The 2018 Music Scene, So Far
The American music scene is full of surprises and that is exactly what makes it exciting. No matter where you may be from, we cannot escape the impact of American music have on us from the TV to radio. Each year, it is filled with so many great moments and this year has been equally as exciting even though we are only halfway there. From the good and the bad, we present you with some of the biggest 2018 moments in American music, so far.
1. This list would not be right without kicking off with Beyoncé headlining the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. It was so impactful even before the day of the event that is was already known as Beychella as she was backed by a spirited marching band. Beyoncé also invited her husband Jay Z, sister Solange, Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, as well as J Balvin to share the stage with her. The first weekend was in full-blown yellow theme, while the second weekend was a magenta affair. Beychella felt like an elaborated pep rally celebration, but sexier. Queen Bey outdid herself again, as always.
2. Just when you thought K-Pop act BTS has almost taken over a big portion of the US music scene in 2017, they return again with a new studio album Love Yourself: Tear this year. The boys kicked off their first promotional performance of the lead single “Fake Love” at the annual Billboard Music Awards making them the first Korean act to grace the BBMA stage. For the second half of the year, the BTS members V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga, Jin, RM and J-Hope would be performing four sold-out shows at Los Angeles’ Staples Center this coming September.
3. The return of that Spanish flavour from Camila Cabello’s “Havana” with rapper Young Thug to Beyoncé jumping on the remix version of “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William. How did this happen? One word- “Despacito.” That Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee became the longest running number one song ever on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Artists like Cardi B, Demi Lovato and Nicki Minaj to hop on this train as well. This has definitely opened up many door for the Latin American artists to the world and especially on the dancefloor.
4. Just when you thought it could be the return of the girl group trend with Fifth Harmony’s entry into the industry with three albums in their bag, they announced an indefinite hiatus to carry on with solo projects. First, Camila Cabello exited the group in December 2016 to now becoming one of the most successful music acts. Normani has been making major buzz with her Khalid collaboration on “Love Lies” from the Love, Simon soundtrack while fellow members Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane have been seen on various projects. Perhaps female groups could never be as what it used to be, but we are definitely excited to see what the girls’ solo careers would look like.
5. Since Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” success skyrocket, she has become one of the most hardworking females in the business. With the release of her first album The Invasion of Privacy and a baby on the way, she kept things moving with collaborations with Rita Ora, Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled and more. With her thick Bronx accent and no-nonsense attitude, Cardi B has been a joy to the music industry. It has been too long since we have a female rapper presence of that stature in the music industry since Nicki Minaj. Though she may be on a short hiatus for baby time, it will not be the last time we hear from her as she will be returning on the road with Bruno Mars in September for his 24K Magic World Tour.
6. A review of the music scene is not complete without Kanye West. You will either love or hate this man. He is definitely a man of opinions that lead to controversies. The rap superstar recently released his latest album simply titled Ye, which was completely changed his slavery comment controversy. If it were not for his TMZ interview, the album would have been completely different. The 39-year old rapper was diagnosed with a mental condition and even speaks on being bipolar on the album. The Ye album cover art features a photo of the Wyoming landscape with the words “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” over it. This is just the beginning for Kanye in 2018.
If that is only the first half of 2018, we cannot wait to see what is going to take place for the rest of the year! What has been your favourite music moments so far?
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
Former editor of JUICE Malaysia, former co-founder of GUMBALLmag and is an all-round music enthusiast from the '90's R&B to K-Pop.