Some music styles are more well-known and have more fans than others. Why does that happen?

A Music genre seems to be like a restaurant . New and attractive restaurants draw lots of first timers. Would you expect all the new customers to revisit? But you would agree that those pleased by the services of the firm are likely to return. The same law determines which genre gets the throne in any society.


Things That Affect The Popularity Of Music Genres

1.      Whatever Trends Keeps Being Made

Not all genres are popular and successful. Because of this, producers and marketers like some and dislike the others. As in roughly every production done on earth, the desire for profit plays a big role. Take Afrobeats for an example.

Hip-Hop/Rap music has been streaming the most in the United States of America, and this explains why it would keep doing so. Pop has been ruling in world charts too. Music maker’s choices play a big part in what music style that reigns.

2.      When A Genre Loses Monopoly Of What It Was Loved For

Rock music is not as popular as it used to be. The style was known for its rebelliousness. As other music genres are taking over the digital instruments available, it is getting irrelevant to many.

It still has fans, but does not have the place it had before. As Christian hymns lost their place as the main worship songs of the West, so do things lose their fame when no more considered what they were.

3.      What Is Easier To Make Is Likely To Increase In Number

Computers and digital technology empowers labels to experiment on other styles of music production. A girl can make her album in her own studio without help these days. She needs experience, of course, but that is all she would need.

Digital technology has made the world a new scenery; many jobs humans did in the past are now done by computers. In fact, the use of computers means that there are likely to be less mistakes during performance.

Let us not talk about the fact that there is none to pay for the work.

4.      Chances For Exploration

When there are insights and improvements, music styles win fans outside the boundaries of their birthplace. This is among what makes music genres popular.

No artiste has the chance of exploring new grounds if he or she does not first have the image of the island to explore. The image gives musicians part of what makes up the chance for discoveries. Opportunity to explore is that to discover.

This is why you could hear a Rap song that is produced Reggae style. Music instruments do not choose the music genre to join, nor do musicians choose where musical devices would work. Some boundaries are needless, and deny consumers the natural diversities that are possible.

5.      When Certain Characteristics Of It Are Admired

Afrobeat makes you dance. You go away with the sound – especially the usual repetitions done with the bass guitar. You remember the solo vocals and the recurring chorus done either by back up singers or the artiste.

If you remember Fela’s ‘Wahala E dey find’ and Timaya’s ‘I can’t kill myself O’, you understand. When a genre has several favoured characteristics, never expect it to stop being favoured in the charts.

6.      Culture’s Partiality

If you see the world from the stereotypic lens of the giant news firms and Hollywood, you are ready to be surprised. In fact, because many movie industries are painting and powdering themselves to look more Western, you will get to know very little of them by their movies.

Do you know that it is easier to know about the cultures of the West than it is to know about those of China, India, Russia, Japan, Cambodia and Nigeria? Japan seems to be more known about than all the countries in this paragraph, and that is because of the West.

We know of Japan’s Karate, Judo, Ninjas, Sushi, etc. CNN and BBC speak about Japan as they speak about the West, not because Japan is most interesting, but because of political affiliations. Russia is in Europe but disapproved of.

Genres tend to trend because of culture. People know Nigeria for Fuji, Afrobeat and Afrobeats, but who knows about the traditional music styles of the many ethnic groups in Nigeria? Those obscure music styles are not preserved by mainstream recognition; in fact, few in Nigeria know of the style of music many ethnic groups in Nigeria enjoy.

Western Classical Music has deep roots in the European culture, and has come to stay. Even though it is not as lucrative as Pop and R and B, it has remained. You hear it while watching Harry Potter, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Lord Of The Rings and like it, but people are less likely to buy an album.

Just as the various unknown music styles in the world are preserved, so is this music style kept living; culture is partial and always retains what it loves, no matter what outsiders say.

7.      More Number Of Target Audience Or Impressed Audience

K-Pop is a pop sub-genre sung in the Korean language. It is displayed as enjoyable, colourful, sparkling and teen-oriented. K-Pop artistes like the BTS are among the most-followed on social media.

Other most loved genres are Hip-Hop/Rap and R and B. Which age group do you think makes up the fans of these genres? You got it; young people.

There is more number of youths in the world than older people, and the internet community is made up mostly of youths. It is no surprise then that the songs they like more trend more, and that artistes in the genres youths love make more money.

It is important to add that those in their 50s liked certain kinds of songs when they were youths, and that many still do. This hints that one day youths of this generation would discover that their beloved genres have been forsaken by mainstream artistes.

8.      Favoured Evolution (If You Don’t Run, You Get Run Over)

Country music is loved in America and lauded in Europe. This genre keeps evolving and implementing characteristics more loved genres, but it has retained its skeleton.

When a music style evolves in a way that it includes the things the contemporary generation has come to like, it stands a chance to be popular. The fire of change likely starts through a band, an artiste or a label.

Many times the change might not be borrowed, it might be an insight or start by a mistake. It wins more audiences for the music genre and hires more artistes to record under it.

9.      If  Artistes In The Genre Are Prolific

The amount of hip-hop and rap music in the music industry has affected the genre’s popularity. Artistes in the music style are usually prolific; their presence is also on social media.

A sound mostly heard becomes the one mostly produced. That is how language and slangs become normal and start appearing in language dictionaries. An Igbo proverb says that when an abomination is tolerated for a year it becomes part of the culture.


One of the lessons from this law is that no obscure music style would not trend if it is produced and streamed as this genre. That a genre is known does not mean it is liked, though. If necessary evolution takes place, however, it might trend.

Racism and the feeling of racial or religious superiority hinder music genres from trending as they should, no matter how much the artistes release. This has been proved in the United States and Nigeria.


Should There Be Music Genres?

There are multitudes of different skeletons in the music world.  These play main parts in determining the genres of music tracks.

Even though we might be struggling to assign right boxes to music styles, and some think the age of saying ‘Music Genre’ is waning, some music styles are distinguishable.

 Do you not agree that instead of stamping out names, that better ones should be made? Definitions make things easier to find and refer to; in fact, that is why we use nouns and pronouns.

How Popular Music Styles Get Born?

What makes a music genre popular is sibling the same to what gave birth to it: public acceptance. It is the same with what makes musical instruments sell more than others. A study has shown how preference and rejection affect whether dogs species die off or reduce in number. The same law determines which music style remains, dies, gets faint or becomes very famous.

Popular music is born of the culture of the people. It is born of a mixture of the cultures, philosophies and religion of all the represented people. This can be seen in the mixture of European and black African cultures in the United States and the mixture of the many cultures in Nigeria and the world.

Any music that appeals to the greater number of people in a society becomes the most played. What is most played becomes what is most known and most replicated. Some artistes believe that one mostly sings and plays what one mostly listens to. This insight says a lot.


This article was meant to provide you with the preambles; not meant to be the last bus stop. You might want to research further.


Comment below, if you have time to spare.