The new fad of young Americans? The country of the 90s

(ETX Daily Up) – One would have thought that the lockdowns would have encouraged us to discover new artists and tracks. But it even has the opposite: many preferred nostalgia. This was the case with younger Americans, who started listening to ’90s country.

Country music is often thought to be unpopular with Gen Z members. Wrong! According to Spotify, young people aged 19 to 24 are as numerous to listen to the streaming giant’s playlist dedicated to the country of the 90s as music lovers over 45.

And that’s not all: Generation Z members have created nearly 90 million playlists containing iconic songs from this musical genre. Among the songs most shared by these young people born between 1997 and 2010 are Shania Twain classics like “You’re Still the One” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”, but also “Amazed” from the group Lonestar and Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee”.

The Swede Spotify is not the only one to have observed a new craze for country music. TikTok has also witnessed this. In recent months, many dance challenges related to country music have emerged on the favorite social network of young people. Most recent ? The #NeonMoon challenge. A name well known to country fans since it refers to the hit “Neon Moon” by the American duo Brooks & Dunn.

Country, a survivor of the “nerdy” department thanks to TikTok

If the song was released in 1991 on the first album of the American duo, it is back in force on TikTok thanks to a remix signed by DJ Noiz. This new version of “Neon Moon” has already amassed more than 105.9 million views on the application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, while the #NeonMoon challenge has more than 9.8 million.

This resurgence of “Neon Moon” is a blessing for the group Brooks & Dunn, who are in the midst of their big American tour “Reboot Tour” after more than ten years of absence. “It’s super cool to see all your videos, keep sending them!” They said on their official TikTok account.

But why do young people suddenly have a passion for country, a musical genre that is more associated with their elders? Because the times we are going through lend themselves well to it. Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, many have found solace in the country repertoire for its soothing virtues. “Country music is authentic, accessible, and comforts you,” Brittany Schaffer, head of artist and label marketing at Spotify in Nashville, told TIME. “You want to be in a place that feels like home at a time when the world seems uncertain”.

Reach a wider audience

Another answer: more and more artists labeled “country” are launching on social networks and other digital platforms to reach a wider audience. This is particularly the case of George Birge, the former leader and guitarist of the band Waterloo Revival. The Texas-born singer has built a little notoriety on TikTok with his latest single, “Beer Beer, Truck Truck”.

It all started with a parody video of another TikTok user, Erynn Chambers or Rynnstar for her subscribers, in which she poked fun at the fact that most country songs are all about “beer, [des] trucks and [des] girls. “A cliché that George Birge wanted to deconstruct on his last stroll.” The point was to say that, yes, the lifestyle in the country is perhaps not as flashy or fast as that of the city, but it’s more interesting than you think – and if you give me a chance I’ll show you how enjoyable it can be, ”he explained in a statement.

And it looks like he won his bet: “Beer Beer, Truck Truck” was released as a full-fledged single last June, and it has over 462,500 views on YouTube. The song also saw George Birge sign a contract with RECORDS Label in Nashville, Tennessee. “It was incredibly rewarding to see people say, ‘I never listen to country music, but hearing this story and knowing how it came to life makes me a country fan,” he said. he declared. “Some have said that’s what good songwriters do – they can write a song out of anything. It made me feel really fulfilled, because that was my intention.”