Music dates back to ancient times, with new styles and genres popping up in different eras. Since then, there’s an ever-changing cycle of the various genres and sub-genres dominating the music industry. However, some are more favored than others from a long list of music genres— becoming more popular and successful.
With the continuous evolution of the music industry and specific genres more favored than others, here are the top music genres in 2021.
Hip-hop and Rap
Hip-hop and rap are two genres that originated in the ’80s and exhibited a remarkable evolution, making them a standard for mainstream music.
Through spoken words and sharp rhymes to rough and electronic sounds, both genres made creating music without the traditional tools doable. Since the first rappers’ narration of the harshness of living, the descendants of the genres continued to experience success.
Various sub-genres of hip-hop like trap and rap are now dominating the charts and influencing multiple popular genres. Although, the trends do tend to change at a rapid speed due to the internet and social media.
The artists dominating the current hip-hop and rap scene include YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Baby, and Juice WRLD.
From the name itself, pop music involves the most famous piece in the market. Still, despite being the most popular genre, its definition remains complex and continues to evolve through time.
However, you could say that any genre that receives a massive boost in popularity ultimately falls into pop music. For example, The Beatles were considered pop, but they mainly produced soft rock music and experimented with different genres.
Throughout the ’80s, the pop genre leaned towards more electronic music. Songs and artists bridged the gap between modern music approaches and the classic rock form, directing us to the digital era.
At present, the pop genre gets much of its musical language and sound from hip-hop and its sub-genres: rap and trap. Still, dance and electronic elements are considerably present in mainstream pop music and other aspects like Latin sound, creating an eclectic and diverse approach.
The pop artists to watch out for in 2021 include Olivia Rodrigo, Conan Gray, and Tate McRae.
K-Pop or Korean pop has risen to fame, not just in the United States but also worldwide. As a pop sub-genre, K-Pop is sung in the Korean language and was once only available in Korea.
K-Pop stars are one of the most sought after and followed artists in the world. Some of the most famous artists in the K-Pop scene are Bangtan Sonyeondan, Blackpink, and Twice.
Latin music was deemed a niche genre until the ’70s. Then it gained further popularity throughout the last four decades, mainly due to the dominance of summer Latin hits in the worldwide charts.
Latin music has a wide range, spanning from modern Reggaeton to classic dance styles or traditional Samba.
In general, the Latin music genre became very popular that its numerous elements became a recurrent part of a lot of mainstream music that can be considered pop.
Some of the most famous Latin artists in 2021 are Bad Bunny and J Balvin.
Indie and Alternative Rock
Indie has gone through a lot of evolution throughout the last 30 years. What was once representing the D.I.Y. bands descending directly from the Punk Wave now pertains to songwriters, singers, or bands who are considerably remote from the D.I.Y. path their predecessors took.
Nonetheless, Alternative Rock is still present, particularly in the underground scene.
Indie and Alternative Rock bands became popular throughout the ’90s and served as an excellent option for those who don’t relate to the charm of mainstream music. Now, the genre is well on its way to fame again.
The Indie artists to look out for this year include Alsaka Reid, Another Michael, Michelle, and Wild Pink.
Rhythm & Blues
Rhythm & Blues, or what’s more commonly known as R&B, originated in the ’40s, dominating the music industry until the ’70s. Typically, an R&B band will include backing vocalists, a couple of guitars, a piano, drums, bass, and at least one saxophone. With this many instruments, a new sound emerges.
Rhythm & Blues is currently still a much-loved and prevalent genre. Among the most famous artists to bring the genre back this year include Enny, Kennedy Rd, and Ragz Originale.
Jazz music was introduced during the late 19th century and is now making its comeback, spreading worldwide. Although people have enjoyed the jazz genre since the 19th century, it’s completely exploding again in 2021, and people love it.
The roots of jazz music were based on the twelve-bar blues and are loaded with swing notes, making it an enjoyable genre. Some of the rising jazz artists include Kendrick Scott Oracle, Camila Meza, and Kamasi Washington.
Dance and Electronic Music
The advancement in digital technology allowed music producers to explore new ways of creating music. Musical instruments are no longer needed to produce or write a song, only a computer.
Electronic music became popular throughout the ’80s to the ’90s, with several precedents in the ’70s when orchestras were still prevalent in dance halls.