When it comes to fields that require creativity, only the sky is the limit. Musicians and other artists are constantly surprising us with innovations and new music trends, and what was fashionable years ago can also be re-used in an updated manner to make today’s music even more spellbinding. Here is what to expect from 2017 in terms of music:
The way music is being launched will continue to evolve
Music is not being launched anymore in albums, as we used to know. Artists can simply launch new pieces of music online, on websites like YouTube or Spotify, and in even more unconventional manners – take the example of London artist Beatie Wolfe, who has launched an album as a series of digitally interactive cards.
Holograms of dead or fictional artists
Artists are not necessarily living persons anymore – this may sound crazy, but the key is holograms. For instance, Tupac had a duet with Snoop and Dre in 2012 at Coachella, and Japan has a completely holographic pop-star called Hatsune Miku.
More people will be streaming instead of buying
Download sales are declining and the trend is so powerful that in December 2016, for the first time, sales of vinyl outnumbered download sales in the UK. It’s not that people are buying vinyl in large numbers again, but they are not buying anymore and prefer to stream instead.
Artists will start their career very young
Artists who are not even 18 are recording albums, and some of the best examples are the band 5 Seconds of Summer, whose members were born from 1994 to 1996, and New Zealand Artist Lorde who became a global sensation at 16 years.
Experiential will continue to be a big thing in music
Brands are looking into new ways of advertising to music fans, knowing that already traditional methods like placing ads on YouTube are failing. So, instead of interrupting consumers’ streaming pleasures, companies are considering ways to provide branded experiences. A recent example is that of Heineken, which implemented a smart campaign in 2016 – wearers of customized Heineken wrist-bands were able to control the music that was being played at festivals in a campaign called “Takeover”.
Grime will become increasingly popular
This genre has started to leave its place of origin and spread all over the world. Grime emerged in East London in the early 2000s and draws influences from hip hop, raga, UK garage and jungle, and Jamaican dancehall. Representative artists include Wiley, Kano, Lethal Bizzle, Dizzee Rascal, Jme, Novelist, Skepta, Ghetts, and Roll Deep among others. In the last couple of years, grime has started to become popular in North America and its international growth is getting faster and faster.
Making songs “Spotifyable”
Fans are no longer buying their favourite artists’ CDs and instead listen to music online, on websites where they pay a subscription to have access to a variety of tracks in a legal and convenient manner. This transfer towards online has changed the way music industry evaluates product performance. If years ago you could just see how well an album sold, these days you have access to data such as what kind of users have accessed a song, for how many times they have listened to it, or when did they press skip if they decided they didn’t like the music. As a result, artists and producers are focusing on ways to make music pieces more suitable for online playing. Making music a sort of click-bait is deplored by many artists, and yet the trend is on the rise and it seems like it will not fade any time soon.
Music will get more political
The world is not a very peaceful or calm place from the political point of view these days, and this will probably reflect in music as well. Instead of feel-good or melancholic lyrics, the music in the post-Brexit and post-US elections will use political topics more often. Artists who are interested in what’s happening in the world and want to be honest will start to reflect their feelings or anger and confusion in the music they write.
Streaming will actually make things move more slowly
The world is moving faster and faster, and yet the emergence of new music styles is expected to slow down because of streaming. The editor of Popjustice, Peter Robinson, considers that “Now there’s more of a narrative to how a song is discovered because it takes so long for something to rise up and fade away through streaming services. By the same token, it will take longer for musical scenes to percolate. Traditional channels of music discovery have always had to decide what styles they’re going to cover and present to people, which usually changes every year or two.”
These predictions make the musical scene an increasingly fascinating place to watch; we are curious how many of these music trends will really become prominent in 2017, if not all will turn out to be true.