In the ever-evolving landscape of music, new genres emerge, captivating audiences and pushing boundaries. Today, we will cover the birth and rise of one such phenomenon: hyperpop. This highly experimental pop subgenre can be traced back to the early 2010s, but its influences and beats are now more powerful than ever.
First Things First: What is Hyperpop?
Hyperpop music is an experimental subgenre of pop music characterized by its eclectic blend of electronic, bubblegum pop, and hyperkinetic musical elements. It often incorporates what is known as “glitch music” — distorted sounds, unconventional song structures, and pitch-shifted vocals — resulting in a dynamic and energetic sound. Hyperpop embraces a futuristic aesthetic, borrowing influences from a wide array of genres, including electronic, hip-hop, punk, and even metal, to create a boundary-pushing and avant-garde musical experience.
The Birth of a New Movement
Hyperpop emerged in the early 2010s, primarily as an underground movement driven by a community of internet-based artists and producers. The genre began to gain momentum with the rise of platforms like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and YouTube, which provided a space for artists to experiment and share their music directly with fans. One of the early hyperpop pioneers was PC Music, a collective and record label founded by A.G. Cook, which played a pivotal role in shaping the genre’s distinct sound.
Incredible Hyperpop Artists Who Transcend Boundaries
The genre has been championed by diverse artists who fearlessly challenge traditional pop conventions. One of the top hyperpop artists is SOPHIE, a visionary producer known for her groundbreaking work in the genre. SOPHIE’s album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, released in 2018, earned critical acclaim and pushed the boundaries of pop music, solidifying her status as hyperpop royalty. Other notable artists in the genre include 100 gecs, Arca, Rina Sawayama, and Dorian Electra, each bringing their unique style and pushing the genre’s boundaries further.
Hyperpop’s Influence on the Mainstream
While Hyperpop initially thrived within internet subcultures, its influence has begun to permeate the mainstream music scene. Notable collaborations between hyperpop artists and mainstream pop icons, such as Kim Petras and Dua Lipa, have resulted in hybrid tracks that introduce hyperpop elements to wider audiences. Often referred to as a figurehead of hyperpop, household name Charli XCX has had overwhelming mainstream success. This cross-pollination reveals a genre that’s expanding well beyond its internet origins and reaching critical mass. So prepare for an explosion of hyper trends, songs, and artists.
A Glimpse into the Future of Hyperpop
Hyperpop’s future is looking bright. As the genre continues to evolve, it has the potential to become a driving force in the music industry over the next decade. If you listen to popular hyperpop songs, you can really feel the dance, electronic, and glitch inspiration to them.
With its focus on innovation and embrace of the digital era, the movement offers a playground for hyperpop artists to experiment, challenge norms, and redefine the boundaries of what pop music can be. Notably, the genre is tightly linked to the LGBTQ+ community, to which several top hyperpop artists belong: SOPHIE, Dorian Electra, and Rina Sawayama, among others. They are on record saying they don’t care much about labels (referring to both musical style and sexual orientation), but there is no denying they are icons of both the genre and the community.
Why Dive into the Hyperpop Universe?
Hyperpop entices you by creating new and unfamiliar sounds that still somewhat retain the catchiness and appeal of pop. It challenges listeners to question their preconceived notions of what pop music can be. It invites you on a genre-bending journey where conventional rules are shattered, and the unexpected becomes the norm.
Much like the LGBT+ community, this genre’s energy, audacity, and relentless pursuit of freedom make it an exhilarating experience worth exploring for anyone seeking a fresh and unapologetically unique musical experience.
A Look at Influential Hyperpop Artists
Hyperpop’s rise from an underground subculture to an influential force in music is a testament to its creative potential. Its origins rooted in online communities, its notable artists who continue to push boundaries, and its expanding influence on the mainstream all contribute to the genre’s captivating future. Just as a small sample, take a look at five hyperpop examples that will introduce you to the genre.
“Hey QT” – QT
Hayden Frances Dunhan, in collaboration with SOPHIE and A. G. Cook, came up with the Qt persona and the cuteness overload that is their 2014 debut single. The track is a sugar rush of euphoric synths, pulsating beats, and manipulated vocals that combine to create a futuristic and relentlessly catchy sound.
“Ringtone” – 100 gecs
Characterized by its frenetic energy and glitchy production. Laura Les and Dylan Brady, the duo behind 100 gecs, blend abrasive electronic elements, distorted vocals, and playful lyrics to create a chaotic yet irresistibly fun track. “Ringtone” captures the essence of hyperpop’s DIY spirit and unconventional approach to pop music.
“BIPP” – SOPHIE
This is a standout track from the late SOPHIE, a pioneer and influential figure in the hyperpop genre. The song showcases SOPHIE’s signature production style, unorthodox beats, and risqué, hypnotic lyrics.
“xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx” – 100 gecs
The song showcases 100 gecs’ more experimental side, combining metallic clangs, glitchy beats, and synthesized vocals. It’s an experience that pushes the boundaries of pop music, and one of the most eclectic hyperpop examples.
“Vroom Vroom” – Charli XCX
A hyperpop anthem that showcases Charli XCX’s fearless and boundary-pushing approach to pop music. One of the most mainstream hyperpop examples, the song fuses elements of pop, electronic, and hip-hop, creating a high-octane, bass-blasting banger. It’s worth mentioning that even though Charli doesn’t seem to care much about labeling her style, her fans have often called her the face of hyperpop.
By embracing hyperpop, listeners are not only tapping into a vibrant revolution but also supporting an ever-evolving musical movement and social phenomenon that dares to challenge the status quo in every way possible. So, dive in, explore the unknown, and let hyperpop take you on a wild ride.
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