There’s a little rumble in the earth. It’s faint now, but it sounds like it’s getting closer. Wait, I can see it now. It’s a train, and it sounds like it’s chugging along to a beat. Damn! That’s a fresh beat choo-choo train! It says Pop Music on the front and it’s got Phil Collins’ face painted on the side. Is that M.I.A. on the train?! Oh snap! Is that Ezra from Vampire Weekend? And Bonde do Role and Santogold??? Wait, stop! Pharrell is tied to the train tracks and he’s screaming! Oh no! I think I’m inside Pharrell’s worst nightmare! And it sounds like SHIMMERING, GLOBAL AFRO-POP.
Well I hope everyone packed their Pumas because we’re all going back to Africa like Marcus Garvey, except darker skinned and with a bigger smile. And it’s about time.
When I imagine a global pop sensation coming to reality, the formula I’d guess would be: entrentched producer with an ear for ‘authentic’ sounds meets up with ‘authentic’ musician with a pop proclivity. Authentic musician does his or her thing, and entrenched producer mashes it up with a dub beat and a rock sample. BOOM. Indie blogs rave, Fader Mag does a cover spread, mixtape drops, Rolling Stone loves it, YouTube views soar, Live Aid 2010 invites roll in, and a global pop sensation is born before the first LP is ever released.