“It has something of horror vacui”

It is the craziest pop revolution. It was born on the internet, it sounds fast and it works as a promise of freedom. Already an international mass phenomenon, more and more Spanish artists are championing this genre.

The old-fashioned people who hate reggaeton are in luck… Or not so much. There is a musical subgenre that is rearing its head and exciting the kids. It is not Quevedo’s urban music, nor Aitana’s electro pop, nor Omar Montes’ flamenco-fusion. We are talking about hyperpop. A style that some consider the futuristic evolution of the popular while to others it simply sounds like the sound of an alien intent on bellowing.

“Every time we go to a city for an MDA concert, 15 or 20 kids come up to us saying that they also make music. And They are quiet children, 17 or 18 years old.“, dice Borja Pilateco-founder of Cero en Conducta. The promoter and label from Valencia has established itself as one of the greatest Spanish references in the genre for its work with many of the singers who currently embrace it or who have done so in the past. “We also receive many emails every day,” he adds about the furor generated by these rhythms among Generation Z.

The reality is that young people are no longer so interested in reggaeton. And that’s normal. Their new entertainment has multiple elements that make it connect with teenagers. For example: accelerated tempos, digitally retouched voices (they tend to be particularly sharp) or the inclusion of a large amount of sound and visual stimuli in the set.

“There is something of the horror of the voida lot of information in the songs,” he explains Emotional Ninaartist and producer. “We are in a time of constant inputs, there is something that makes us pay attention all the time. For me, hyperpop is the music of a generationIt’s true that when you hear it for the first time you distance yourself because you don’t understand it. It’s a language you don’t speak. But then, and without knowing why, there’s a melody catchy [pegadiza] that stays in your head and that captures that most viral part of the Internet,” he adds.

For Nina Emocional, one of the characteristics that motivates her the most when working in this style is the “anything goes” code that governs it“It’s the genre where I feel the freest because it champions experimentation. There are no mistakes. In this creative game, it makes sense to break away from the conventional structure of a song or from vocal and instrumental virtuosity. Hyperpop is a constant search for ways to express our emotions and identity through technology,” he explains.

The origin of hyperpop dates back more than a decade in the United Kingdom. It was then that the record label PC Music began to produce it, becoming the main reference. In the genre there are international figures such as Charli XCX, AG Cook, 100 Gecs, Arca, Grimes or the late Sophie. Caroline Polachek and Rosalía have also experimented with it, introducing it into their songs. Little cake y DiabloIn Spain, in addition to the already mentioned Nina Emocional, the hyperpop of MDA, Rojuu, Putochinomaricón, María Escarmiento, Sticky MA, stands out. Key Manager y Rakky Ripper.

“There is something of the horror of the voida lot of information in the songs”

Emotional Nina. Artist.

These last two also managed to bring their work closer to a mass audience by participating in the Benidorm Festthe contest that selects Spain’s representative at Eurovision. Perhaps it was too soon: the two singers were harshly criticised for their use of AutoTune, the programme that edits voices and is another of the essential elements of hyperpop.

“It was a big leap for me to expose myself to people outside my small niche and, above all, to other age ranges. I encountered a culture shock because many people didn’t understand the style or didn’t consider it to be good music,” says Rakky Ripper about the experience.

That allusion to the niche is highly relevant. Hyperpop is the place where people from the community converge. queer, tiktokers and others outsiders. Identification with their culture is key among their fansBeing hyperpop becomes a necessity that often prevails over sound.

“I felt like it made me fly. It was a genre closely linked to fantasy and the LGTBI community”

Rakky Ripper. Artist.

“When I started making this type of music I felt like it made me fly. It was a genre closely linked to fantasy and a very specific environment in which we moved in the LGTBI community. Artists like Charli XCX or Sophie They brought us together in dark times like the pandemic“They have always been a safe and enjoyable space for us,” says Rakky Ripper, pointing out that “a lot of things have happened” and that she no longer feels as identified with the current development of hyperpop.

In this sense, he points out a curious fact Rosa Fernandezmusic director in Spain for the ticket company Dice. “Hyperpop It has been a genre limited to the Internet; at first we saw that when you transferred it to live it worked worse. In Spain there was no correlation between online success and ticket sales success. In the end, they are production formulas that are closely associated with video games, with staying in your room and creating a community on the Internet,” he says.

Fernández explains that the live offering of this musical genre still does not have “as much resonance”, but he does believe that it has been evolving for the better. “In Barcelona there is now an important movement,” he points out. And that is due to several factors. “Some listeners have turned 18 and Others have realized that these concerts can also create safe spaces where they feel comfortable.“, she says. In any case, the executive emphasizes that perhaps we can no longer speak of a “hyperpop genre as such” due to its tendency towards hybridization and mixing with other sounds.

“In Spain there was no correlation between online success and ticket sales success”

Rosa Fernandez. Music director in Spain for Dice

“This is a scene that was born on the Internet and, until it was consolidated, a process was needed. But I think that now the audience has grown in age and number and can already pay for tickets and go to concert halls,” says Borja Pilato. “In any case, there has not been any big hit that has opened the genre to mainstream. That’s why for me It remains a niche musicsomething closely linked to a generation,” he adds.

Pilato also talks about one of the evils of hyperpop: the suspicion that image and, in particular, clothing eclipse everything. “I don’t think it’s such an important value. I think there are a lot of people who take references from outside and replicate them. It doesn’t mean anything at all that you have a queer, cyborg or whatever aesthetic. Many people focus on this performance thing and forget about the music, when the music is the most important thing. They become a pastiche imitating codesThe same thing happens with labels. There are many artists who add some like ‘music’ queer‘ or ‘committed to LGTIBQ+ rights’ and it’s fine that they support movements, but it’s not strictly musical. Many times they build the house from the roof,” Pilato criticises.

And the fact is that no one denies that this happens. “Aesthetics have become more popular than the genre itself”Luna Ki confirms. “It’s not just a genre, it’s a whole performance,” says Nina Emocional. And perhaps this is one of the factors that have caused singers like Granada’s Rakky Ripper, Aragon’s MDA or Catalonia’s Rojuu to try to distance themselves from the genre in their latest movements. MDA and Rojuu have been trying for some time to avoid being associated with reports or information that talk about the subject. Rosa Fernández also points to a need to escape from labels that condition the public’s attitude.

“Many focus on the performance and forget about the music”

Borja PilateCo-founder of Zero in Conduct.

“The new generations don’t like it. And, although hyperpop is a transinclusive genre and has come to give voice to certain people who didn’t have a space, That same generation rejects a single label“although it sounds contradictory,” he argues.

The artist Maria Blayafor example, explains his reasons for not considering himself within the hyperpop movement.I prefer not to be pigeonholed into any genre.But if I had to do it in one, I would say that my music is experimental pop,” he says.

When asked what the difference is between the two styles, Blaya believes that Hyperpop is “not as free” as many point out. In the end, she says, there are certain stylistic traits that are always there. And the most important thing for her is the feeling of identification, presented as a problem and not as an incentive. “I don’t feel identified. It’s a kind of identity that you either feel or it doesn’t work. It’s like if you start doing a dembow and you don’t feel it. I prefer not to do things because of fashion,” she concludes.

Time will tell if hyperpop is just a trend or becomes something much more popular. For the moment, it seems like the ideal style for the times to come. Because, as Nina Emocional says, “Artificial Intelligence is coming to music and it is the genre that is closest to technology and that can investigate the most.”

 
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