The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
2020 has been a year of redefinition for all aspects of society: from the reinvention of an online school platform, a heightened reliance on the digital world, to pure isolation for months on end. A significant impact in the music industry was the return, or some might say the Genesis, of Hyperpop.
A simple Google definition of “Hyperpop” has no succinct definition as more popular genres such as Rap or Pop. The genre is described on various platforms as “abrasive, metallic, industrial, textured, aggressive, overdone, flashy, experimental”. Its initial creation was invented by Glenn McDonald, in an attempt to contextualize the growing traction surrounding the duo named “100 gecs”, and the scene of like-minded musicians that seemed to be forming around them. While this genre or style of music may not be for everyone, I think analyzing its sheer popularity speaks to today’s modern culture.
In general, technology has been increasingly integrated into our lives. Specifically, the Hyperpop revival shows how technology has influenced today’s youth and perhaps the future of music. Due to quarantine and isolation, people found themselves face to face with computers for hours. It has thus become more accessible to use technology for creative mediums rather than having to take courses for the same result. No longer do you have to take tenuous guitar, piano, and drum lessons, or be pressured into the monetary aspect of finding and hiring a production team. People with creative desires now have a space where they can freely express themselves without the traditional trip to the music industry. Even music streaming is much easier with platforms like Soundcloud, Tiktok, Spotify, Youtube, etc.
Artists like “glaive” began their music careers in quarantine, gaining traction by venting their teenage frustrations in their music. Many of these artists are quite young, and seeing them progress in a few months has been a joy to behold. Glaive, who just started his music in 2020, has already signed with Interscope Recordings.
I think Hyperpop will remain an important genre for people who appreciate complex and unique sounds that are unlike anything in the pop genre today. By not specifically restricting the genre to any particular definition, Hyperpop can morph into whatever these groups of artists “feel artistically.” Glaive, one of my friends and my favorite artists, already shows the flexibility of the genre. Much of our talk has surrounded his musical career in which we discuss how his music has changed in a short year. According to my friend (@ro11star on Tiktok), his original versions sounded “crispy” with rougher, auto-tuned vocals. In comparison, the most recent releases on his EP “all dogs go to heaven” include more drum incorporation, clean vocals and light rock and rap aspects. These slight changes could have been made for a multitude of reasons: to appease the record company, to appeal to a wider audience, or simply out of creative desire.
What makes this genre unique is that it truly celebrates individuality and is not limited to any age, race or gender identity. A recent press release for an upcoming EP from highly talented artist midwxst discouraged critics from linking it to Hyperpop: “He is part of this group of young children who lead this new subset of music. . . [but] he’s definitely not locked into the hyperpop sound and on his new music he’s breaking the genre.” Ironically, most artists scoff at attempts to define gender too. They tend to appreciate the absence of borders and defend its “anti-territorial” nature.
Here is a list of my recommendations to get you started on the genre:
- Alice Gas
Popular artists have experimented with these techno-sounding mediums such as Charli XCX, Whethan and Rico Nasty. Even popular shows like Euphoria included snippets of Hyperpop, increasing listenership overall. I think its presence and popularity has a lot to say about the state of youth culture as a whole, and its phenomenon will no doubt be addressed in times to come.