Music Trends in 2018: What Artists Should Know

Music trends in 2018 will shift somewhat dramatically from those in 2017. Read on below to see what music gurus expect for coming months.

The return of the boy band!

Music trends in 2018 will include a cadre of new boy bands.

One Direction’s break-up in 2016 left a gap in the industry. That gap is about to be filled by Simon Cowell’s new assemblage, PrettyMuch.

Rolling Stone compares their singing and dancing to an “updated Boyz II Men.” This makes sense because Boyz II Men have been very active of late, even dropping a new full-length record in August of last year which was very well received.

Atlantic Records’ Why Dont’ We also join the boy bandwagon for 2018 with five official EPs over the last year and 2m Instagram followers.

Steve Greenberg, who discovered both the Jonas Brothers and Hanson, says, “There’s always space for a new boy band.”

And speaking of boy bands, expect a triumphant return from Justin Timberlake, too.

Big shifts in EDM.

In case you haven’t noticed, dubstep has left the building.

Commenting on music trends in 2018, Corey Burmeister of told, “Did the EDM bubble burst yet? I foresee a shift away from glow-sticks and light shows back to a real passion for music and culture. Artists won’t stop using the sync button but both analog and digital sales will continue to swell.”

Matt Fulkerson, also of Discogs, says “Dance music is always a bit cyclical, and there seems to be a shift happening at the current time. A hallmark of 90s dance music was melody, harmony, and rhythm, which are classic and fundamental pieces found in all forms of music. I think in 2018, electronic music will start to get more emotional and melodic, straying from the more minimal mainstreams that have been commonplace the past few years. Marrying old technologies with current methods is the centerpiece for engaging music, and electronic music in 2018 should be no different.”

IndieMono co-founder Carlos expects EDM to blend with other genres altogether: “Hip-Hop and EDM will converge in the most mainstream thing we have ever heard. And this would lead the charts together with new Asian (Chinese, Korean and Indian mainly) electronic vibes.”

Billboard stops charting free music.

Music trends in 2018 also lead to Billboard charting free and paid music differently.

When you hear a track has gone to No. 1 (yaaay!) you’re really hearing that Billboard has charted the track at No. 1.

Last year’s hip hop artists dominated the Billboard charts, leading some music masterminds to suggest a new Renaissance for the category. Many hip hop artists provide their music as free-to-stream.

However, some label executives complained to Billboard of unfairness because free-to-stream music gets listened to far more than paid music.

Starting in 2018, therefore, Billboard will chart free music separately, with bought-and-paid-for music forming their official chart.

This is expected to knock hip hop out of the limelight, and could mean good things for rock musicians because rock fans typically buy more music.