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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the 2021 class of artists joining Fender Next, an artist development program designed to elevate rising musicians that are pushing guitar forward in music and culture. Each Fender Next artist will receive Fender’s industry-leading guitars, amps and more, alongside holistic, 360-marketing support across the company’s multi-channel platform to share their story and connect them with millions of music fans worldwide.

2021 marks Fender’s 75th anniversary and another historical year of, supporting artists who push guitar and music forward.  The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted how artists connect with new and existing fans due to postponed tours and performances. With heightened visibility via the Fender social channels, Fender Next artists are able to reach nine million music fans around the world and showcase their unique sound to new audiences.

“As leaders in the music space, we have a responsibility to support new artists looking to establish careers long-term,” said 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, leveraging the full breadth of our capabilities and brand investments on their behalf. 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.”

On the same day that Sydney Northern Beaches band Lime Cordiale announced their 14 Steps Bigger Than You tour, their biggest tour yet, they were also announced as one of the Fender Next bands for 2021. In a watershed moment last year, Lime Cordiale chalked up an incredible eight ARIA Award nominations, making them the most-nominated act of 2020 and landing them their debut ARIA Award for Best Breakthrough Artist. Soon afterward, in January’s triple j Hottest 100 countdown, the band scored an unprecedented five tracks in the top 26, their highest-ranking song ‘On Our Own’ claiming 11th position.

The band’s live performance is the stuff of legend. Their shows have been touted as “raucous” by The AU Review, and “triumphant… a therapeutic musical extravaganza guaranteed to cure those post lockdown hangovers” by Beat.  In 2020, Lime Cordiale’s hit singles ‘Robbery’ and ‘Temper Temper’ gained Platinum accreditation, and over the past eighteen months the band have accrued an additional 7 x Gold singles. With 1.5 million monthly listeners and upwards of 217 million streams on Spotify, close to 20 million Apple Music streams and YouTube views exceeding 13 million, the band is on a fast rise. They’ve supported Tones & I across North America, and in 2019 played to over 30,000 fans around Australia alone.

Stand Atlantic

Another Australian band to get the Fender Next nod is Stand Atlantic. Ever since their breakthrough EP “Sidewinder” was released in 2017, Stand Atlantic have been one of the “Hottest Rock Artists” in the world, according to KERRANG. In 2018, Stand Atlantic released their critically-acclaimed debut album “Skinny Dipping” that saw them gain international recognition and sell out shows across the USA, UK, Europe and Australia. The album gained recognition as BBC Radio 1’s “Album of The Weekend” and the band bagged Triple J’s illustrious “Featured Album”. 150 shows later, in 2020 the band released “Pink Elephant” which pushed the band to their debut charting on US Billboard 100. The band were also the front cover stars for Rock Sound Magazine, performed on Triple J’s “Like A Version” and their lead single “Blurry” was crowned #1 Most Played on Triple J Australian Radio. Amassing over 100,000,000 streams since inception and having a cult-following online, the band are ready to hit the ground running in 2021.

In its first two years, Fender Next has recognized and empowered talented artists who have gone on to critical acclaim and commercial success. Members of Fender Next’s 2020 class, Black Pumas, were nominated for three 2021 Grammy® Awards. Past class member King Princess subsequently performed on “Saturday Night Live” after her induction in 2019, while her classmate Ashley McBryde was awarded Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association® Awards in 2019. In the UK, Fender Next artist Beabadoobee has won an NME Radar award, while also earning a BRIT Award nomination alongside classmate Sam Fender. Fender Next artists have also gone on to receive their own limited-edition Fender Artist Signature Models, such as Japan’s Miyavi and his Signature Telecaster® guitar.

This year’s Fender Next group includes 25 rising artists (10 North American, 3 Australian/New Zealand, 7 European, 3 Asian, 2 Latin American artists) across genres, generations, genders and backgrounds that are elevating guitar in music and culture. After an open call to submissions from the public and A&Rs across the country, the 2021 class 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. A testament to the diverse and dynamic future of guitar, this year’s group is more than 50% women with 7 countries and 5 continents represented.

Artists include:

Alex Hall
Alfie Templeman
Ambar Lucid
Arlo Parks
Ayron Jones
Beach Bunny
Blu DeTiger
Drax Project
Gabriel Garzon-Montano
Hannah Dasher
Hitsuji Bungaku
Holly Humberstone
Nova Twins
Remi Wolf
Ritt Momney
Sports Team
Stand Atlantic
Suspended 4th

“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 U.S. and everywhere in between to this program,” said 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.”

Aimed at supporting up-and-coming musicians, Fender will drive increased exposure for the new class of Fender Next artists through the brand’s award-winning content, advertisements and social channels which boasts approximately more than 10 million fans worldwide. Depending on the act, benefits include:

Access to guitars, amps, effects pedals, accessories and audio equipment serving artist needs across the signal chain. Products will include American Acoustasonic® series models, American Professional II guitars and basses, Mustang Micro™ personal guitar amplifier, effects pedals, Fender swag and other soon-to-be-announced instruments.

Fender’s industry-leading marketing efforts, including: social media promotion, an “Artist Check-in” video produced for Fender’s YouTube channel, Instagram takeovers, PR/communications support, as well as the opportunity for select artists to be featured in Fender marketing launches and ads.

Inclusion on Fender® official playlists through music streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music and more.

Inclusion of select artist songs in Fender’s digital learning platform, Fender Play®

To bring fans even closer to their favorite artists, Fender® will collaborate with the 2021 Fender Next class of musicians to develop social media and campaign creative content, as well as “Fender Sessions,” featuring intimate performances and conversations with select artists reflecting their passion points and latest releases. That content will be distributed by exclusive partners, as well as on Fender social media and artist channels.

“Fender is iconic,” said Fender Next 2021 class member Remi Wolf. “Fender was the guitar brand I was aware of as I was growing up, so it’s crazy that they’re supporting me in this way. For my debut album, we’re pretty much exclusively using Fender guitars and I have been using them my entire life. It’s a nice little full circle moment for me.”

“I’m very excited to be included in this year’s Fender Next,” fellow Fender Next 2021 class artist Ambar Lucid added. “It confirms to me that I’m on the right path towards making my dreams come true!”

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