In many ways, the song is the center of the music business and is the star of our story. The industry would be nothing without it. Fans go to concerts to hear their favorite
The music you love and listen to says a lot about who you are. You might be a fan of hip-hop or rock and roll, a lover of country or pop or electronic dance music—maybe all of the above. The love you have for music is part of who you are. As you listen to music over time, it becomes part of your DNA, and each time you hear it, the connection grows stronger.
Throughout the last century, music influenced not just how people talked or dressed but even how they acted and fit in with the world at large. Music inspired social movements, provided the soundtrack to rebellion and revolution, split people apart and brought them back together again.
Let’s take a look at how music has affected the styles of an era:
Back in the 1920s, flappers took their style from the social freedoms of the jazz era.
In the 1940s, girls who liked classic crooners like Frank Sinatra would wear short, white socks rolled down to the ankle, and they came to be known as “bobby-soxers.”
The 1960s were a time of social upheaval, protest, and rebellion, and the hair and clothing styles of the decade reflected that passion. With their shaggy, mop-top hair, the early Beatles let it be known they were part of the counterculture movement.
At the same time, African American funk and soul musicians grew out their hair into Afros to express their identity and heritage.
When punk rock exploded in the ‘70s, fans of that music got pierced, ripped up their clothes, and held it all together with safety pins.
New hairstyles popped up—spiked hair, dyed hair, Mohawks—and it all came from the music.
Madonna’s style in the ‘80s influenced a whole generation of girls to start dressing like her.
When grunge took off in the early ‘90s, plaid flannel shirts and torn jeans were the thing. Once again, the musicians were leading the trends in music and style.
Throughout the last century, music inspired people to make political and social statements about their lives. From the beatniks to the hippies, from the punks to the goths, music provided the framework for self-identity.
This relationship between popular music and identity continues today. And it’s important in the music business to follow the trends, because what’s fresh and hot is often what is successful as well. Can you recall a time when musical stars influenced the way you dressed and presented yourself? Does that influence still have an effect on you today?