Meet the 25 rising guitarists that Fender is championing this year

The 25 Fender Next artists have “taken guitar in a new, innovative direction”.

fender next 2020

From left to right: Phum Viphurit, Yola, Mdou Moctar and Beabadoobee. Image: Weining Hung, Alysse Gafkjen, Mark O’Donnell, Beabadoobee

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Read our interview with Neil Whitcher, Fender’s Head of Artist Relations, on the new artists involved in Fender Next’s Class of 2020.

Yola, Phum Viphurit and Omar Apollo are just three of the 25 guitarists that Fender is pegging for great things this year.

The musicians are part of the 2020 class of Fender’s Next artist development programme, which spotlights guitarists who have “taken guitar in a new, innovative direction” and who are “expanding the world of guitar in music and culture”. Check out the full list below.

The musicians on the roster – hailing from 10 countries – span the gamut of genres, from country and rock to R&B and hip-hop. Artists who were selected for the 2019 class include Kingfish, Larkin Poe and Ashley McBryde.

This year, the Fender Next artists will receive gear, opportunities to perform at international shows organised by the brand, as well as a content platform for them to promote their music and “share their story and music” with fans.

In Guitar.com interview with Bones UK, one of the artists hand-picked by Fender, Carmen Vanderberg said, “The sound that I have right now is my Telecaster, a ’53 reissue that I normally play, but Fender’s being so supportive of us. We have so much love for them, and we always go see them when we pass by Phoenix.”

Yola also expressed her love for the Fender Paramount acoustic guitar in our chat with her last year: “I hit the guitar pretty frickin’ hard, because I’m quite a rhythmic player. But with the Paramount, because of the nature of the pickups they’re using, I can hit it without getting a boatload of feedback. And it’s got a really great neck, so if you grab your F – I’m a grabber, not a barre-er – then it works. It just works for my kind of playing.”

In related news, two Next artists won at the recent NME Awards 2020: Beabadoobee took home the NME Radar Award and Easy Life the Best New British Act prize.

See the full list of Fender Next guitarists here:

  • Ambré (US)
  • Beabadoobee (UK)
  • Black Pumas (US)
  • Bones UK (UK)
  • Dana Williams (US)
  • Easy Life (UK)
  • Eliza & The Delusionals (Australia)
  • Girl In Red (Norway)
  • Joy Crookes (UK)
  • Katie Pruitt (UK)
  • Keshi (US)
  • Leonardo Aguilar (Mexico)
  • Madison Cunningham (US)
  • Mdou Moctar (Niger)
  • Miyavi (Japan)
  • Omar Apollo (US)
  • Orville Peck (Canada)
  • Phum Viphurit (Thailand)
  • Running Touch (Australia)
  • Se So Neon (South Korea)
  • Skeggs (Australia)
  • The Marías (US)
  • The Regrettes (US)
  • White Reaper (US)
  • Yola (UK)

Check out our interviews with Phum Viphurit, White Reaper, Keshi, Kingfish and Omar Apollo.


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