We’ve heard that fashion trends repeat themselves, but what about music trends? Alex Cranz, Managing Editor of The Verge sat down with Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding to talk about the biggest music trends of today and how they rely on some of the biggest hits from past generations.
One of the biggest fads in music today is called interpolation. The term refers to artists taking concepts, melodies or pieces of a previously released song and re-creating a new piece. Prime examples of this are “I’m Good (Blue)” - David Guetta, Bebe Rexha; “Bang Bang” - Rita Ora, Imanbek; “Higher Love” - Kygo, Whitney Houston and “Don't Start Now” - Dua Lipa.
So what is the motivation behind this trend and so we think it’s here to stay?
“Remix culture and especially the use of interpolation is at an all-time-high,” shared Harding. “We’re seeing more new music mashed with old music than we have in the last decade.”
He continued, “You ask me, ‘Is this here to stay?’ I think all of culture is a fad, right? At some point we’re all going to be wearing moon boots again. [So] at some point remixes are not going to be cool, but are they here for a minute? Sure.’”
The way things are going now, it’s looking to be a long minute as remixes and interpolations are performing better than ever before. While they definitely satisfy fans bringing new life to old favorites, they’re also deeply satisfying for publishers who have the opportunity to increase the value of their catalog.
“Clearly listeners like this because it’s performing very well on Billboard, people are choosing to go and listen to it and DJs are continuing to play this music because it’s working,” said Charlie. “Music Publishers are also actively pitching the idea of interpolations to major artists to continue the lifetime value of their catalog.”
Hear more about the creative process behind interpolations and more on the latest episode of the Switched on Pop Podcast.
Switched on Pop is a podcast all about the making and meaning of popular music. Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears and our culture.