We Asked the Experts to Predict the Biggest Music Trends of 2017

Meet the tastemakers and gurus who take a shit on boundaries, tequila-shot your perceptions, and painfully birth the future.

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Jan 18 2017, 3:16pm

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK. 

Like the weather and your body mass index, trends are always changing. One week everyone's preferred method of transport is a shoe, the next it's an incorrectly named hoverboard. One day everyone is doing pills, the next they're encased in a vortex of existentialism and despair thanks to a horse tranquilizer. Blue pill, red pill, milk of magnesia. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The same goes for music: genres are born, then they die, then they're brought to life once more whenever the need for a glorious cash injection arises.

Of course, we're only human. Do we really know anything about the music we're into, until we're told to like it by an expert? That is the question. Unlike us, experts are super-human, psychic-like mediums, so much so that they have probably already invested in whatever they're going to decide we need. For that, we bless them with the scent of a thousand peonies, the wet shrapnel that rattles in and around our pockets, the tea leaves marinating at the bottom of our morning pick-me-up. So, in the grand, once yearly tradition of speaking to these soothsayers, we rounded some experts up.

Here's what they predict will be big in 2017.

Romany Bawdrill-Hopkirk (old white music journalist and author of Punk Rock... Yeah, I Said It!) says… Grime Music

"As an author and journalist, I'm expected to keep my ear to the ground for new trends. I may have been there when Siouxsie and the Banshees played the 100 Club in 76, but I can't really go on The Today Programme or Victoria Derbyshire without knowing a little about all the absolute nonsense on which the youth of today spend their cash.

Lately, I've noticed a new sound coming up again and again in The Independent and The Guardian culture sections. Born from hip-hop, it's a little electronic for my liking—rather fast-paced and hard to follow—but the young 'road men' creating it are wonderfully fierce and passionate about what they do (Google an act called Skepta). The genre is called grime, and for any newbies out there, I don't mean dirty toilets! Anyway, it's a phenomenon I've decided to investigate for my next book, coming in 2018, titled Newsflash!! Grime is the New Punk. And I don't say that lightly!"

Helen Prendergast-Cressly (social commentator and sometime fill-in on Loose Women) says … full professional dress for woman performers

"What I don't appreciate when I am watching Saturday night television with my children George, Georgia and Georgina is having to be constantly vigilant in order to protect their innocent eyes from the sight of scantily clad women gyrating on screen. I'm not the only one who thinks so—I recently started a change.org petition, and if the extent of the response I've received is anything to go by (we've done so well on Mumsnet), female performers doing music on television will soon be required to wear a nice blouse and some trousers, so as not to corrupt young viewers. I think it'll be good! You can get some really trendy blouses these days!"

Lil Spork (popstar and entrepreneur) says… even more merch

"So 2016 was the year of merch—and I would know, I made $1,000,000 selling dad hats with a tiny spork embroidered on them to teenagers on Instagram :P. Some people predicted the death of merch, but I just think it's going to get bigger and better. Merch is life. Personally I'm planning my first homewares merch line—think curtains and bedsheets with that weird gothic old English font on them, branded plant pots for cacti (#aesthetic) and, you can get your very own lil spork. Like my name, but to eat with. It's going to be huge."

Andy Cools (Major Pop Hitmaker) says… happy songs

"Last year was very sad, so we heard a lot of piano, a lot of hushed voices and lyrics about rain. This year though, I predict a major turnaround in pop, with some very happy songs released by some of the biggest artists across all the major rosters. I wouldn't be surprised if we started seeing videos with lots of fist pumps, bright colors (red, blue—maybe yellow), handclaps, very frantic dance routines and words like "yay" and "woo" experiencing a huge resurgence in the charts. I also predict aggressive comebacks from the likes of Paula Abdul, Chaka Khan, and most probably Sinitta."

Little Bobby (former intern at TIDAL) says… exclusively on TIDAL

A few years ago, everyone was on about this thing called the MP3. RIP the MP3. Bless the MP3. And forget the MP3. During my time at TIDAL I learnt a lot of things, mainly that TIDAL is the future, also that there is no future where I can have a family, but hey: TIDAL is going to be there. When I'm cold and alone at night, I will have the three months I spent here to keep me warm. Anyway… I digress. If you know anything about anything: TIDAL. Whisper it quietly: TIDAL. This is the future, the future is now, and it is here (exclusively on TIDAL). Do. Not. Get. Left. Behind.

You can find Noisey on Twitter: @NoiseyMusic.

(Images (in order) via here, here, here, here, and here.)