Close this search box.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our weekly
e-newsletter for news and updates

Advertise with us


Australian artists: MAY-A and Budjerah

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announces the 4th annual class of artists joining Fender Next, an artist developmentprogram designed to elevate rising musiciansthat are pushing guitar forward in music and culture. This year’s class includes two Australian artists, MAY-A and Budjerah.

Each Fender Next artist will receive Fender gear, alongside holistic, 360 marketing support on Fender platforms to share their story and connect with millions of music fans worldwide. This next generation of guitarists are creating and sharing music in new, inventive ways and this year’s class is a testament to Fender’s investment in the future they are piloting.

In just three short years, Fender Next recognised and empowered talented artists who have launched into critical acclaim and commercial success. With nearly 10 Grammy nominations between them, Fender Next alumni have won CMA awards (Ashley McBryde), BRIT Awards (Little Simz, Holly Humberstone and Sam Fender) as well as countless other accolades and honours. With an influx of new players and heightened interest in guitar spurred by the pandemic, Fender Next provides an opportunity to develop a diverse set of rising artists, so that aspiring players around the world see themselves better reflected in the industry.

“At Fender we believe it’s our responsibility to continually use our platform and resources to support and uplift artists everywhere,” said Evan Jones, CMO of Fender. “The 2022 Fender Next artists are exceedingly creative, and represent a diverse range of musical genres and styles. It’s our hope that these acts will go on to lead, inspire and define the industry, and it’s our honour to help them grow their audiences and their legacies.”

This year’s Fender® Next class includes 25 rising artists (12 North America, 2 Australian/Aboriginal, 4 European, 4 Asian, 1 African, 2 Latin American artists) across genres, generations, genders and backgrounds thatare elevating guitar inmusic and culture. After an open call and a record number of 850 submissions from the public and A&Rs across the country, the 2022 roster was hand-selected by Fender’s best-in-class artist marketing team, who identified a group of artists that each have developed their guitar-driven music in new and exciting directions. As part of the process, they sought guidance from key industry leaders at record labels, streaming services, talent buying agencies and executives in addition to other music entities. More than half of this year’s artists are female- identifying – a testament to the diverse and dynamic future of guitar.

“For over 75 years, artists have been at the centre of everything that we do,” said Matt Watts, SVP of Marketing at Fender. “From festival headliners and global touring acts to new artists finding their voice on social media, Fender guitars and amplifiers have been a fixture in bringing the artist’s vision, voice, and music into the world. Fender Next is our commitment to elevating the next generation of artists and players that are moving music forward, so we can bring new perspectives and sounds to the industry and beyond.”

The Fender Next Class of 2022 Includes:

•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)
•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)

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of Fender Next,” said 100 gecs. “Guitar is such a versatile instrument and because of Fender’s history in music, they can invoke parts of that history very well in the present, and we love that.”

Fender will drive increased exposure for the new class ofFender Next artiststhrough the brand’s award-winning content, advertisements and social channels which boasts more than 10 million fans worldwide. Fender Next benefits include:
• Access to guitars, amps, effectspedals, accessories and audio equipment serving artist needs across the signal chain.Products will include Acoustasonic®, Player Plus, HammertoneTM Effects pedals, Tonemaster® amps, Fender® swag and other soon-to-be-announced instruments.

• Amplification from Fender’s industry-leading marketing efforts will bring fans even closer to their favorite artists through social media and creative ad campaigns. Select artists will get an “Artist Check-in” video produced for Fender’s YouTube channel; Instagram takeovers; PR/communications support; the opportunity to be featured in Fender marketing launches and ads; or a “Fender Sessions” video featuring intimate performances and conversations.

• Inclusion on Fender official playlists through music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Musicand more.

• Later this year, Fender will be taking the connection between fans and bands one step further, as select Fender Next artists get their songs integrated and taught to fans and aspiring players on  Fender Play®, Fender’s complete online learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele.

20-year-old Sydney-based singer-songwriter MAY-A distills her life into understated indie-pop vignettes which are universally poignant, charmingly astute, endlessly empathetic and disarmingly honest. In the process, she deftly and authentically captures the peculiar sensations of being a young person alive in this moment, articulated with a clarity, vulnerability and maturity beyond her years. For MAY-A, music has always been a means to untangle how she makes sense of both herself and the world around her, compelled towards creation as an act of therapy. Her confessional, stream-of-consciousness lyricism captures the excitable fullness of her interior life, full of whimsical asides, wry observations and heartrending moments of clear-eyed emotional clarity. On her 2021 debut EP, Don’t Kiss Ur Friends, MAY-A charts the course of an autobiographical relationship, telling the story of a blossoming queer identity and budding transition from adolescence to adulthood, growing ever more into her own music along the way. Traversing first loves, break-ups and more, Don’t Kiss Ur Friends undercuts the elated rush of those formative years with the pangs of hurt that so often accompany them. Across all of her releases to date, MAY-A has honed her ability to take the small moments of life and make them feel larger than they seem, injecting her lyrical vignettes of navigating relationships and everyday existence with an unguardedness that invites you in but hints at something left unseen. Like previous singles, her debut EP is wonderfully open – and it’s this natural impulse towards sharing that inculcates MAY-A’s music with a deeply-felt universality that underwrites the specificities of the subject matter: her own life.

Budjerah (AUS)
In 2020, Australia was introduced to the spectacular voice of Budjerah: a new, homegrown kind of R&B star. Possessing songwriting ingenuity and old-soul wisdom, it quickly became abundantly clear that, for a lot of us, Budjerah was the kind of figure we’d been missing. “When will the moment come? I’m tired of wasting time,” the then-18-year-old Coodjinburra musician sang in the opening strains of his debut single, the earthy R&B jam “Missing You”. He might as well have been talking about his own career: from his earliest releases, Budjerah clearly had spades of talent and a hunger to show just how much he could accomplish. Now 19, and with a debut EP under his belt — as well as an ARIA Breakthrough Artist award from 5x nominations, previous support slots with Thelma Plum, The Avalanches, and Lime Cordiale, a collaboration with PNAU, and an upcoming world tour lined up with Vance Joy — Budjerah is ready to charge forward, armed with a new set of songs that show off his range, his fire, and, of course, his gossamer, heart-wrenching voice. On new single “What Should I Do?” Budjerah unites with producer Konstantin Kersting on a track that finds powerful tension in its clash of electro-R&B production and emotive lyricism. “It’s like no one cares about what’s going on / Could it be that I’ve done something wrong?” Budjerah sings, as Kersting’s trademark synths, rendered here with a warped, almost vaporwave-like patina, glide and glissando beneath. “The lyrics for ‘What Should I Do?’ came really easily,” Budjerah says of the meaning behind the track. “The inspiration came a few weeks earlier — I noticed that my friends weren’t really texting me or calling me; they had sort of pushed me to the side. I was real sad because I didn’t have any friends, and didn’t know what to do. But now it’s over: I got some new friends.” Fittingly, the song sparkles with the knowledge of hindsight. ‘What Should I Do?’ is placed as one of six tracks on Conversations, Budjerah’s second EP set for release 8th April. Which sees Budjerah emerging a clear-eyed young songwriter who’s at turns heartbreaking and heartbroken, lovelorn and headstrong, singing about changing friendships and relationships with the vigour of youth and limpid depth that belies his age. Reuniting with longtime producers Matt Corby and Chris Collins, as well as new collaborators MAY-A and Konstantin Kersting, the EP — which features previously released singles “Talk”, with MAY-A, and “Wash My Sorrows Away” — reveals a darker, sleeker sound for Budjerah, reflective of the changes that have occurred in his life. “These songs speak about the last year — about me figuring out what’s important. My friends sort of dropped away, the ones I was missing in ‘Missing You’,” Budjerah says. “This EP is about realizing that this stuff that’s happening is good for me — I’ve learned and I actually have grown up a little bit since the first EP. It’s a lot of feeling — so much has happened and it’s been a lot to process at the same time, good stuff and bad stuff. Conversations is a way to understand those feelings ” Conversations also features “Talk”, a collaboration with MAY-A that’s already received widespread acclaim, including adds to triple j and Nova. Dealing with themes of communication and clarity, it’s the perfect prelude to the EP’s themes. “‘Talk’ came about from a conversation with MAY-A [where] we were just talking about how a lot of people would rather text than call,” Budjerah says of he and MAY-A’s inspiration behind the track. “It’s inspired by the fact that a lot of problems in our lives could be solved by talking openly and honestly, face-to-face, instead of hiding behind screens.”

Share this