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How hyper pop became a force capable of reaching out and reorganizing the mainstream.

hyper pop
hyper pop

Key Sentence:

  • Musical niches and subcultures, this is controversial, operate outside of the dominant culture.
  • While remaining in an ongoing act of negotiation and renegotiation with the mainstream.

No matter how anti-establishment their intentions may be, subcultures always seem to suffer the same fate—the commodification and aesthetics of their resistance through very central structures that they seek to reject. So then what to do other than accept this fate?

“Hyperpop” was canonized by Spotify editor and playlist inventor Lizzie Sabo in the summer of 2019 by like-minded people who seem to have formed around it. Artists are working under the Hyperpop header – from established stars like Charli XCX to Gen Z newcomers like Quinn.

Erica was also instrumental in expanding it from a niche internet scene to a viral chat point after receiving unexpected tokens from many YouTubers. And super EDM producer Skrillex. Practitioners try to speed up pop music and exaggerate it to the end of wear and tear and absurdity.

And while there aren’t any official genre conventions on the spectrum – like Szabo’s playlist, Hyperpop is more stage-driven than genre-driven – prototype tracks usually sound like a 2010 meeting between experimental sound design and EDM-influenced pop.

Unlike punk, emo, grunge, psychobilly’s, this niche, called “hyper pop” for at least a year and a half, wants to reach the mainstream, albeit in a practical way.

“Our goal has always been to bring Hyperpop into the mainstream,” said one of the Hyperpop producers who has worked on stage with Charli CXX, Dorian Electra, Slayyyter, and many others. As a general rule, genre practitioners “take more traditional ideas from mass pop music and then deconstruct or amplify their more recognizable elements,” said Billboard’s Rebecca Black, a recent hyper pop converter.

Indeed, the Atlantic predicts that “hyper pop could become the counterculture voice of the 2020s”; Dazed calls it “the voice of the post-pandemic world”; Dummy calls it “the future of music.” And while this prediction may sound like an exaggeration.

As the eponymous playlist reaches some of Spotify’s most consistent rescue stages – and songs from the genre hit more than 100 million streams – Hyperpop’s statistical success is starting to coincide with most of these claims as a stage that bridged the gap. Between popular and experimental.

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