Published: 21st October 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: With Taylor Swift's newly released album, where is the pop fever heading?
Pop music has enveloped almost the whole world. We look at how it originated, the current trends and where the genre trends stand in India
Have you come across the hashtag #MeetMeAtMidnights? Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights is finally out and trending! People are taking to Twitter every minute to praise the new songs. If you are a fan, a Swiftie, you’ve probably heard it already. If not, you may want to try. But amidst the running pop fever, one wonders how did it all begin? How did pop culture develop around the world? We trace its amaze-worthy trajectory all the way to the peak today.
When did pop music arise?
The genre of music, classified by various characteristics like a short-medium length, verse-chorus structure and tempos which can be danced to, emerged around the 1950s in the US. It dominated the country by the 1960s and around that time, with the British influence everywhere, it spread to the colonies. But the versions varied, of course. Here’s something to note: At the time, rock and pop music were used synonymously! Later they separated, as you know.
What happened in the 21st century?
Nothing much. Or was it much? With the development of technology, styles and techniques, international breeding and the emergence and influence of TV channels like MTV, almost everyone everywhere grooved to them. In the 1980s, Madonna and Michael Jackson were known as the Queen and King of Pop. In the 21st century, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child and Britney Spears were among those who hogged the limelight. And in 2010, when pop music dominated the charts, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry took over.
Focussing back on Swift, what’s in the news?
Swift became the first woman to win the Grammy for Album Of The Year thrice for albums which comprised her solo recordings. The albums were Fearless (2009), 1989 (2015) and Folklore (2020). And even before the album Midnights was released, fans predicted it would be the album of the year. However, it is not going to be featured in the 2023 Grammys. Why? Because it isn’t eligible. Only the albums released between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022 would be considered.
Where does pop stand in India?
Pop culture in the South Asian region is said to have developed synonymously with playback singer Ahmed Rushdi's song Ko Ko Korina in 1966. Then dance beats like jazz and other American hits over the pop music stage in India, finally giving birth to the Indi-pop genre. Currently, Indi-pop is closely linked to the Indian film industry. It often combines traditional music with Western lyrics and beats.
Who are the Indian pop superstars?
Here are some of the popular pop artists and bands:
1. Bombay Vikings – It was a band formed in 1944 by Neeraj Shridhar, along with Mats Nordenborg and Oscar Soderberg
2. Colonial Cousins – The band was formed in 1992 by the duo Hariharan, the lead singer and Leslie Lewis, the composer
3. Alisha Chinai – She is known as the “Indian Madonna”
4. Usha Uthup – She has given so many hits and developed her own unique style
5. Lucky Ali – He bagged the Best Male Pop Vocalist Award at the Screen Awards in 1996