Music, especially pop music, tends to be seen as a perfect reflection of mainstream culture. It’s also known for flaunting the more rebellious side of our world as we shift to new social paradigms. A quick look at pop trends tells you volumes about our culture and how it grows. What was scandalous or unusual in the 80s is now commonplace, or even campy.
As our society continues to shift, pop music starts to change its face too. Up until fairly recently, the look of a pop star was fairly uniform in terms of demographics. If you were young, straight, and (looked) white, you would make it. One only needs to look at the boy bands and female starlets of the early 2000s to see that.
Things are a-changing, though, slowly but surely. Ricky Martin, a Latin pop sensation, came out as gay. So did N*Sync member Lance Bass. Now, more stars from a diverse set of backgrounds are starting to emerge. Lady Gaga and Madonna helped bolster the movement, actively promoting diversity in both LGBTQ and racial sense.
The changes were subtle at first, but soon, it became a very noticeable trend. These days, you can see successful pop stars of all shapes, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Pop is quickly becoming more inclusive than ever before, much to the thrill of onlookers.
I, myself, am a low-key pop fan. I have been listening to pop since I was 12, and yes, I enjoyed watching the pop scene change. Its evolution is one that is still continuing, and eventually, my fascination with pop got me to link up with people who actually perform in the field. It’s been a trip, to say the least.
One of the newest acts to hit the mainstream pop scene is Jay Diamondz, also known as Neal Ohri. Jay Diamondz has recently released his single, “One Night,” to great reception. His unique background and life outlook is one that is quickly starting to represent the new look of pop—a more diverse, performance-oriented look that people can’t get enough of.
That being said, the changing face of pop still has a long way to go.
Because of the fact that diversity is still relatively new in pop music, many aspiring singers still struggle to overcome the judgement they face. Jay Diamondz himself knows this better than many others who are trying to make it big. When I sat down with him to talk about the state of pop, Jay Diamondz had a lot to say.
“The most common belief about pop is that it is a certain way “only one type” but that is wrong because to me pop is a movement, pop is a revelation, you can’t put pop in a mould! It breaks moulds. Pop is anything you want it to be not what they want it to be,” explains Jay. “Diversity, liberations, and self-expression is the most important message that pop should express to listeners.”
Truth be told, the message of diversity is still far more muted than it should be. The vast majority of pop performers are still overwhelmingly non-diverse. Most people in the pop world are still very reminiscent of the 90s singers, and truth be told, it’s starting to cause a bit of a stigma. It’s derided as “basic” and at times, even considered to be dull.
The stigma surrounding pop is one that’s palpable, even for artists. There are a lot of recycled beats, a lot of music acts that seemingly copycat top hitters, and
When I asked Jay Diamondz about whether he sees pop as a stigmatized music genre, he said “Pop is not very diverse right now in my opinion because it’s very recycled. No culture in pop right now. It needs some spice. It needs more Jay Diamondz. IT NEEDS MORE GLITTER!”
As a pop fan myself, I will admit that the stigma makes me feel shy about admitting my love for the genre. I don’t like the idea of being called “basic,” nor do I like the way people assume certain things about the pop scene. Thankfully, all is not lost. Diversity is still starting to make major changes in how people view the genre.
If you don’t believe it, I understand. Pop’s reputation often precedes it. Even so, the sheer number of diverse artists gaining mainstream attention says volumes. People are getting fed up with the standard “singing Barbie” vibe of old school pop music.
Jay seems to agree, noting, “The youth is getting smarter and there’s a new generation full of diverse young talented artists like me out that are coming in with fire, and are burning brighter than ever.”