Graphic: The Recording Academy
Get Glitchy With These 7 Artists Essential To Hyperpop
The brilliance of hyperpop is in its inspired, zany chaos. Listen to these seven hyperpop artists changing the game and leading the genre.
It bubbles, fizzes, pangs, moans, screeches, strikes — hyperpop is constantly slithering through modernity toward new light. Forging futuristic soundscapes, the subgenre harnesses the power of experimentation with a distinct mission of upheaval.
With its origins commonly traced back to the late trailblazer SOPHIE and English musician A.G. Cook, hyperpop fuses electronic, hip-hop, and other genres into brash beauty. Hyperpop's cartoonish dynamism embraces the eccentric and bold, but it also grasps at something revolutionary. Its search for escapism is parallel to an auditory, avant-garde iconoclasm.
Whether it's riding a viral TikTok wave or getting boosted to new audiences on Spotify-curated playlists, the quickly-evolving genre has increasingly resonated with people, especially with members of Gen Z and the queer community. Though some characterize it as a microgenre, it's evident that hyperpop is expanding rapidly into the mainstream.
In honor of hyperpop's dedication to fulfilling curiosity, here are seven enterprising mainstays of the subgenre.
A poster girl for A.G. Cook's PC Music label, Hannah Diamond underscores hyperpop's futurism. Her music's hyperreality blends bubblegum pop and outlandish experimentalism, crafting records that feel cutesy but earnest. Her work cradles a characteristic soft sweetness, but at other times, she's not afraid to lean into a grittier, harsher production.
Diamond guides a bouncy nostalgia across surrealism, exploring how identity develops on and alongside the internet — her '90s aesthetic invokes images of MSN Messenger, MySpace, and moodboards. On tracks like "Hi," Diamond questions reality and love from a lonely bedroom, braiding together confusion and longing.
Everything about Diamond's music feels glossy and futuristic. When you listen to her hyperpop endeavors, its experimentalism parallels the thrill of notifications blowing up your first-ever phone under your desk at school.
Alice Longyu Gao
Since beginning to release music in 2018, Alice Longyu Gao has never looked back. The Chinese multi-hyphenate channels their ambition into concentrated, zealous hyperpop songs, signing onto 100 Gecs' Dylan Brady's label Dog Show Records in 2019.
Gao's sprawling artistic career ranges from fashion to DJing to photography to experiential art installation, but their heart lies within music. The creative's distorted vocals flicker over textured tracks, pierced by everything from the quick squeal of turntables to clownlike honking car horns.
Whether Gao's keeping their "100 Boyfriends" on their wrist or drinking "Rich B— Juice" with 100 Gecs' Laura Les (the latter song landing a spot on Lady Gaga's 2020 "Women of Choice" Apple Music playlist), the musician is rapidly expanding their vision with vigor.
Shygirl's music swims in restless fantasy. Known for working with producers such as Sega Bodega and Arca, the English singer/songwriter shapes everything from hyperpop to deconstructed club to grime. Her whirlwind raps flicker with idiosyncrasy and insouciance, and while she might not fall explicitly into the hyperpop genre, Shygirl's style is so creatively modern that she remains a key influence to the genre.
Shygirl released a flurry of innovative singles starting back in 2016, deciding two years later to quit her day job at a modeling agency to pursue music. Since then, her work has explored the depths of desire with both a classic pop feel and distinctive experimental edge, and she cites Mariah Carey, Aphex Twin, Róisín Murphy, and Björk as a few of her core influences.
Juggling a tour in support of her debut album Nymph with managing her co-founded record label Nuxxe, it's clear Shygirl is a busy girl — so try to keep up.
You never know where a drunk DM might take you, but in Naomi Namasenda's case, it got her signed to PC Music. While the label is associated with hyperpop, the Swedish musician — who mononymously goes by her last name — transcends categorization.
Crafting calculated musical chaos as a double Scorpio, Namasenda always knows how to find the fun in life. Her affinity for action movies helped inspire her 2021 album Unlimited Ammo, a vessel of experimental ambition filled with everything from gunshots to glittery pulses.
Though her vocals might technically glitch into voids on her tracks, Namasenda's voice as an artist is stronger than ever. As the first Black musician to sign to PC Music, Namasenda is reminding us how boundless hyperpop really is.
Injecting hyperpop with pop punk, daine is a rising master of the bittersweet.
Angst underlies the Filipino-Australian musician's scream-ridden, electric tracks, and her demanding songwriting unlocks a rawness that cuts skin-deep. Having worked closely with mentor Charli XCX, it's no wonder daine's plunges into pop feel so exhilarating and ultra contemporary.
On her debut mixtape Quantum Jumping, which features songs she wrote back when she was a teenager, her voice wanders through waves of electronica, knowing when to pull back or escalate. Balancing delicacy and intensity, daine manages to find stability amid heavy trap and emo influences, though she's increasingly shifting into a fitting pop sound. Her work is often described as "otherworldly" — a word that perfectly captures her music's punky escapism.
A former high school musical theatre kid, COBRAH was meant for the stage. Her concerts remix and reinvent songs live, bubbling with a sweaty energy that makes it impossible not to dance.
Yet, even if you're not witnessing COBRAH on stage, this spirit carries into her studio recorded tracks with ease. Characterized by some as "BDSM pop," COBRAH's music is heavily inspired by the fetish club scene (see: "GOOD PUSS" and "WET"), and her slinky, sticky beats echo with pop, cyberpunk, and disco.
Impulsive at its finest, COBRAH's hyperpop ventures throb with magnetism. Some of her songs channel nervous excitement — like "DEBUT," in which she describes her experience casually dating curious straight women — but most of her music channels a radiant confidence.
The multi-talented artist also takes pride in her independence, self-releasing music via her own record label, GAGBALL Records. From sewing her outfits to booking venues, she serves as her own creative director and designer — proving that you really can do it all.
Oh me, oh my! From getting her start on SoundCloud to headlining international shows, Slayyyter streamlines sultry, gleeful lyrics over hyperpop production. With sensual vivacity, the musician always carries herself with an irresistible confidence that translates to her live shows.
Inspired by icons like Britney Spears, Madonna and Lady Gaga, Slayyyter is determined to change the pop soundscape with her futuristic vision. Frequently collaborating with producer Ayesha Erotica, Slayyyter writes music that italicizes sexual freedom and playfulness — a self-declared "Throatzillaaa," she's "popping bottles and f— models" on "Daddy AF" and reminding a boy that she's the "boss b—" while he's trapped in the "Dog House.''
With music this neon and campy, it's safe to say that Slayyyter slays as a hyperpop staple putting the petty back in pop.
5 Emerging Artists Pushing Electronic Music Forward: Moore Kismet, TSHA, Doechii & Others
Incorporating multiple genres and styles, these five emerging artists are not afraid to push the boundaries in electronic and dance music.
Contemporary dance and electronic music has dramatically changed from its origins. Major cities around the world — including Belgium, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago — have capitalized on the genre’s popularity within the last decade to hold large electronic music festivals like Tomorrowland, Spring Awakening, Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, each of which gather tens of thousands of fans.
But while electronic music continues to serve as a destination experience for many young listeners, electronic music’s origins actually begin within the Black community. Evolving in the 1980s from the cultural decline of disco (another Black genre of music), electronic genres like house (born in Chicago) and techno (born in Detroit) gained footing with a multicultural collection of fans interested in progressing the sounds of the dance floor.
Although some of the biggest contemporary stars in dance music may be young white men, some of the genre’s most interesting — and diverse — performers are only just emerging right now.
Black artists have continued to push the sound forward, incorporating other genres and elements while staying true to dance music’s roots. In celebration of Black Music Appreciation Month, here are five emerging artists pushing electronic and dance music forward.
Born Omar Davis, Southern California native Moore Kismet is a non-binary and pansexual superstar in-the-making with a progressive sound and message. A musical prodigy, Kismet’s artistic journey began at just 7 years old with a family laptop, a copy of the production software Fruity Loops and a self-taught practice.
Since then, Kismet has released multiple singles and EPs, including "Character" in 2019 and Vendetta for Cupid and Flourish) in 2021. Kismet has racked up major festival appearances, including Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, making them the youngest performer at both events. Earlier this year, Kismet collaborated with celebrated singer/songer Tate McRae on the downtempo pseudo-ballad "Parallel Heartbreak." Featuring vocals by singer Pauline Herr, the track is illustrative of Kismet’s unique, pop-leaning sound. Now, at 17 years old, Kismet is set to release their debut album, UNIVERSE, on June 24.
A lot can change in four years. Just look at London-based DJ and producer TSHA (aka Teisha Matthews), who has grown from fledgling musician to celebrated artist since her debut EP, 2018’s Dawn, was released. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to most listeners.
Matthews’ love of electronic music (and creative drive) began at a young age, with a mother who loved Carl Cox and Skrillex and an older brother who DJed house, garage and jungle.
As she got older, TSHA began to experiment on her own, eventually creating the moniker TSHA for her charismatic blend of '90s deep house and techno.
It’s only been up since then, with shoutouts from media darlings like Annie Mac and Zane Lowe, and fellow electronic artists like Bonobo. Last month, Matthews released fabric presents TSHA, a 25-track, house-leaning DJ mix featuring fellow emerging and established artists. Her new single "Boyz," included on the mix is a pleasant tune sure to please most listeners.
PinkPantheress is unafraid to blend genres as disparate as house, garage, R&B and pop. The London-based musician has made a name for herself, especially on social media, among young fans who’ve taken to using her surprisingly hefty and heartfelt songs as the perfect soundtrack to the minutiae of their lives. Early singles "Just a Waste," "Break it Off," and "Pain" went viral on TikTok, with the latter crossing over to the UK Singles Chart, reaching No. 35. That’s no small feat for a then-unsigned artist.
Since that early success, PinkPantheress has also released her super-short debut mixtape, To Hell With It, which has garnered critical acclaim for its abundance of memorable melodies and her singular, breathy vocals. As an artist on the rise, PinkPantheress is not afraid to stand out from her fellow artists, mixing moods, harmonies and genres with an ease that illuminates her love of electronic music.
Few artists can "do it all" quite like Shygirl. Born Blane Muise, this English rapper, DJ, singer/songwriter and Nuxxe record label head has quietly worked in the underground, experimental electronic music world establishing her singular brand of music.
Blending elements of house, grime, club and hyperpop, Muise first gained recognition for collaborations with artists such as Arca, Sega Bodega and the late genius Sophie. Since then, she has released two EPs, 2018’s Cruel Practice and 2020’s Alias. This September, she’ll drop her first full-length, Nymph. "Firefly," the first single from the album, is a glitchy yet catchy wonder, perfectly capturing Shygirl’s enduring appeal and a perfect complement for those dreamy long days of summer.
It can take a lot for a musician to break through amongst the glut of distractions, stimuli and content available online. And yet Tampa-born Doechii (a.k.a. Jaylah Hickmon) — who raps and sings — did just that earlier this year with her provocative, groundbreaking music video for the frenetic yet brilliant single "Crazy."
The 3-minute stunner, filled with nudity and violence was a perfect introduction to Doechii’s music, which crosses genres and boundaries with ease. Immediately garnering controversy, the video was banned by YouTube from trending and monetization. "Crazy is about un-contained power, creativity and confidence. People call you crazy when they fear you or they don’t understand you," she said about the track and video on Instagram. "So when I use it in the song, I’m reflecting that energy back on them to show them themselves."
However, not all of the Top Dawg Entertainment (home of Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Isaiah Rashad) artist’s music is so controversial. Another 2022 single, "Persuasive," has gone viral on TikTok for its uplifting, empowering message. Although she’s already independently released two collections of music, Doechii didn’t garner mainstream attention until the last two years or so, making her forthcoming debut record all the more exciting.
New Music Friday: Listen To New Music From Jungkook & Jack Harlow, PinkPantheress, *NSYNC And More
As September comes to a close, listen to these new songs, albums and collaborations from Ed Sheeran, Lil Wayne and more.
As we close out the month, this New Music Friday has loads of fresh beginnings and highly anticipated reunions.
Two nostalgic releases arrived as well, with Lil Wayne's new album Tha Fix Before Tha Vi continuing his "Tha Carter" series, while *NSYNC fans were treated to the boy band's first new song in 20 years with "Better Place."
Dive into these seven new releases that blend the old generation with the new.
Jungkook ft. Jack Harlow — "3D"
BTS singer Jungkook takes us through a nostalgic journey with "3D," a song reminiscent of an early 2000s boy band hit. The hypnotizing lyrics illustrate his close connection to someone he can't reach, so he'll watch them in 3D.
"So if you're ready (So if you're ready)/ And if you'll let me (And if you'll let me)/ I wanna see it in motion/ In 3D (Uh-uh)," he sings in the chorus.
Jack Harlow pops in, dropping a few verses boasting about his global attraction with women. "Mr. First Class" claims he can "fly you from Korea to Kentucky," as he closes out the song.
Rolling Stones & Lady Gaga ft. Stevie Wonder — "Sweet Sounds of Heaven"
The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder blended their talents, to create a harmonic symphony of a song that lives up to its heavenly title. Seven minutes of gospel- and blues-inspired rhythms, enriched by Gaga and Mick Jagger's distinct riffs, make this collaboration an immersive experience. Stevie Wonder grounds the track with his command of piano and melodic tempo.
The track is the second peek of the Rolling Stones' upcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, their first LP release in 18 years; their first release, "Angry," arrived Sept. 6. With production from GRAMMY-winning Andrew Watt, the soulful essence makes "Sweet Sounds of Heaven" an exciting taste of the long-overdue album.
*NSYNC — "Better Place"
Yes, you read correctly. After two decades and a recent reunion at the 2023 MTV Video Music awards, <em>NSYNC is back with a new single, "Better Place," appearing in the new animated Trolls* movie (due Nov. 17). With a nostalgic dance-pop beat, familiar production and breezy lyrics, this single is a remarkable comeback.
"Just let me take you to a better place/ I'm gonna make you kiss the sky tonight," they sing in the chorus.
The reunion was first teased Sept. 14, through a video of the group's emotional studio session, as Justin Timberlake shared on Instagram. "When the stars align… got my brothers back together in the studio to work on something fun and the energy was special," he wrote in the post.
PinkPantheress — "Mosquito"
Dive into this musical daydream as PinkPantheress serenades us on her new single, "Mosquito," a dreamy, lucid song reminiscent of old-school R&B. After recently hopping on the energetic remix of Troye Sivan's "Rush" and teaming up with Destroy Lonely on "Turn Your Phone Off," PinkPantheress is transporting us through a new era, full of charm and surprises.
"Cause I just had a dream I was dead/ And I only cared 'cause I was taken from you/ You're the only thing that I own/ I hear my bell ring, I'd only answer for you," she sings in the chorus.
Co-crafted by GRAMMY-winning producer Greg Kurstin, this song is a transcending, surreal experience. This single isn't about romance, instead she takes us through her entanglements with treasures and money. That's further portrayed in the lavish video, which features a European shopping spree starring "Bridgerton" stars Charithra Chandran, India Amarteifio and "Grown-ish" star Yara Shahidi.
Ed Sheeran — Autumn Variations
The era of mathematical-themed albums seems to be over, as Ed Sheeran has entered a new chapter with Autumn Variations, his second project this year. Sheeran is singing from his heart, sharing soulful tales from emotional events in his life including the death of his dearest friend Jamal Edwards and his wife's health challenges during pregnancy — an extension of the stories he told with May's Subtract.
Autumn Variations is very raw, stripped down and authentic as he takes us through his personal journey. Amidst this, Sheeran still brings in some buzzing tracks including catchy songs like "American Town," "Paper Bag" and "Amazing."
Lil Wayne — Tha Fix Before Tha Vi
Lil Wayne celebrated his 41st birthday with a special present to his fans: the release of a new album two days later. The alluring 10-track project,"Tha Fix Before Tha Vi" dives into past vibes with songs like "Tity Boi," a reference to 2 Chainz's initial stage name, which may be a reference to the upcoming joint album between the two. Each song has a different feel including "Tuxedo," which features a more punk-rock melody and "Chanel No.5 ft. Foushee," which features a sensational beat.
His first album since 2020, Tha Fix Before Tha Vi features rather unexpected collaborators, including Jon Batiste, Fousheé and euro. With different sounds and features than past projects, we could possibly be entering a new Weezy era.
Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen — "Mamaw's House"
Country superstars Morgan Wallen and Thomas Rhett unite for "Mamaw's House," a country-folk track relishing the memories of their grandparents' home and cozy fireplace tales.
"It's where I spent my summers and she put me to work/ Shellin' peas and shuckin' corn until my fingers hurt/ No tellin' who I'da been without Mamaw's house," Rhett sings in the second verse.
Rhett said the duo decided to write about their small-town culture — Rhett is from Valdosta, Georgia, while Wallen hails from Sneedville, Tennessee — and the significant presence of grandparents brought to their upbringings.
"This song just kind of brings up how our mamaws used to act when we were little kids," Rhett told Audacy.. "It's an ode to all the grandmas out there."
Photo: Renato Rimach
Positive Vibes Only: AMEN Music Offers Up A Spiritual Home In A Joyful Performance Of "Holy Ghost"
Dante Bowe-led worship collective AMEN Music preaches about the power of the holy spirit on their new song "Holy Ghost."
AMEN Music are ready to worship on their new song "Holy Ghost." Against a backdrop of hundreds of lit candles, the contemporary Christian act leads a crowd in singing the praises of the holy spirit in this special performance for Positive Vibes Only.
"Our teacher, my keeper, my all and all/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ Sticks closer than a brother and he won't let go/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ Completes us and fills us to overflow/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ He endows us with power, now the world will know/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost," founder Dante Bowe preaches as he encourages the audience to raise their hands in the air and sing along.
Led by Bowe, the worship collective recently released their debut album, In the Light, featuring 13 rapturous live performances including "Hero," "Come As You Are," "Beautiful (Spontaneous)" and "Jesus We Love You" in addition to "Holy Ghost."
Prior to founding AMEN Music, Bowe snagged six GRAMMY nominations at the 2022 ceremony, including three separate nods in the Best Gospel Song/Performance category. (His own songs "Voice of God" featuring Steffany Gretzinger and Chandler Moore and "Joyful" earned the singer his first two nods, while co-writing Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music's "Wait on You" scored him a third.)
Ultimately, he won his first GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album as a writer on Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music's collaborative record Old Church Basement. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a seventh time — this time for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song as a guest artist and co-writer on Crowder's "God Really Loves Us."
Press play on the video above to watch AMEN Music's jubilant performance of "Holy Ghost" and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Positive Vibes only.
Photo: Russell Einhorn/Liaison
GRAMMY Rewind: Coolio Calls For A United "Hip-Hop Nation" After "Gangsta's Paradise" Wins In 1996
The East Coast rapper took home the GRAMMY for Best Rap Solo Performance for his No. 1 hit "Gangsta's Paradise."
Coolio was living in the "Gangsta's Paradise" of his own creation when the 1996 GRAMMY Awards rolled around. The year before, the ode to hip-hop culture had not only become a global No. 1 hit for the rapper, but also the best-selling song of 1995 in the U.S. And that February night in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, the track won Coolio his first GRAMMY, for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Receiving the trophy from Salt-N-Pepa and Mary J. Blige (clad in head-to-toe leopard print), the rapper emerged from backstage with his overjoyed entourage in tow, and started out his acceptance speech by claiming his GRAMMY "for the whole hip-hop nation."
"West Coast, East Coast, worldwide — united we stand, divided we fall. Recognize," he continued before going on to thank God, his then-fiancée Josefa Salinas and his kids, as well as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, his collaborator L.V., Michelle Pfeiffer (who starred in the song's music video) and others.
Coolio then ended his remarks on a serious note, acknowledging, "We've had a lil' problem lately in high schools and I only got one ting to say to all my Black and Latino brothers out there fightin': Ain't no gangsters living in paradise."
During the telecast, Coolio also took to the stage to perform "Gangsta's Paradise," which had earned a second nomination for Record of the Year. (That major award ultimately went to Seal's "Kiss From a Rose," along with Song of the Year.)
Sadly, the gangsta rap pioneer died in September 2022 at age 59 after suffering an accidental overdose laced with fentanyl. Press play on the video above to revisit Coolio's GRAMMYs win and check GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.