Young Stars and Old Icons with  Soul Sisters Unchain Melodies

Global music in the social media age, with boy bands, ladies with blues and foreign singers are creating a streaming churn in the industry

Published: 10th February 2018 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2018 09:43 PM   |  A+A-

Korean boy band Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS)

August is a good month for Rolling Stones. Until U2’s 360 Tour of 2009 to 2011,the Stones’ The Bigger Bang worldwide concert tour between August 2005 and August 2007 was the highest grossing music tour of all time. Whether Mick Jagger and Keith Richards will spring a surprise this August is a matter of speculation, since their follow-up to the album A Bigger Bang has been in the works for a while. Richard’s recent quote that “a really good original album,” can be expected soon has fans excited. And surprise, Richards said rehearsing with Jagger was “really fun.”

If music fans are going to have real fun with more Bang for their buck, Justin Timberlake will rock them this month by going onstage crooning from Man of the Woods, his first album in four years—Can’t Stop the Feeling! was in 2016. He has collaborated on the song Say Something with country music star Chris Stapleton, whose debut studio album Traveller in 2015 was number one on the US Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Stapleton has co-written three songs for the album. Timberlake’s 14-month arena tour 20/20 Experience world tour between November 6, 2013 and January 2, 2015 grossed $230 million—music industry insiders say Timberlake could hit the road again this year. 

New music trends seem to be a frution of genres that had been gaining traction last year which saw delirious pop and rap hits from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar—the return of the Boy Bands, a Latin revolution, soulful feminine Rhythm and Blues and YouTube entering the music streaming game. The Spanish hit single Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee is the most-watched video of all time. The collaboration between Kelela and Solange Knowles is perhaps the beginning of a wave of innovative R&B.

The Boy Band trend has stormed the music world as internet changes listening trends worldwide: social media pop stars who had been scoring record views—Daniel Seavey, Zach Herron, Corbyn Besson, Jonah Marais and Jack Avery—got 85 million plus audio streams when they came together as a boy band; they released four EPs and also appeared on iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball series that has hosted superstars Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. Another boy band ‘Why Don’t We’ was signed on by Atlantic, and released five EPs in 2017 and has 2 million Instagram followers and climbing. Meanwhile, Korean pop’s fan base is expanding by the millions and pop-rap boy band Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) won Billboard’s Top Social Artistes of the year in 2017, and were featured on TIME’s list of 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

YouTube plans to launch its music-streaming service by March. With 1 billion hours of streams a day, merging video and audio will be a gamechanger. The Rolling Stones magazine quoted  Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, saying, “I want to show the industry that we’re capable of finding those most likely to subscribe and (lead) them to a subscription model.”With social media dictating success and audiences seeking personal and political connect, the international music industry is finding new tunes with big ideas and bigger mediums.

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