Pop 2.0: how globalised music created a new kind of star – The Guardian

Non-anglophone artists can thrive in this ecosystem. I’ve seen it for myself: in 2018, I reviewed London shows by Balvin, pop-reggaeton golden boy Maluma, Monsta X and BTS. The venues heaved with excited young Londoners, who sang along, lofted flags and generally did their nut over being in the same room as their heroes — all of which is par for the course at pop shows. What was different was that almost none of the songs were in English, and most of the fans couldn’t understand the lyrics.

When I moved to France in the 1980s, and got to know some French music, I often discussed music with people I met. I asked many people whose command of English was limited why they listened to songs in English. They all said the lyrics didn’t matter.

However, when they told me about certain French artists I should check out, they often said, “And the lyrics are great.”

Music in other languages has always been an edge case in English-speaking countries, because of the cost of releasing and promoting records in those countries. So many artists would sing their songs in English, with a hope of getting international airplay, having a single noticed, and then release an album in the US or UK. Now, with streaming, there are no borders, and there’s no reason for these artists to deny their cultural heritage.

Source: Pop 2.0: how globalised music created a new kind of star | Music | The Guardian

0 thoughts on “Pop 2.0: how globalised music created a new kind of star – The Guardian

  1. Yes, and that’s very exciting. Even on national levels the diversity of languages is more visible. Artists such as Camélia Jordana who sings in French, Arabic and English would have felt a lot more pressured to sing exclusively in French even a decade ago. Perhaps Rap artists have had a profound influence here as rapers often mix French with other languages from their upbringing (Spanish, Arabic, Creole, Lingala, Yoruba…)
    However, it is still extremely difficult for foreign artists to tour in English speaking countries. Some very famous French artists come from time to time to London, but these shows are often a one off. It is one of the thing I miss the most since I moved out of France 11 years ago.
    This said, it is also very difficult for more confidential english-speaking artists, even coming from the USA, to tour in the UK. Layla McCalla for example will be touring Europe in spring, she stops by London and that’s it for the UK, while she gets 3 dates in France and same in Belgium. Same for Sophie Auster the last time she toured in Europe, one stop in London, and someone like Pyeng Threadgill hasn’t been seen in Europe for years; and that’s just to name 3 of my favourite artists.

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