2020 Retrospective: A Silver Lining in Pop Music

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Cael Brennan

2020 was a year of isolation and what sometimes felt like an extended time of boredom where all we had was ourselves. However even though the desolate,  what I was able to experience in 2020 was a watershed moment of the potential and reach of community across the internet so that our lives may be connected in ways unprecedented up until this tumultuous year.

Hyperpop is a niche sub-genre of pop music that over the last few years has seen substantial growth in its following and fans of the artists leading the musical scene. The genre openly takes increasing inspiration from the internet and cultures founded across the web; so it was to no one’s surprise that its collective of creatives including the likes of Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, 100 Gecs, and more without restraint embraced what the pandemic has left us with and ushered in fantastic outlets for the community to come together and commonly fund progressive donation campaigns.

The largest of these events I’ve been able to experience was back in early September, A.G Cook the man who most consider being one of the core founding members with his Hyperpop centric music label P.C Music held a massive stream dubbed “Appleville” on a popular website Twitch as a 4-hour celebration commending the work of all the singers, producers and performers showcased whilst highlighting what many consider to be the best part of Hyperpop the community.

If I we’re only allotted one word to describe what emotion Appleville incurred this year it would be the feeling of assuredness. As to see so many with interests alike being so passionate about the things that myself and my friend group were viewing 

Artist Dorian Electra performing at Appleville

assured me that I myself even am not completely lost when there is such a pool of positivity and community living on my screen. 

Eljohn Macaranas is an online creator who regularly covers the genre and its creative collective of media. Whom upon asking, how or why has the hyperpop community in your opinion been able to overcome the bounds of social distancing and a global pandemic? They went into depth on Hyperpop’s capabilities in the pandemic. “The hyperpop community has always been a very “online” community. The pandemic registered as a non-factor because of that. While physical shows and fan meet-ups are integral to the traditional artist’s space, the hyperpop community organized and innovated to take advantage of other established platforms (i.e. Minecraft servers, Zoom meetings, Roblox games) to deliver concerts and experiences. At the forefront of the hyperpop community, artists like Dylan Brady and Laura Les (100 Gecs), AG Cook, and Charli XCX, rallied big and small creators alike to participate in the Appleville Festival where nearly dozens of artists got to party with their fans virtually and safely.” 

Macaranas went on to speak on how “The pandemic did not alter or blunt any ongoing marketing campaigns. If anything, it inspired the creation of multiple works spanning from the critically acclaimed “how i’m feeling now” to “My Agenda.” Something I find to be very true when the driving themes of albums such as those above are a thesis in finding hope in quarantine or the captivating fears of the now inescapable internet culture we are subjected to. Culminating in the message that is community and identity makes the music, not the tour schedule or talk show appearance.