A Deep Dive into the Hyperpop Music: Origins, Elements & More

by Patria
Charli XCX

Hyperpop is an eclectic and experimental genre that emerged in the late 2010s, characterized by its hyperactive and exaggerated approach to pop music. It combines elements of traditional pop with avant-garde production techniques, often resulting in a sound that is both futuristic and nostalgic. Hyperpop artists embrace maximalism, pushing the boundaries of conventional pop music with distorted synths, pitched vocals, and a mix of digital and organic sounds.

Origins and Influences

Early Influences

Hyperpop draws inspiration from various genres and subcultures, including PC Music, a collective and record label founded by A.G. Cook in 2013. PC Music’s artists, such as Sophie and GFOTY, played a crucial role in shaping the hyperpop sound. Their work was marked by its playful yet subversive take on pop music, blending sugary melodies with experimental production.

Other influences include the internet-centric genres of nightcore and vaporwave, which manipulate existing music to create new, often surreal experiences. The glitchy aesthetics of these genres, combined with their heavy use of digital manipulation, paved the way for hyperpop’s distinctive sound.

Cultural and Technological Impact

The rise of social media platforms like SoundCloud, TikTok, and Bandcamp allowed hyperpop to flourish outside the traditional music industry. These platforms provided a space for artists to experiment and share their work with a global audience, fostering a community that values innovation and boundary-pushing creativity.

Key Characteristics of Hyperpop

Production Techniques

Hyperpop is known for its bold and unconventional production. Producers often use software like Ableton Live and FL Studio to manipulate sounds in extreme ways, resulting in a sonic palette that is both chaotic and cohesive. Common techniques include:

Vocal Manipulation: Pitch shifting, autotune, and vocoders are used extensively to create high-pitched, androgynous vocal effects that challenge traditional notions of gender and identity.

Heavy Compression: Producers apply intense compression to achieve a loud, punchy sound that grabs the listener’s attention.

Distortion and Glitch Effects: These are used to add texture and unpredictability, often making the music feel raw and unpolished in a deliberate way.

Musical Elements

While hyperpop is highly experimental, it retains several core elements of pop music:

Catchy Melodies: Despite the chaotic production, hyperpop songs often feature memorable hooks and melodies that make them accessible.

High Energy: The tempo is usually fast-paced, with energetic beats and driving rhythms that create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Layered Textures: Multiple layers of synths, samples, and effects create a dense, immersive soundscape.

Notable Hyperpop Artists


One of the most influential figures in hyperpop, Sophie (Sophie Xeon), was a Scottish producer known for her innovative sound design and production. Her tracks like “Bipp” and “Lemonade” exemplify the genre’s playful yet disruptive nature. Sophie’s work has had a profound impact on the direction of hyperpop and electronic music as a whole.

100 gecs

The duo 100 gecs, consisting of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, has become synonymous with hyperpop. Their debut album, “1000 gecs,” is a chaotic blend of genres, incorporating elements of ska, metal, and trap. Tracks like “Money Machine” and “stupid horse” showcase their unique approach to music-making, which is both irreverent and innovative.

Charli XCX

Charli XCX has been a major proponent of hyperpop, collaborating with many artists from the PC Music collective. Her album “Charli” and subsequent projects like “how i’m feeling now” embrace the genre’s experimental nature while maintaining mainstream appeal. Tracks like “Vroom Vroom” and “Claws” highlight her ability to merge hyperpop’s avant-garde production with pop sensibilities.

Hyperpop and the Internet

The Role of Social Media

Social media platforms have played a crucial role in the dissemination and popularization of hyperpop. TikTok, in particular, has been instrumental in bringing hyperpop to a wider audience. The platform’s algorithm favors short, catchy clips, making it an ideal space for hyperpop’s high-energy, hook-laden tracks. Viral challenges and memes have further propelled songs into the mainstream consciousness.

DIY Ethos

Hyperpop artists often embody a DIY ethos, producing, mixing, and distributing their music independently. This approach aligns with the genre’s emphasis on individuality and experimentation. Online communities, such as Discord servers and Reddit threads, provide spaces for fans and artists to connect, share music, and collaborate.

Visual Aesthetics and Fashion

Hyperpop Aesthetics: The visual component of hyperpop is just as important as the music. The genre is associated with a hyper-stylized, colorful aesthetic that draws from various subcultures, including cyberpunk, kawaii, and rave. Music videos and album art often feature surreal, digitally manipulated imagery that complements the futuristic sound of the music.

Fashion Trends: Fashion in the hyperpop scene is eclectic and often androgynous, reflecting the genre’s disregard for traditional gender norms. Artists and fans alike embrace bold, colorful clothing, mixing elements from streetwear, cosplay, and avant-garde fashion. This approach to fashion reinforces hyperpop’s emphasis on individuality and self-expression.

Criticism and Controversies

Cultural Appropriation: Hyperpop has faced criticism for its perceived cultural appropriation, particularly in its borrowing of elements from genres like hip-hop and R&B without fully acknowledging their origins. Some critics argue that hyperpop’s experimental nature can sometimes overshadow the contributions of marginalized communities to the broader pop music landscape.

Accessibility and Inclusivity: While hyperpop is celebrated for its inclusivity and boundary-pushing ethos, there are concerns about accessibility. The genre’s highly processed sound and avant-garde approach can be polarizing, potentially alienating listeners who prefer more traditional pop music. Additionally, the underground nature of many hyperpop communities can make it difficult for newcomers to navigate the scene.

The Future of Hyperpop

Mainstream Potential: As hyperpop continues to gain popularity, it is increasingly influencing mainstream pop music. Artists like Billie Eilish and Lil Uzi Vert have incorporated hyperpop elements into their work, signaling the genre’s growing impact on the broader music industry. Major record labels are also taking notice, signing hyperpop artists and promoting their music to wider audiences.

Innovation and Evolution: The future of hyperpop lies in its ability to continue evolving and pushing boundaries. As technology advances and new tools become available, producers will have even more opportunities to experiment with sound and production techniques. Hyperpop’s ethos of innovation and individuality ensures that the genre will remain dynamic and ever-changing.


Hyperpop is a genre that defies easy categorization, blending elements of pop, electronic, and experimental music to create a sound that is both futuristic and nostalgic. Its origins in internet culture and DIY ethos have allowed it to flourish outside traditional music industry structures, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community. As hyperpop continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly influence and reshape the landscape of pop music, challenging listeners and artists alike to embrace creativity and individuality.

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