No, Justin Bieber Does Not Make The Cut
2015 was a pretty interesting year in Pop music. Rihanna failed to release Anti (although after experiencing its awful promotional campaign and listening to the so-so tracks featured on it, she could have kept it away), Ariana Grande failed to practice sound judgment by publicly licking pastry products and Britney Spears failed us all with “Pretty Girls.” On the bright side, Will Young, who continues to be the handsomest male popstar in existence, reappeared with a strong album, Hailee Steinfeld made her debut and Troye Sivan started to steal all of our hearts.
Yes, 2015 was pregnant with ups and downs but here are five moments that will completely dominate 2016. At least it’s what my overactive imagination believes. Yes, I’ve gone off the deep end and fabricated five moments but what’s a pop culture lover to do when his favorite public figures aren’t holding up their end of the entertainment bargain?
Pop Music Moment #5: Cheryl Returns HARD
Cheryl Tweedy. Cheryl Cole. Cheryl. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. This popstar has given us more names than Diddy to try and remember and to be honest, it’s getting exhausting. Her last album, Only Human, became her worst-performing release to date and she knows her next must be absolute ? if she is to maintain her status as a relevant Pop music artifact because let’s be honest: NO ONE expected her career to be so strong for this many years when we first met her almost fourteen years ago.
What does any relatively young popstar (she’s only 32) who seems old to the public because we’ve grown up with her do to reclaim some of her yesteryear shine? Go back to what fans know and love: releasing Xenomania-produced tracks!
While Cheryl was a member of Girls Aloud, Xenomania not only produced some of their biggest hits but produced some of thee biggest hits in recent Pop music history. The public won’t see this as Cheryl crawling back to her roots but coming to her senses. The first single from this reunion will be uptempo, will be described by Popjustice as “brilliantly wonky” and the video clip will have the best dancing of Cheryl’s career. It will definitely be a hit in the UK but will also find its way in an advert here in the States before being picked up by digital music editors, Zane Lowe’s stamp of approval and, eventually, a spot on Billboard’s Hot 100.
This single just won’t be a great Pop music moment in 2016. It’ll breathe new life into a stagnant career and give Cheryl Cole a brand new pack of “15 minutes” to smoke on.
Pop Music Moment #4: Harry Styles Arrives
One Direction is taking a break and no one truly knows if they will ever return. Either way, Harry Styles isn’t waiting around for his popularity to diminish before striking with solo material of his own. I mean, he did recently left One Direction’s management team in favor of a fresh start!
That Harry’s a smart fortune cookie and will release a radio-friendly single just before school starts up in the autumn. It’ll be about how easily he falls in love but just wants one girl forever and always. Critics will call out the subtle similarities to “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction’s breakthrough single, but Harry’s fans will have none of this criticism. They’ll take to Twitter like “Critic bitches BYE! #HarryLovesMe ?????” and the song, aptly titled “She’s The One,” will become the biggest selling single of the year with over 7 million downloads.
It will also cement Harry’s transition into this generation’s Robbie Williams. Thank GOD for that.
Pop Music Moment #3: Gallant’s Debut Album Debuts at #1
Gallant’s single, “Weight In Gold,” was once described by a BRILLIANT journalist as “a case study on how ambitious young people, particularly ambitious young black men, constantly feel a pressure to better than what they were yesterday.”
His music makes you feel empowered to feel actual feelings which is why it will be the shock of the year when he finally releases his debut album and it somehow ends up at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.
But wait! How will this happen? The Alt-R&B vocalist will lock down a string of late night performances, transition to The Ellen DeGeneres Show and top everything off with a critically-acclaimed set on Saturday Night Live. He might not break any records with the amount of records he sells that first week but it’ll be more than enough to sail by the competition.
Pop Music Moment #2: Fleur East Battles with Rita Ora
Fleur East may have burst onto the Pop music scene courtesy of The X-Factor and successfully entered the UK charts with a Top 3 debut single and hit album but that’s not enough for the 28-year-old from Walthamstow.
Home girl wants America.
Fleur’s team will practically kill themselves trying to secure a meeting with Jay-Z and after a few rounds, Hova will shock all parties involved when he’ll decide to record a verse for Fleur’s first single meant for the US market. It’ll become an undeniable summer banger which will chart higher than any of Ora’s efforts causing her to cook up a big pot of beefy drama just ripe for tabloids to pick up on.
Ora will sloppily mention her disdain for the single after a night out in the clubs calling it “trite and typical.” ??? She’s already in a messy legal battle with Roc Nation so this isn’t too far fetched. However, East will “remain quiet” about the drama but somehow a diss-track called “Oh (She’s Mad)” will leak with lyrics that clearly depicts a picture of ‘poisonous‘ peers. It will also chart higher than any of Ora’s efforts.
Pop Music Moment #1: Wet Takes Over
When I enrolled in my first psychology course as an undergrad, my dad tried to prepare me for what was to come. “The only thing my professor said on that first day,” he started “was that everything is wet.” Flash forward twelve years and now all I want to do is shout “Everything is wet!” from the rooftops. I, to clarify, am referring to Brooklyn-based trio, Wet.
2015 was sprinkled with a few tracks that I vaguely recall but it was the January release of “All the Ways” that really stabbed their sound into my eardrums. It’s a song that’s freakishly honest (“I don’t ever wanna leave you. I never wanna be alone again. But every time I see you, I think of all the ways that this could end.”) without being a downer.
They also just released Don’t You, an 11-track record that is tough to listen all the way through because each song is so dope that you’ll find yourself repeating it over and over. Beyonce will stun everyone by taking the stage at Lollapalooza but what will be most exciting is her cover of Wet’s “Move Me” which will literally shoot the band’s profile into the stratosphere.
Seriously, popstars! It’s already February and still nothing mind shattering has happened yet. You’re slacking. Take a cue from the above and give the public (read: me) what they (again…me) want.