A mysterious new genre of music is on the rise. Mixing the angsty lyrics of emo rock with an upbeat bubblegum pop sound and extreme autotune, hyper pop has begun to draw the attention of music fans everywhere. Given its title by a Spotify playlist created in August 2019, the micro genre has been gaining popularity amongst young people and music lovers.
The first iteration of hyperpop-esque music is credited to A.G. Cook and his art collective PC Music. The birthplace of iconic hyperpop artists such as the late SOPHIE and Charlie XCX, PC music created a new abstract sound rejecting the grunge electronic music of the 2010’s and adopting a more “cutesy” pop sound. This new sound gained popularity through the late 2010s, drawing more and more artists to the genre.
Drawing inspiration from J-pop, K-pop, Emo Rock, Glitchcore, Hiphop, Dance Music, Nu Metal, Bubblegum Pop, Dubstep and a myriad of other genres, this eclectic mix has transformed the hyperpop world into a mixing pot, drawing in artists from seemingly disparate backgrounds. It’s absurd beats and brash sound has captivated a new generation of electronic music artists. A sarcastic use of sampling can often be found in this genre, drawing sounds that can be found all over pop culture and embedding it into this sound. Popular hyperpop duo 100 Gecs sampling “Horse Angry (Minecraft Sound)” in their remix of Stupid Horse shows the humor and often unserious tone of the samples found in hyperpop.
The exciting new sound has drawn interest across the board, but has found its biggest impact in the LGBTQIA+ community. Many hyperpop idols identify as transgender, nonbinary, or anywhere along the spectrum, and electronic mixing and extreme voice altering autotune allows artists to create a sound that aligns more closely with how they prefer to present themselves. Nonbinary artist Dorian Electra pushes the boundaries of gender with their androgyny-oriented lyrics and unabashed individuality with songs like Guyliner, Flamboyant, and My Agenda, a song about infecting frogs with homosexuality through water. Songs pertaining to LGBTQIA+ topics are very commonly found in the hyperpop genre like Fraxiom’s cishets (i don’t want it at all), cishets being commonly used slang for cisgender and heterosexual, and this has given a safe community to people of all sexualities where differences and eccentricity is celebrated.
Hyperpop hasn’t only taken root in the English-Speaking world–it has also found massive influence in Spanish-speaking countries. Artists like Putochinomaricon, TAICHU, and Arca use the same brash beats seen by the English speaking artists but bring the reach of hyperpop even further. With songs like Incendio by Arca, the recognizable ingredients featured in any other hyperpop song are just as present but bringing the focus to another language and set of people. Hyperpop even extends to Russia with artists like 17 Seventeen. This genre is taking the world by storm and creating roots everywhere music can be found.
The accessibility to producing and posting has given unprecedented access to young people and the ability to create their own music. Soundcloud, the digital streaming space where users can post their own music, has served as a portal to new talent that has never been seen elsewhere. Artists like Glaive, a 17-year-old musician who gained popularity from his angsty soundcloud songs at 15, have found an outlet to express themselves from the middle of their bedrooms in rural America. People who never would have had an opportunity to be signed to a record label or have access to create music have pioneered an outlet and path to the music industry. The Soundcloud “Digicore” scene has also influenced the hyperpop sound, bringing more of a hip hop and rap influence but still using those commonly found electronic beats and noises.
Hyperpop as a genre gives a clear view of our generation and what we believe in. A kind of music that consists of an array of others, with no boundaries, and artists having fun is a peek into the future. Music no longer has to be defined by strict labels of genre and instead can lean towards a blend of all an artist's favorite sounds. If this eccentric sound has piqued your interest, any of the artists mentioned are great musicians that are highly recommended but it’s also important to listen to the smaller artists of the genre that won’t come up after a quick Google of hyperpop. If you are searching for something to satisfy the glitchy static in your brain, Saoirse Dream’s discography will provide you with exactly what you’re looking for, the perfect mix of lyrics and electronic glitching. Paris-based artist Angelus showcases the depth of hyperpop with collaborations with popular producers twikipedia, fortuneswan, and artist midwxst. Some other recommendations with under 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify are Elroy, Isabel LaRosa, Mssnger, Lovesickxo, Shyburial, torr, Rab, Frost Children, and Petal Supply. Hyperpop is a beautiful mix of genres that is a breeding space for creativity and community and is leading the future of music.