|Cultural origins||Early 1980s, United Kingdom, United States, West Germany|
Electropop is a music genre combining elements of electronic and pop genres. Usually, it is described as a variant of synth-pop with heavy emphasis on its electronic sound. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and major influence since the 2000s.
During the early 1980s, British artists such as Gary Numan, the Human League, Soft Cell, John Foxx and Visage helped pioneer a new synth-pop style that drew more heavily from electronic music and emphasized primary usage of synthesizers, while the electro style was largely developed by Afrika Bambaataa, who was heavily influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, and in turn influenced the 1980s pop music style of Madonna.
Some fascinating new music began arriving on these shores; it was dubbed electropop, because electronic instrumentation — mainly synthesizers and syndrums — was used to craft pop songs. ”Pop Muzik” by M was one of the first. There was a gradual accumulation of worthy electropop discs, though they were still mostly heard only in rock discos. But in 1981, the floodgates opened, and ”new music” at last made a mighty splash. The breakthrough song was ”Don't You Want Me” by the Human League.
The media in 2009 ran articles proclaiming a new era of different electropop stars and indeed, saw a rise in popularity of several 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. Lady Gaga had major commercial success since 2008 with her debut album The Fame. Music writer Simon Reynolds noted that "Everything about Gaga came from electroclash, except the music, which wasn't particularly 1980s". The Korean pop music scene has also become dominated and influenced by electropop, particularly with boy bands and girl groups such as Super Junior, SHINee, f(x) and Girls' Generation.
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."
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