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> The Future of Pop Music: Your Opinions?
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Anton95
post Jun 23 2018, 01:01 PM
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I havenít been posting on Buzzjack quite often in the last few weeks - I should have been taking part on that forum more actively. But anyways, let me tell you my thoughts on pop music and its future.

The years between 2010 and 2016 was an exciting time for pop music. From Justin Bieber to Shawn Mendes, from Ed Sheeran to Charlie Puth, from The Wanted to One Direction, from The Vamps to 5 Seconds of Summer, from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry, from Jessie J to Ariana Grande, from Carly Rae Jepsen to Meghan Trainor, from Miley Cyrus to Taylor Swift, from The Saturdays to Little Mix, these artists always make big, fun and catchy pop bangers that, in my opinion, sounds, looks and feels so young (and never feels mature) compared to other genres. At that time new artists that made pop bangers were prominently promoted on TV, social media, radio and certain music stores (like iTunes), and eventually hit the charts well and went big time.

But come 2017 and 2018, the time when the pop-punk sound was virtually non-existent, the time when young people found more interest in electronic music, the time when One Direction (and Fifth Harmony) already split and went for solo careers, the time when the latest albums from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift went flopped, with streaming going big time (and the decline of physical and digital sales), and with all the big hype for hip-hop/R&B/urban acts thanks to streaming, it seems all the fun and excitement of pop music were cooled down. Apart from Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Rita Ora and other certain artists that made Top 40, the hype of pop music and its artists is going to be less than it used to be before. New artists like PRETTYMUCH and HRVY, as well as new songs from existing pop artists like Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth (and even existing EDM producers like The Chainsmokers and Cheat Codes), seem to be promoted less, were/are struggling to get inside the Top 40/100 and were/are having less impact on the official charts in the US, UK and other parts of the world.

I would say that the future of pop music in the next decade would be less pop bangers like it was back in the 00ís. Remember the pop bangers in the late 90ís and early 00ís with acts like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and Nsync? I think after about 2002 or 3, the charts around the world from that point were more urban/rap songs (and I think in parts of Europe, more dance songs) and less pop bangers until Katy Perry and Lady Gaga came in, so I labeled the 00ís as the Ďdark age of popí. With the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Kanye West, Cardi B and all other rappers becoming more and more popular thanks to their discoverability on streaming services, and that the charts in the UK, US and other countries are and will soon be filled with mostly hip-hop/R&B/urban songs, I guess we are now entering the dark period of pop music.

Of course pop music will not be gone forever and will still be going thanks to the loyal fans of each and every pop act they followed with. Same thing with Ďtrueí rock music - itís still alive and kicking, but it gets less attention from the public now than it used to be (presumably because more and more young people are getting more interested in creating electronic music now that the cost to create a decent-sounding music is getting cheaper). If pop music ever remains in the charts in the future, itíll be just the extremely well-known pop acts (who I think are/will be mostly solo and female) - the solo male pop acts, boy bands and girl groups will get less attention from the media and the general public outside their loyal fanbase, and their discoverability (from the likes of streaming services, social media and radio) will be harder than the discoverability of hip-hop/R&B/urban acts. Itís a shame that western pop music canít be on the same level as Asian pop music (especially K-pop) where not only itís popular just in Asia but also has a cult following in the western countries. Pop music should really be diverse when it comes to the artists themshevles - it should have a diverse range of solo male acts, solo female acts, boy bands and girl groups. That diversity is found in the Asian pop music world (where their artists are heavily promoted and gain more popularity and attention there) but not in the western pop music world (where itís heavily skewed towards solo female pop acts and where itís putting less emphasis on solo male acts, boy bands and girl groups from the eyes of the media and the general public). In my view, less diversity of pop music artists means less pop bangers that can make a bigger impact on the general public, the media and the official charts around the world.

Apparently pop music made in the West continues to have more interest in Asia and Latin America I think, but the US and the UK - the two countries being the biggest players in the recorded music industry - are having less interest in pop music (save for extremely well-known pop artists) and more interest in hip-hop/R&B/urban music as shown in the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Official Charts. Even some European countries have more interest in urban music now, but continues to have some interest in pop music and dance music there.

Some people have thoughts that pop music is more geared towards kids, teenagers, middle-aged women/housewives and LGBT communities but not appealing to older men (who likes rock music or music from the past decades) and young males (who like hip-hop music). I disagree - pop music, along with all other music genres and styles, should be appealing to everybody in the world, regardless of age, race, gender, religion and disabilty, because every kind of music creates a universal language. There are people who used to like pop country and dance music at a certain point of time/age but are now liking rock and urban music, and vice versa. With music being exposed to each person virtually everywhere - from parents playing their own music to music playing in public places - it really just depends on every person liking each of their own favourite part of music they listen to (genres, artists and songs).

From the perspective of casual music listeners, the charts are the one of the best ways to discover recorded music: to discover new artists, to discover new music by existing artists, and to discover the most popular songs of the week. However, what most people donít know is that the official charts is used to see how the music is evolved through the years and decades, and with music evolving can have a bigger change in peopleís taste and lifestyles and a big change in the perception from the media. The genres of pop and EDM are usually doing decent enough through sales, but not enough through streaming, while hip-hop/R&B/urban albums/songs have had a huge advantage for streaming. More and more people are into streaming right now and less into buying songs/albums, and the people who discovered new artists and music through streaming services usually donít care about what genre they like - they just care about the music that speaks through them. Because of that reality, the official charts are now flooded with songs/albums made by the rappers, and that really is starting to affect the youngest people and people who generally donít like rap. I believe the kids of todayís generation are already getting used to listening to music that speaks about their problems and struggles in life and about their fascination in mature, juvenile lifestyle (found in rap songs) than to music that speaks about finding relationships and having a pleasant, fun, carefree lifestyle (found in pop and EDM songs). The songs within the official charts that used to be appealing to teenagers (and sometimes pre-teens) in a certain point of time (especially in the late 1990s/early 2000s and early 2010s) are now more appealing to the millennials (like me!). The millennials are the type of young people who are mature enough and I think the mature nature in urban/rap songs is what they are more interested in that genre.

So to sum up my opinion, pop music will continue to be made in the future. There will still be loyal fans of pop stars who are awaiting for new music made by them. There will still be new artists and bands/groups who will enter the pop music scene. There will still be some exciting pop bangers in the future. But pop music will be less promoted across the media and will have less prominence in the official charts. New pop music that could be expected to to become a hit will not actually be hitting in the Top 40/100 charts. With urban/rap songs dominating the airwaves from now on, weíll probably soon enter the dark age of pop music in a few years time.

Thatís it for my longer opinion post. So, whatís your opinions on the future of pop music? Will the pop music sounds be the same or will it be evolved in a next few years? Will there be less promotion of pop music artists and their songs across the media? Will the general public/Top 40 chart followers care less about pop music (and more into hip-hop/urban/rap music)? Do you think there will still be new artists creating pop music, especially with regards to solo male acts, boy bands and girl groups? Will the diversity of pop music artists/groups/bands be less? Will pop music decline in the next decade? Are we entering through the dark age of pop like it was back in the 2000s? Let me know!
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Dexton
post Jun 23 2018, 01:20 PM
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QUOTE(Anton95 @ Jun 23 2018, 09:01 PM) *
I believe the kids of todayís generation are already getting used to listening to music that speaks about their problems and struggles in life and about their fascination in mature, juvenile lifestyle (found in rap songs) than to music that speaks about finding relationships and having a pleasant, fun, carefree lifestyle (found in pop and EDM songs).


You say that like it's a bad thing that people are finding music to relate to, rather than music to mask how people really feel. I like the odd song that comes around thats all about partying and having fun but that's not what I want to listen to all the time as it quickly gets tiresome. I think a lot of artists think the same way and more people are using music to share stories and truth about themselves than they were in say 2005. It does all depend on what you count as "pop" music though - and just the same, it depends on what you count as "urban" music since both are very broad terms to me.

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Anton95
post Jun 23 2018, 08:45 PM
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QUOTE(Dexton @ Jun 23 2018, 09:20 AM) *
You say that like it's a bad thing that people are finding music to relate to, rather than music to mask how people really feel. I like the odd song that comes around thats all about partying and having fun but that's not what I want to listen to all the time as it quickly gets tiresome. I think a lot of artists think the same way and more people are using music to share stories and truth about themselves than they were in say 2005. It does all depend on what you count as "pop" music though - and just the same, it depends on what you count as "urban" music since both are very broad terms to me.


I agree with your points. People who weren't loyal fans of each and every artist wants to listen to the music that matches their situation and mood. Sure people like to listen to EDM and Top 40 stuff when they're in the party, but when they're all tired not only from partying but also all the hard work they've done, they prefer to listen to electronic chillout music, middle-of-the-road ballads or just about any music that makes them cooled down and relaxing. Perhaps that explains why the streaming services who are contributing to the official charts right now are favoured towards the non-music fans who wanted to listen and discover music, as the statistics for people streaming a song/album aren't that accurate. Compare that to the music stores that depend on physical/digital download sales (like iTunes) who favours loyal music fans as buying songs/albums tend to be more accurate than streaming songs/albums. People who discover rappers/hip-hop artists tend to be the non-fans who are streaming their songs, while people who discover pop and EDM artists tend be the fans who are buying their songs. There are more non-fans consuming music than loyal fans which I think that's the reason why the Top 40/100 music changed its focus this year with a shift from pop and EDM to hip-hop/R&B.

As you pointed out to me, pop music and urban music are really broad in terms of the many different sounds and styles. But my definition of 'pop music' is the type of pop songs that have been in the Top 40/100 charts and are frequently played in CHR radio stations. Indie pop, 'hipster' pop, any songs in the alternative genre that's sounds 'pop', and pop music that's more chilled down and more soul-based aren't in my definitions of pop music. The 'pop music artists' that's mentioned in my OP, who are making the type of pop music that sounds, or almost sounds, the same between artists and groups, suits my definition of pop music. I can define Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, 5 Seconds of Summer and Fifth Harmony as 'pop music', while I define Lorde, Grimes, BANKS, Halsey, Years & Years, Imagine Dragons, Radiohead and Twenty One Pilots as 'alternative music' even though their songs sound 'pop'. I can definite 5SOS' 'Youngblood' and Shawn Mendes' 'In My Blood' as pop, while I define Drake's 'God's Plan' and Cardi B's 'I Like It' as hip-hop even though they have a bit of a pop sound. With regards to urban music, I can count hip-hop, rap, R&B, soul, reggae, 'rhythmic'/'tropical' pop and certain types of dance music (like dubstep) as 'urban'. These 'urban' genres are especially popular in Africa and the Caribbean (and in the black communities across North America and Europe) because they have their roots in African and Caribbean music. (Urban music also have roots in jazz and blues music.) Alongside the rappers who are becoming very popular in the world now, I can see Beyoncť, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Usher, Flo Rida, Seal Paul, Aloe Bacc, Tory Lanez, Pharell Williams and Bruno Mars as 'urban' stars than pop stars, even their songs definitely (or sometimes) sounds more pop to me. Pop artists like Zara Larsson and Bebe Rexha, as well as girl groups like Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Stooshe and M.O, are having a huge influence on urban music in their songs.
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AuraMasterCody
post Jun 26 2018, 03:46 PM
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I could argue that there were still plenty of urban remnants during the early 2010ís despite the general sound gearing towards more EDM based production. Drake was an everlasting presence back then even though it wasnít as inescapable as it is now. B.o.B and Eminem (and later on G-Eazy) also managed to fill that hole. What allowed songs of other genres such as those to thrive in CHR (and this still applies today) was that they maximized their pop elements. That allowed rappers and more alternative bands to cross over into the pop mainframe.

Iíd define pop as short for ďpopularĒ, and itís constantly adapting to the GP. I donít necessarily agree with the GP all the time but thatís just how it is. Dexton put it correctly when he said that all those songs about partying are fun and all but they become tiring and dated, and I think that leans towards production rather than lyrics. Iím sure that the GP swill move on to a new trend once they find a song that doesnít sound like a carbon copy of Post Maloneís album just as they did when they got tired of every song sounding like ďGood FeelingĒ.
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Queef of Skreech
post Jun 26 2018, 03:59 PM
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More compression, more millennial woooaahhaahhooaaahh, all music sounding the same. Neoliberal globalised crap.
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