‘Be urself’: meet the teens creating a generation gap in music


Here is yet another corner of YouTube I had no idea existed. Instead of radio or the music press, today’s teens are discovering songs in the background of YouTube videos — creating a new breed of superstars unknown to anyone over the age of 20.

For want of a better name, you might call it underground bedroom pop, an alternate musical universe that feels like a manifestation of a generation gap: big with teenagers – particularly girls – and invisible to anyone over the age of 20, because it exists largely in an online world that tweens and teens find easy to navigate, but anyone older finds baffling. It doesn’t need Radio 1 or what is left of the music press to become popular because it exists in a self-contained community of YouTube videos and influencers; some bedroom pop artists found their music spread thanks to its use in the background of makeup tutorials or “aesthetic” videos, the latter a phenomenon whereby vloggers post atmospheric videos of, well, aesthetically pleasing things.


Want to receive more content like this in your inbox?