Genre helps us to identify ourselves. We often ask acquaintance what kind of music do they listen, because it builds a bridge between us, bringing people forward and together. If I said ‘Indie’ and you said ‘Pop’, we weren’t friends. But this won’t happen anymore, says Alice Kimberley, Vice Media’s Head of Strategy and Insights.
Indeed, music has no boundaries, but genre boundaries is robust as rock. Or so it was. According to a survey conducted by a U.S. magazine, almost 80% of young people said they couldn’t be defined by the genre they listened to. This shows the solid change of genre boundary, and more deeply, it changes the whole game in music.
What caused the dramatic change in boundaries between genres? Well, with the trending of music streaming service like Spotify and Apple Music, we’re granted access to a wide variety of music, millions of artists, without lifting our single feet. This kind of convenience is bound to set us to listen massively. The sheer number of artists we listen has been skyrocketing since the steaming sites gained its weight.
Listeners also consume music differently than ever-before. Playlists become our go-to, instead of albums, we listen to tracks that’re included in playlists. This ends up with us having no idea of the name of the artist, or even of the song, we listened to. Result? Our musical preferences cannot be defined by merely one genre. Our music taste has, in general, infused with an array of other musical elements. Gone are the days when people sticked with merely one music style. We have evolved from mono-genre to genreless which basically includes multiple musical styles.
Actually, more and more artists now label themselves as genreless, probably with the aim of attracting fans of various genres and creating a friendlier version to get into a genre. Earlier in 2018 Grammys, Imagine Dragons claimed themselves as genre-bending, very often infusing rock with pop, folk, country and even hip-hop music elements.
With the increasing amount of genreless music being produced and the effect of streaming services, no doubt that genre boundaries are getting dissolved.