HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (February 12, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today revealed its second-annual class of artists joining Fender Next, a Fender’s artist development program designed to support rising musicians that are expanding the world of guitar in music and culture. As part of the program, artists get access to resources – such as Fender’s industry-leading guitars, amps and more – and the chance to share their story and music with Fender’s millions of fans worldwide.
For over 70 years, Fender has championed musicians who push the boundaries of guitar forward and Fender Next represents the iconic guitar-maker’s continued commitment to that legacy. The inaugural program was met with much success, as members of the 2019 Fender Next class – such as Kingfish, Jessie Reyez, Larkin Poe, and Ashley McBryde – were all nominated for Grammys in 2020, with six collective nods among them. Program alumni like Sam Fender, Wallows, Lovelytheband, Cautious Clay and King Princess also took their careers to new heights in 2019.
“It was incredible to see four Fender Next artists from our inaugural group nominated for several 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.”
In 2020, Fender will expand the fan interactivity of Fender Next across several mediums. To accomplish this, the brand has launched a dedicated microsite serving as the hub for all things Fender Next – from weekly updates on the program’s artists, to tour and album announcements, and even news on upcoming Fender events. Along with these regular updates, Fender will spotlight one of the program’s 25 artists each week on the microsite and across the brand’s social media channels. These features will include live performance content, interviews, and gear recommendations directly from the artists. Watch and read the first feature on The Black Pumas here. Finally, Fender will continue to expand the experiential consumer touch points of Fender Next in 2020 by holding interactive live events across the globe that feature Fender Next Artists. To kick this off, Fender will return to SXSW 2020 at the legendary Mohawk in Austin, Texas to host live artist performances for fans.
This year’s Fender Next group includes a batch of 25 rising artists (9 US artists and 16 global) across genres, generations, genders and backgrounds that are expanding the world of guitar in music and culture. The global artists in the 2020 class were hand-selected by Fender’s best-in-class artist marketing team via a submission process and span genres, such as pop, country/Americana, R&B, hip hop, indie and alternative rock. This diverse group is more than 50 percent female and represents the face of guitar around the world with acts hailing from 10 countries across five continents.
Artists include: 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), Yola (UK) and more. A full list of Fender Next artists, including their bios and headshots, can be found here. Watch the Fender Next sizzle video here.
“Since 1946, Fender has been supporting artists at every stage of their career and our second annual Fender Next program continues our commitment to elevate and amplify artists that are moving music forward today,” said Matt Watts, VP of Marketing at Fender. ”We’re excited to introduce this year’s Fender Next class, which will have our dedicated support in reaching new audiences through our world-class marketing efforts. It’s truly a globally-diverse group of extraordinary artists that are sure to inspire the next generation of fans and players.”
Aimed at supporting up-and-coming musicians, Fender will drive increased exposure for the new class of Fender Next artists through the brand’s award-winning content, advertisements, experiential marketing and social channels with approximately 9 million fans. Depending on the act, possible benefits include:
· Select guitar, amp, effects pedals, accessories and audio equipment serving artist needs across the signal chain
· Fender’s industry-leading marketing efforts, including: social media promotion and takeovers and PR/communications support, as well as the opportunity to be featured in Fender marketing launches and ads
· To bring fans even closer to their favorite artists, Fender will collaborate with musicians to develop social media/campaign creative content, as well as “Fender Sessions” featuring intimate performances and conversations with artists reflecting their passion points and latest releases. That content will be distributed by exclusive partners, as well as on Fender social media and artist channels
· Inclusion on official playlists through music streaming services, like Spotify®, Apple® Music and more
· Inclusion of select artist songs in Fender’s digital learning platform, Fender Play®, and new play-along platform, Fender Songs.