Take a deep breath. The grim year that was 2020 is over. Yet, many are still dealing with the ramifications from last year. In particular, the music industry suffered quite a set-back. The pandemic forced artists to delay releases. New artists and genres blazed onto the scene through TikTok. Some may say there was a silver lining in music. Now, let’s look forward to 2021. Here are my five bold predictions on what to expect in music this year:
1. Mainstream releases will dominate the year.
In 2020, mainstream artists were on the sidelines. We saw plenty of new artists blaze onto the scene. The mainstream acts were weighing the worth of releasing projects. Well, it’s a new year. Newly-elected President Joe Biden is promising herd immunity by the summer. If this turns out true, audiences rejoice.
Here is a brief list of mainstream artists that *may* release projects in 2021:
Drake- Certified Lover Boy (TBA)
J. Cole- The Fall Off (TBA)
Travis Scott- Utopia (TBA)
The Weeknd- (TBA)
Billie Eilish- (TBA)
Roddy Ricch- (TBA)
Cardi B- (TBA)
Kendrick Lamar- (TBA)
And yes, even Rihanna.
2. Nigeria’s Alté scene is the breakout genre of the year.
In 2020, many missed the quiet dominance of Nigeria’s Alte scene. This music scene is a sub-genre from what is known as ‘Afrobeats’. However, with every genre there is experimentation. The widely-popular genre is starting to gain attention around the world. With its high-spirited lyrics paired with sugar-sweet production, I believe this genre is going to produce plenty of headlines in 2021.
Artists to look out for include: Santi, Amarrae, and Odusni the Engine.
3. “Cardo” will be the producer of the year.
Cardo (a.k.a. CardoGotWings) will earn the title ‘producer of the year’ in 2021. Cardo has been on a steady rise since the early 2010s, most notably producing Wiz Khalifa’s famous mixtape, ‘Kush & Orange Juice. Since, Cardo has been linked with famous acts such as Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and even Drake.
I noticed a steady rise in his popularity when he appeared on Travis Scott’s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. He produced “Through the Late Night” alongside arguably the album’s biggest hit “Goosebumps.” In 2017, his reputation landed him on DAMN, the Pultizer prize-winning album from Kendrick Lamar.
And the list goes on…
Cardo is currently working with upcoming Bay Area rapper, Larry June. In 2020, Cardo produced Drake’s single, Laugh Now Cry Later. The single will appear on Drake’s upcoming album, Certified Lover Boy.
If his trajectory proves anything, look out for Cardo in 2021.
4. There will be only ONE music festival this year.
Like me, you probably wake up every day wishing COVID-19 would just go away. Well, that is far from happening. The pandemic has affected everything. A prime example is the cancellation of music festivals. Those are completely on hold for the foreseeable future.
If you are reading this in hopes of any silver lining, just stop while your ahead. If you had hopes of spending money on ANY concerts this year, save it. We would be lucky to get even one festival by the end of this year.
5. TikTok will emerge as a source of monetization for artists.
With concerts on hold, artists are searching for new ways to make a profit off their releases. Streaming doesn’t produce millions. TikTok now catalyzes for artists to climb the charts.
Just ask SZA.
Good Days by SZA has captivated listeners around the world. Currently, Good Days is listed at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song began charting at number #38 on Jan. 9th.
Many forget that TikTok is the product of a merging with Musical.ly back in 2018. There is now value in TikTok to become more than a mere social media platform. In the music industry, business decisions are driven by creative, innovative ideas. If those ideas can translate into profit, then it’s a no-brainer. TikTok is a vital tool in not only discovering new artists but also help existing artists grow.
As of Jan 1st, there are an estimated 1 billion users active on TikTok. Imagine what a song can produce with billions listening…