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These are the 25 guitar artists you need to hear this year, according to Fender

Wet Leg's Hester Chambers and Rhian Teasdale
Wet Leg's Hester Chambers and Rhian Teasdale (Image credit: Matthew Baker / Getty)

Fender has announced the latest collection of rising artists the company is backing in its 2022 Fender Next development program.

The program is intended to support and “represent the new face of guitar in music and culture”. It first launched in 2019 and previous participants have included Beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Nova Twins, Mdou Moctar, Larkin Poe, Sam Fender and Tash Sultana.

As you might expect, the program offers artists a supply of Fender gear to use, as well as extensive marketing support across the brand’s channels.

This year’s list has been drawn from across the world and – although it inevitably skews heavily to the US / Europe – includes acts from Nigeria, China, Mexico and Japan among the 25 selections.

Included in the Class of 2022 are the likes of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Claud, R&B artist Dijon, LA punks The Linda Lindas, dry-witted UK indie duo Wet Leg, plus J-pop band Ryokuoushoku Shakai and Nigerian highlife duo, The Cavemen.

“As a storied brand in the music industry, it’s our responsibility 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 so that Fender can offer a full suite of 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, and each 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 honor to help them pilot their legacies.”

Check out the full roster below (or watch the video round-up, above). The guitar giant has also put together this handy Fender Next 2022 playlist on Spotify.

Fender Next Class Of 2022

  • 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)

For more information on the artists involved and the Fender Next program, head to the official Fender site (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.