For the first time in music history, we are seeing a generation of artists who have never lived in a world where the internet did not exist. What’s unique about my generation of young creators is that from an early age, we used the internet to learn how to do, well, pretty much everything. With an endless supply of information at our fingertips, the result is a growing community of DIY artists, often grouped into what is known as “bedroom pop.”
There’s something inspiring about a young musician being able to not only teach themselves how to make music, but also how to record it, and ultimately build a fanbase on their own. In 2018, we’re seeing a massive number of teens and young adults who are doing exactly that and achieving enormous success doing so. Popular lo-fi pop artist, Clairo, is one such success story. In 2017, she recorded “Pretty Girl,” which garnered over 22 million views on YouTube. Clairo attributes her success to the Youtube algorithm, which boosted her video to “recommended” feeds everywhere.
20-year-old Cuco, who rose to success with his song, “Lo Que Siento,” started mixing his music in his own car. His romantic, dream pop-infused tunes, which drift in and out of Spanish and English, earned him a large online fanbase very quickly. Cuco’s music draws from a mix of styles and artists, including the likes of Kevin Parker of Tame Impala and Ariel Pink, in addition to jazz and Chicano rap.
Though the term “bedroom pop” is often used to encompass the new wave of artists releasing their own music, there has been some pushback for the label being restrictive. In a sense, it puts these artists in a box, while many of them are still releasing demos, and before they even get the chance to put their best work out there.
Nevertheless, the style that groups these artists together is really just a reflection of the time we’re living in. With songs that sound like throwbacks to past decades, reinvented with technology, the genre truly represents the diversity of modern music. At the center of it all is the internet, which has not only given these artists the tools to channel their creative energy, but has also just given them a place to exist.