This week sees the first episodes of both the last BBC series of The Voice and the last ever series of American Idol. The future of Britain’s top singing show, The X Factor, also looks uncertain. 2016 will give us one final year of the big music contests in the familiar scheduling pattern, but from… Continue reading Popping the Question: What is the future of the TV talent show?
It’s been a while since a big female pop star came from nowhere to join the A list, and this year the contenders have been lining up. Artists such as Alessia Cara and Hailee Steinfeld are in strong positions, each with a brilliant debut single, but over the past few months, one of their rivals… Continue reading Popping the Question: How did Halsey get so famous?
Being a Taylor Swift fan has been a strange experience over the past year. While she had completed the crossover into mainstream pop stardom in the Red album era, it’s in the current 1989 era that she has reached superstar status. Several times recently I’ve seen her described as the biggest pop star on the… Continue reading Popping the Question: Can Taylor Swift survive being the biggest pop star on the planet?
Last week I was entertained by the debacle of Jessie J unfollowing fans on Twitter, and the drama it caused, which she in turn mocked. I couldn’t believe she had broken the no.1 rule of being a pop star in the digital age: Never insult your fans. When fans get together, their ego is inflated… Continue reading Popping the Question: How much should artists listen to their fans?
Originality has been a hot topic in pop music lately, from the contentious court verdict over Blurred Lines to the hilarious irony of Natalia Kills criticising an X Factor contestant for copying Willy Moon. These incidents seem to have inspired a trend among social media’s pop culture commentators for pointing out instances of unoriginality: Meghan… Continue reading Popping the Question: How important is originality in pop music?
The music industry has been through a huge transformation in the past 15 years, but the three surviving major labels, Universal, Sony and Warner, are still responsible for nearly all of the biggest artists. Of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2014 in the UK, four were released by Warner, four by Sony and two… Continue reading Popping the Question: Can the major labels use streaming to regain control of the music industry?
As soon as I heard All About That Bass, I loved it, and I bumped whoever I was planning to feature in Future Pop the next Monday to put Meghan Trainor in their place. But in my write-up I had to express a concern: Did her label, Epic, intend to use her weight to create… Continue reading Popping The Question: What does Meghan Trainor’s success say about the music-buying public?
When I first heard the news that streaming was to be included in the UK’s Official Singles Chart from July, I was concerned, but I wanted to wait to see the effect of the change before I made my judgement. I don’t like to be negative in my Popping The Question posts, but I also… Continue reading Popping the Question: How will streaming affect the UK Singles Chart?
On Monday, Radio 1 are celebrating 10 years of legal downloading by counting down the top 100 best-selling downloads of all time. The UK Official Download Chart was launched in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2005 that download sales were counted in the UK Singles Chart, and only in 2007 were songs able to chart… Continue reading Popping The Question: 10 years on, how has legal downloading changed the UK Singles Chart?
I’ve been prophesising for a few years now that pop’s reign would end and guitar music (indie, rock etc.) would return to the charts, but so far it hasn’t come true. The media has predicted it and wished for it, but it hasn’t happened. An article posted on the NME website today excitedly noted that… Continue reading Popping The Question: Do the public really want guitar music back?