I am Grateful for… Dance Pop

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2021, as much as it was better than 2020, is still in its recovery stage post-pandemic. With all the uncertainties the past two years presented, it’s nice to have music lifting spirits. In particular, I am grateful for Dance Pop. These genres are very similar, where synthesizer and artificial or unconventional sounds are a must. And constantly face reinvention. The most relevant songs of today’s dance-pop are “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga ft. Ariana Grande, and “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. However, it’s a disservice to leave out the talented Ava Max and Kim Petras with their golden discographies! Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Ava Max, and Kim Petras are artists I am thankful for because their music made 2021 worth the hype.

1. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga for Dawn of ChromaticaSince 2008, Gaga has been an endless source of club hits. From MySpace-influenced “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” to electronic-based “Bad Romance” and “Born This Way,” she always thought of her fans’ enjoyment first! And, a large part of her fanbase is queer. Not only is she an LGBTQIA+ ally, but in several interviews, she stated that she dedicated her career to the gay community. Amongst recent success with her jazz album with Tony Bennett, Gaga reexplored her dark pop club sound on “Dawn of Chromatica”. The critically-acclaimed album is a rerelease of Chromatica, full of remixes from your favorite hyper pop artist like Charli XCX, Shygirl, Bree Runway, and Ashnikko.

2. Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa by Hugo Conte for Warner Records

Lipa’s international success on “Future Nostalgia” catapulted the singer into pop stardom. Much of that recognition comes from her ability to explore different sounds while making dancing records. For example, from this era, Dua Lipa produced a classic Eurodance track like “Levitating”, switched to a rhythmic Bossa Nova on “We’re Good”, and dominated the rock genre with Miley Cyrus on “Prisoner”. Her effervescence caught the attention of collaborators, Eurodance queen Kylie Minogue and legend Elton John. In 2022, Dua continues her pop reign as she goes on tour with special guest Megan Thee Stallion.

3. Ava Max

Ava Max everytime i cryAlthough Ava Max is not on the radio currently, her musical impact lasts. From her international hit “Sweet But Psycho,” Max continues to carve a place for herself in pop music. Initially, her sound and style resembled Lady Gaga; however, Max’s album “Heaven and Hell” separated her from that image. Her debut album showed a catalog of dance hits and an insane vocal range. Songs like “Torn” are more of a bubblegum pop sound, where “Take You To Hell” is a dynamic dark track. Like “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, Ava Max has her “King and Queens,” a show-stopping declaration of self-expression. Her pop sound is infectious, with some songs becoming viral hits on TikTok. Ava’s recent release of “The Motto” with Tiësto sees the singer embody a sultry persona similar to Britney’s Blackout.

4. Kim Petras

Kim Petras future starts nowLast but certainly not least, I am grateful for Kim Petras. I followed her journey since before her first mixtape, “Clarity.” Kim is the definition of true pop; the German-born singer watched Britney interviews to learn English. Her initial array of singles, like “I Don’t Want It At All,” inspired by Paris Hilton, and “Heart To Break,” put her on the map. Her revamped Y2K sound is genius, and so is her dedication to making “ultimate” pop music. What’s refreshing about the artist is Kim’s music isn’t limited to what is radio-friendly. Another standout from her catalog is her dark, ominous “TURN OFF THE LIGHT” records. Inspired by Halloween, the singer’s favorite holiday, these are perfect examples of her versatility. For example, the track “There Will Be Blood” is a dark take on Eurodance.

We can plan on seeing more of Kim Petras for the debut of her first album. With the slightly viral success of “Coconuts” on TikTok, her stellar singe “The Future Starts Now,” and her upcoming performance on Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, this is only the beginning for her.

What artists are you grateful for this year? Let us know in the comments!

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