Electropop is a fusion between pop music and electronic music that was particularly popular in the 1980’s, especially synthpop, which is a type of electropop that mainly focuses on the incorporation of synthesizers. Today, Electropop is still a popular style, and is easier than ever to make, due to the technology available; synthesizers are generally cheaper, so more people can afford them, and many DAW’s (digital audio workstations) such as Logic, Ableton and Max are available so people can create such music on their own computers. Equally the creation of drum machines (also available on DAW’s) means that people have drum beats that have already been created, ready for them to use, so they can add their own melodies on top of the drum beats. Because of this, some people argue that electronic music is not ‘real’ music because anybody can make it, however, I think this is an unfair judgement, as to make it well, it still requires a lot of work.
Much like typical Pop songs, Electropop relies on having a catchy beat and rhythm so people can dance to it, and also a memorable hook and/or chorus so people can also sing along and will want to buy the song as they will recall it later. However, unlike both typical Pop songs and Electronic music, lyrics and composition are valued as being important, so songs are likely to have a deeper meaning and discuss more important themes than generic Pop, and also have more sophisticated melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
Synthesizers are probably the most important instrument in Electropop, as they can be used to create a diverse range of unusual sounds, setting the music apart from other genres. Most commonly, the synthesizers used are of a low frequency and therefore produce a multitude of effects such as distortions, crisp sounds, warm sounds, or fuzzy sounds to mention just a few. Drums or drum machines are included, and also sometimes Loopers; Loopers can repeat or ‘loop’ a rhythm or melody etc that the artist can then play or sing over. Electric guitars and keyboards are typically used to play the riff or hook of the song. Bass guitars, vocals and sometimes strings or synthesized strings are also common.
Today, a lot of artists still compose music in the style of Electropop, such as the famous Lady Gaga, and Lily Allen, La Roux and Owl City. It is easy to see why it is such a popular style; the sound produced is significantly different to other mainstream music, and is many ways more memorable due to the infectious rhythms and synth patterns created. I think it’s a very worthwhile genre, particularly due to the fact that it is so accessible to people, not just in terms of listening to it, but in terms of anyone being able to have a go at making their own Electropop. Although, I don’t think this in any way diminishes the weight of the genre; it still requires a lot of talent and skill to create a successful piece of Electropop.