Fender names the 25 guitarists you need to hear this year as it announces the Fender Next 2021 Class

Fender has unveiled the 25 up-and-coming guitar-wielding artists who will be featured on its third annual Fender Next program for 2021 – an artist mentorship scheme which sponsors and supports emerging talent through marketing and collaborative content.

The comprehensive list of emerging electric guitar and acoustic guitar heroes spans genres, generations, genders and backgrounds, with the list of 25 being composed of 10 North American, three Australian/New Zealand, three Asian, seven European and two Latin American artists.

Boasting an abundance of generational guitarists, names selected by the guitar giant include indie-pop and soul wunderkid Arlo Parks, UK-based guitar-bass duo Nova Twins, multi-instrumentalist Alfie Templeman, Seattle rock titan Ayron Jones, and Japanese indie-rock outfit Hitsujibungaku.

Also joining the program is US-based funk phenom Remi Wolf, alt-rocker Ambar Lucid, country singer-songwriter Hannah Dasher, bass guitar slayer Blu de Tiger, in-demand African session player Fiokee, and New Zealand hip-hop four-piece Drax Project.

Names completing the list include Alex Hall, Beach Bunny, CAIN, Fousheé, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Griff, Holly Humberstone, Lime Cordiale, Noreh, Ritt Momney, Sports Team, Stand Atlantic, Suspended 4th and TENDRE.

Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks (Image credit: Fender)

Said Ambar Lucid, “I’m very excited to be included in this year’s Fender Next. It confirms to me that I’m on the right path towards making my dreams come true!”

Fellow Fender Next name Remi Wolf added, “Fender is iconic. Fender was the guitar brand I was aware of growing up, so it’s crazy that they’re supporting me in this way.”

“As leaders in the music space, we have a responsibility to support new artists looking to establish long-term careers,” commented Evan Jones, CMO at Fender.

“We’re uniquely positioned to showcase and develop emerging artists on a global scale, and it’s our goal to act as a best-in-class marketing partner to them,” he continued.

“We see the Fender Next program as foundational to our bigger brand mission, and a critical part of our long-term commitment to showcasing the depth and diversity of today’s artists, moving guitar forward in music and culture.”

“The power of musical expression is universal and we’re proud to welcome the Fender Next Class of ‘21 with artists from Africa, Europe, Latin America, the US and everywhere in between to this program,” continued Matt Watts, VP of Marketing at Fender. “These artists are not only pushing their respective genres forward, but they’re pushing guitar forward.

“Our goal is to help create long-term exposure for the artists in the program, support their creative passion and provide tools to fuel their creative output. Given the rapid changes in the music industry over the last 12 months, we know that this support is more important than ever.”

These artists are not only pushing their respective genres forward, but they're pushing the guitar forward

Matt Watts, VP of Marketing at Fender

As well as receiving support from Fender through social media marketing and collaborative content, selected acts will also get access to guitars, amps, effects pedals and other accessories, inclusion on the brand’s official playlists, and inclusion of their tracks in the digital learning platform, Fender Play.

Previously sponsored artists include Ashley McBryde, who was awarded Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association, and Beabadoobee, who received an NME Radar award, as well as a BRIT award nomination.

For more information, head over to Fender (opens in new tab).

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.