The Future of Pop and Why It's Female
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Women have always played a massive role in pop music history. You’ve got The Ronettes in the 60s, Diana Ross in the 70s, Cyndi Lauper in the 80s, and so on.
However, since the 2010s, women have been taking over the underground pop scene and laying the foreground for what we know today as pc music, noise music, etc. Yet, they get little air time on radio shows because even if it is “pop”, it might not be widely accepted by the public…..yet…
Here are just a few of those women really making their mark in the industry, one album at a time.
In my honest opinion, Charli XCX has been one of the most influential pop stars of the millennia. She’s been the face of so many different crowds and phases in music that it’s hard to say you haven’t heard at least one of her songs. Yes, Boom Clap gave her the push onto Top 40 radio, but she had made her mark in the industry way before then.
Signing to Asylum Records in 2010, Charli was making music for the British rave scene. From there, she began working with different songwriters and ended up writing Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care”, a classic if you ask me.
In 2013 she released True Romance, the soundtrack to many’s soft grunge phase. With tracks like “You (Ha Ha Ha)”, “Cloud Aura”, and “What I Like”. The big hair, platform sneakers, and tennis skirts were all a part of her signature look, which then took over Tumblr and Instagram. She pushed for more vulnerable lyrics while keeping an edgier sound than what most people would consider pop.
Fast-forwarding to Sucker and “Boom Clap”, Charli and her new look, pop princess gone rogue, went for a much more fun sound. The album was liberating and empowering while keeping people on the dance floors. Her duality paved the way for more people in pop to embrace their grittier sides while still being “feminine” if they wanted to.
Today, Charli’s pushed the bar even further, diving into PC Pop and working with icons like SOPHIE and AG Cook. Thanks to her, we get to see more and more pop stars singing whatever they want and however they want. Charli opened the floor to be more vulnerable and still have fun.
What can I say about Miss Sawayama other than she’s doing the damn thing? Taking on topics such as discovering one’s own sexuality, criticizing capitalism, discussing cultural differences, and the immigrant experience, Sawayama has crowned herself the political princess in the best way. She takes fun, upbeat tracks that really make you question society and yourself (in a good way). She uses her platform to talk about her experiences breaking out into the British pop scene while battling racism from critics. She also talks very openly about her sexuality, giving her fans a safe space and someone to look up to.
On her most recent album, SAWAYAMA, she plays around with different genres, like rock, and giving them a pop makeover (i.e. the heavy guitar heard throughout “XS”). She shows she’s more than capable of experimenting and creating new and engaging songs, and they’re bound to keep you on your toes.
Chloe x Halle
If you got two angels and put them together, it’d be Chloe x Halle. These sisters have some of the most beautiful voices in the industry and can create everything from the most angelic to the most haunting songs. Signed by Beyoncé (the queen herself), these girls have done nothing but release hit after hit. Their most recent album, Ungodly Hour, has been nothing but talked about all over social media and rightfully so. The sisters play around with RnB and pop tracks while singing in different styles to give it their own spice. These girls are simply not getting the recognition they deserve. Not only their music but their performances are raising the bar for other acts. They show up and show out every.single.time. And that’s why I consider them the future of pop music. You can tell they take their passions seriously.
Chloe x Halle are powerful sings and songwriters, and when the world finally catches up with them, they’ll realize what they’ve been missing out on. ...
Now, these are just some of the girls that I think have made the most noise in the past few years. However, we cannot forget the women that paved the way before them (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, just to name a few). I’m hoping to see more and more women taking over the charts and being unapologetic like the ones mentioned before. They have proven themselves time and time again of their skills and creativity, and that’s why the future of pop is female.
(Graphic made by me)