Every time someone asks me what kind of music I make, I hesitate. On the one hand, I love talking about my music and I am always flattered when someone shows an interest. On the other hand, I feel like the moment I explain it, they’ll look at me a little differently. I love the kind of music I make, it’s exactly the kind of sound I love, but the words I use to describe it can carry a lot of bad connotations.
Fitting my art into a box and slapping a label on it isn’t as easy as it sounds. I sometimes wish I fell into an easier genre to say, like jazz, or rock, or even classical. That’s not what I want to fall into, but, it would be less embarrassing to explain. See, I like my sound to be dark and laden with violins, piano leads, and deep, throaty drums. I like it to have clever and soulful lyrics, and I want it to make people feel something deeper than just a need to get on the dance floor and grind with a stranger (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It is pop music, but it’s not the kind that you tend to hear overplayed on the radio at the grocery store. When I tell people I make pop music, I feel as if all they conjure up are images of Britney and Justin Bieber, or pretty girls with acoustic guitars making covers for youtube. I don’t want that label to make people think I didn’t work hard to make it, or that it’s just “ear candy”.
I could add a whole lot of adjectives to it, to make it sound better. People look at me a bit funny when I call it dark pop- after all, how could the quiet girl with the hipster glasses pull that one off? I could say electronic, as a lot of my inspiration is more electronic, but I don’t use a lot of synths or electrobeats. I could say indie, but people associate that with acoustic, which isn’t really my bag. I don’t like to say pop, but there aren’t many other words to use, either.
So I keep saying pop, and I keep hoping whoever I talk to will understand that I put in effort, that the lyrics are meaningful, that I want to make them scream and cry and fight back all at once. I am a pop artist, but I want to be respected. If I have to put myself in a box, if I have to slap a label on it, then I’d like for pop not to be a dirty word anymore.