2021 music trends

How social media is changing the way we listen to music in 2021.

As social media platforms continue to evolve, so does the music scene.  Platforms like Tik Tok have created a powershift away from record labels and toward artists. With this shift, we are seeing an emergence of new sounds, the crossing of genres, and a change in the listing experience. Live music pubs are also playing different types of music to their customers.

An Expansion of Sub Genres 

Thanks to social media, artists are able to share their work faster than ever before. New music is being shared with just the click of a button.  Artists and listeners alike are being exposed to new genres and sounds, leading to a convergence of styles. As these new styles emerge at lightning speed, it’s becoming harder to organize them within our existing genres. 

This change can be seen at the height of the music industry.  In 2019, Lil Nas’s hit “Old Town Road,” stirred a debate over its categorization as a country song rather than a rap song. Similarly, artist Noah Cyrus recently put out a folk pop album titled “The End Of Everything.” This emergence of sub genres highlights that today’s music is evolving faster than our organization of it.  

The Listing Experience

Audiences are no longer passive listeners. As artists live stream their performances, and upload their rough drafts, viewers are made a  part of the crafting process. Audiences now have access to artists in a way we’ve never seen before. They are directly involved in the artist’s journey, by sharing their music and engaging in their content they can make an artist blow up. 

Musicians like Natalie Madigan, upload their work in stages, inviting audiences into the work’s creation. Natalie uploaded her song “Remember Why you Fell in Love” on Tik Tok, where it received 110.7k likes before being available on any streaming service. The attention it received from her followers gave the song a platform before it was ever released.

Classics Reimagined  

This increase in exposure hasn’t just benefited new artists. Because of video platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram, new audiences are discovering old music.  Songs from the 60’s and 70’s have gained a new life across social media, inspiring new music with old soul. New bands like Greta Van Fleet, are being compared to Led Zeppelin due to their bluesy rock sound. 

Artists like Mily Cyrus have also taken inspiration from the older style.  Miley’s covers of “Heart of Glass,” and “Zombie,” have been hugely successful, giving a revival to these classic songs. 


The expansion of the music scene across social media will continue to create space for new artists, while leaving the door open for those who came before them.  As platforms like Tik Tok take over, musicians will have the space to create more authentic work, and continue pushing the boundaries of the music industry. 

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