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Electropop is a musical genre which combines electronic music and pop music, with a primary usage of synthesizers and various electronic and pop musical instruments. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and influence since the 1980s, all the way to the 2010s.

The term was used during the 1980s to describe a form of synthpop characterized by an emphasized electronic sound, with a distinct pop sound.


Electropop songs are electronic and pop songs at heart, often with simple, catchy hooks and dance beats, but differing from those of electronic dance music genres in that songwriting is emphasized over simple danceability.[2] Electropop is characterized by a distinctive low frequency synthesizers which might variously be described as crisp, crunchy, crackly, fuzzy, warm, distorted or dirty.[2]


Electropop music began appearing in the late 1970s, with the "Robot Pop"[3] of German band Kraftwerk,[4] the "technopop"[5] of Japanese band Yellow Magic Orchestra,[6] and the electronic music of British artists who took inspiration from David Bowie's "Berlin period" albums Low, Heroes, and Lodger,[7] as well as late 70s electronic-influenced disco, especially Germany's Munich Machine led by Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer. Some groups also took inspiration from the NYC electropunk group Suicide.[8]

Electropop's early steps, and the Numan Futurist movement in particular, were strongly disparaged in the British music press of the late 1970s and early 1980s as the "Adolf Hitler Memorial Space Patrol" (Mick Farren).[9]

During the early 1980s, the electro style was largely developed by Afrika Bambaata, who was heavily influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk and the 80s pop music style of Madonna.[10]

21st century[edit]

Kesha is one of the most successful electropop artists
The 2013 Icona Pop song "I Love It", featuring Charli XCX, is an example of an electropop track. The song's composition features massive usage of synthesizers, which is common in many electropop songs.

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The 2008 Britney Spears song "Womanizer" is another example of electropop.

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The British and other media in 2009 ran articles proclaiming a new era of the female electropop star and indeed 2009 saw a rise in popularity of female electropop artists. In the Sound of 2009 poll of 130 music experts conducted for the BBC, ten of the top fifteen artists named were of the electropop genre.[11] Lady Gaga had major commercial success since 2008 with her debut album The Fame.[12][13][14][15][16] Music writer Simon Reynolds noted that "Everything about Gaga came from electroclash, except the music, which wasn't particularly 1980s".[17] The second album by British singer Lily Allen released in 2009 called It's Not Me, It's You is largely electropop as opposed to her first ska album.[18][19] Other female electropop acts that emerged were Ladyhawke,[20] Kesha,[21] Demi Lovato,[22] Britney Spears,[23][24][25][26][27] Selena Gomez, [28] Elly Jackson of La Roux [20] and Perfume.[29]

Male acts that have emerged included British writer and producer Taio Cruz, who charted well in the U.S.,[30] along with one-man act Owl City, who had a U.S. number-one single,[31][32] DJ Kaskade,[33] and LMFAO.[34] Singer Michael Angelakos of the Passion Pit said in a 2009 interview that while playing electro pop was not his intention, the limitations of dorm life made the genre more accessible.[35] Some artists have used music technology to convert songs from other genres into electropop; for example, Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost took a record by indie folk artists Mountain Man and turned it into an electropop song.[36]

In 2009, James Oldham—head of artists and repertoire at A&M Records—was quoted as saying "All A&R departments have been saying to managers and lawyers: 'Don't give us any more bands because we're not going to sign them and they're not going to sell records.' So everything we've been put on to is electronic in nature."[20][37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spilling Beyond a Festival’s Main Courses". The New York Times. 22 March 2010 – via New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b "Electropop music". Last.fm. 29 Jun 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Kraftwerk at AllMusic
  4. ^ Rachel Devitt, "Geeks of electro-pop meld man, machine in mind-blowing show", The Seattle Times, April 28, 2004. [1] Access date: August 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "Yellow Magic Orchestra profile". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  6. ^ "Yellow Magic Orchestra reunite for Massive Attack's Meltdown." Side-Line. [2] Access date: August 11, 2008.
  7. ^ Greg Villepique, Salon, January 25, 2000. [3] Access date: August 11, 2008.
  8. ^ Scott Thill, "All-Star Admirers Resuscitate Suicide", Wired Listening Post, June 24, 2008. [4] Access date: August 13, 2008.
  9. ^ The Seth Man, Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage, June 1, 2004. [5] Access date: August 14, 2004
  10. ^ David Toop (March 1996), "A-Z Of Electro", The Wire (145), retrieved 2011-05-29 
  11. ^ UK gaga for electro-pop, guitar bands fight back, The Kuwait Times, January 28, 2009
  12. ^ "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - Number one single for Lady GaGa". bbc.co.uk. 
  13. ^ "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - Lady GaGa holds onto chart crown". bbc.co.uk. 
  14. ^ "Search - Billboard". billboard.com. 
  15. ^ "Login". 
  16. ^ Neil McCormick (21 January 2009). "Lady GaGa: pop meets art to just dance". Telegraph.co.uk. 
  17. ^ The 1980s revival that lasted an entire decade by Simon Reynolds for The Guardian 22 January 2010
  18. ^ "Music - New Music News, Reviews, Pictures, and Videos". Rolling Stone. 
  19. ^ "Lily Allen". smh.com.au. 
  20. ^ a b c "Gaga for girl power". smh.com.au. 
  21. ^ "Login". 
  22. ^ "Demi Lovato Is Unveiling Something Big In 2015". People's Choice. Sidney Madden. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "New Music: Britney Spears f/ will.i.am – ‘Big Fat Bass’". Rap-Up. Devin Lazerine. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "'Hold It Against Me' Is Primo Britney". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Marikar, Sheila. "Britney Spears Drops ‘Till the World Ends,’ Mimics Ke$ha". ABC News. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  26. ^ Lipshutz, Jason. "Britney Spears, Till the World Ends". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  27. ^ Ganz, Caryn. "Spears at her most daring and innovative — really! Dark, dangerous, fascinating.". eMusic. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  28. ^ News Desk More News Desk. "Concert Review: Selena Gomez & the Scene, Bell Centre, October 30". Montreal Gazette. 
  29. ^ "Perfumeが1位獲得!YMO以来約25年ぶりの快挙" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  30. ^ "Taio Cruzes Up The U.S Chart!". MTV UK. 
  31. ^ Maybe I'm Dreaming: Owl City [6] Access date: July 9, 2009.
  32. ^ "BBC News - Pop's space cadets set to blast off". bbc.co.uk. 
  33. ^ Jen Woo (29 June 2010). "Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum". independent.com. 
  34. ^ "Party just beginning for electro-pop duo LMFAO". Reuters. 
  35. ^ Interview: Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit Boston Phoenix October 1, 2009
  36. ^ Erick Sermon (March 2011). "Warm Ghost – Uncut Diamond EP -- Partisan Records: 2011". Music Nerdery. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  37. ^ Neil McCormick (5 August 2009). "La Roux, Lady Gaga, Mika, Little Boots: the 80s are back". Telegraph.co.uk. 


  • Depeche Mode & the Story of Electro-Pop, Q/Mojo magazine collaboration, 2005.
  • Electronic Music: The Instruments, the Music & the Musicians by Andy Mackay, of Roxy Music