Billyrrom (Japan), Deb Never (USA), English Teacher (UK), Fin Del Mundo (Argentina), Gayle (USA), Girl Ultra (Mexico), Jalen Ngonda (UK), Jawny (USA), Joy Oladokun (USA), Julie (USA), King Isis (USA), Lava La Rue (UK), Lücy (Taiwan), Maya Delilah (UK), Militarie Gun (USA), Petey (USA), Q (USA), Royel Otis (Australia), Spill Tab (USA), Timø (Columbia), Vacations (Australia), W.o.d. (Japan), Zach Top (USA) and Zion Yan (Mainland China).

Fender will now drive increased exposure for the new class of Fender Next artists through the brand’s content, advertisements and select social channels which boast more than 16 million followers worldwide. 

Other perks Fender Next members will receive include instruments, equipment, a social content series that will live on Fender’s TikTok, YouTube and Instagram showcasing an at-home one-song performance and short interview dubbed Play And Tell, plus inclusion on Fender official playlists via Spotify.

The 2024 roster was hand-selected by Fender’s artist relations team as representative of the future of guitar and the wider industry. 

An official press release stated that, as part of the process, “Fender partnered with key industry leaders at record labels, management companies, streaming services, talent agencies and other music entities to help curate the shortlist.” 

Over the last six years, Fender Next has supported acts including Phoebe Bridgers, Wet Leg, Sam Fender, May-A, Japanese Breakfast, Idles, Orville Peck, Little Simz, Madison Cunningham, Jun Xiao, Omar Apollo, The Black Pumas and more.

Speaking about the initiative, Matt Watts, SVP of marketing at Fender, said: “As we look to the future of guitarists, we're thrilled by the creativity and innovation they bring to the scene. Artists are blending genres and exploring new sonic territories while paying homage to and drawing inspiration from those who came before them. With this new group of talented artists, Fender is proud to provide support. I'm eager to witness the remarkable journeys and groundbreaking sounds that will undoubtedly arise from this collaboration. Here's to pushing boundaries and shaping the future of music together.”

Jalen Ngonda, 2024 Fender Next Class UK, added: “When I was wanting to buy my first guitar, everyone suggested that I start with an acoustic. Instead, I chose a Fender Strat. Most of my favourite records were recorded with Fender guitars, so it’s always great to rock out with one.”

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