Skip to main content

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

Fender has announced its second-annual Fender Next class, the company’s artist development program designed to support rising musicians.

The new roster features guitar acts from across the globe, including the US’s Black Pumas and White Reaper, Norway’s girl in red, Japan’s MAYAVI, Niger’s Mdou Moctar, the UK’s Beabadoobee, South Korea’s SE SO NEON and more.

The class is rounded out by Omar Apollo (US), Orville Peck (Canada), the Regrettes (US), Dana Williams (US), Ambré (US), 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) and Yola (UK).

As part of the Fender artist development program, artists gain access to resources, including Fender guitars, amps and other gear, as well as receive promotion across the company’s networks and to its fans and users.

White Reaper

White Reaper (Image credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Boston Calling )

Other endeavors include brand collaboration to develop creative content; the opportunity to take part in Fender Sessions, which present intimate performances and conversations with artists; and inclusion on music streaming service playlists and Fender Play and Fender Songs educational platforms.

Additionally, artists will take part in interactive live events, including  at the Mohawk in Austin, Texas, for SXSW 2020.

Previous Fender Next artists include Sam Fender, IDLES and Little Simz.

Said Neil Whitcher, Head of Artist Relations (EMEA) at Fender, “It has been incredibly heartening to watch the Fender Next alumni – who we have often had relationships with since the very beginning of their careers – go on to enjoy huge success.

Bones UK

Bones UK (Image credit: Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)

“Fender Next encapsulates an elite of artists who are doing completely unique and brilliant things with guitar and bass but have one thing in common – they are all excelling in their respective fields. The 2020 class features some truly exceptional players and Fender can’t wait to support as their careers unfold.”

For more information, head to Fender’s new dedicated Fender Next microsite (opens in new tab).

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.