|Stylistic origins Synthpop
electronic||Cultural origins Late 1970s|
|Typical instruments Synthesizer
Derivative forms Teen pop dance-pop chillwave progressive house uplifting trance
Electropop is a variant of synthpop that places more emphasis on a harder, electronic sound. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and influence since the 2000s.
Late 1970s to 1980s
During the early 1980s, artists such as Gary Numan, the Human League, Soft Cell, John Foxx and Visage helped pioneer a new synthpop style that drew more heavily from electronic and synthesizer music, while the electro style was largely developed by Afrika Bambaata, who was heavily influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk and the 1980s pop music style of Madonna.
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 second album by British singer Lily Allen released in 2009 called It's Not Me, It's You is largely electropop as opposed to her first ska album. Other female electropop acts that emerged were Ladyhawke, Kesha, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Elly Jackson of La Roux and Perfume. 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.
Male acts that have emerged included British writer and producer Taio Cruz, who charted well in the U.S., along with one-man act Owl City, who had a U.S. number-one single, DJ Kaskade, and LMFAO. Singer Michael Angelakos of the Passion Pit said in a 2009 interview that while playing electropop was not his intention, the limitations of dorm life made the genre more accessible. Some artists have used music technology to convert songs from other genres into electropop; for example, Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost took a record by indie folk artists Mountain Man and turned it into an electropop song.
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."