What the Internet Means for Dead Genres

By Addison Pozzi

Artwork by Sierra Torres

Punk rock died when the first kid said, "Punk's not dead, punk's not dead" -Silver Jews

Genre trends and genre in general used to dictate the accessibility of music for most of its history. As certain sounds and styles of music fell out of favor in time, they lost influence in popular culture. Just as blues changed into R&B changed into Rock changed into punk, music evolved the same way as any other major form of art. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s just how music was.

That was, until, the advent of the internet. Instead of scouring record stores that held rarities from genres past, all music became instantly accessible with the click of a few buttons. Especially with the rise of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple music, all styles of music have become available at our fingertips for consumption and, most importantly, influence. Music culture post-internet has inherently caused the death of genre as we know it, and that is the greatest thing that has ever happened to music.

With the internet, influence from other genres has never become more fully realized. Frank Ocean’s masterpiece Blonde topped charts for mixing R&B, avante-garde soul, and psychedelic pop in a confessional light. The world’s current biggest pop-star Billie Eilish has gone on the record to say, “I hate the idea of genres. I don’t think a song should be put in a category” and her music reflects that combining electro-pop, indie, and alternative sounds. I mean hell, even Daft Punk made disco cool again.

This especially becomes apparent in local music scenes as well. Let’s look at punk music in particular. Before the internet, local punk scenes were held together by a few bands and the crowds were made up of aging punks holding on to the past. But with the internet, a whole new crowd of young people can get into punk, causing a resurgence of new bands in a local scene with no one batting an eye. The internet has breathed new life into genres long considered “dead” by popular trends, and provides a new scene for music listeners not moved by songs topping the charts. The internet has overwhelmingly abolished the idea of genres ever dying, and we are all the better for it.

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