Last year may have been “all about that bass,” but 2015 also is sure to be filled with catchy lyrics, epic collaborations and songs that will be cemented in listeners’ heads for weeks on end. As legendary artists are rumored to be back in the studio and others will continue in the aftermath of their success in the past year, what can we expect in music this year?
Certain artists have made quick starts, including Fall Out Boy’s January release of “American Beauty/American Psycho,” supported by the band’s recent hit “Centuries.”
Betsy Reiser, a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy, is excited about the release of Fifth Harmony’s debut studio album, “Reflection.”
“I just got Fifth Harmony’s album ‘Reflection’ and I think it will make an impact in 2015 because it’s all about female empowerment, which is always something that can be emphasized,” she said.
Imagine Dragons also is getting a head start on a promising year of music with this week’s release of its second studio album, “Smoke + Mirrors,” following one of the band’s latest singles, “I Bet My Life.”
“I think that the new Imagine Dragons album will help to make alternative music more prominent, and it will cause more people to become interested in the genre,” said Anthony Taboni, a senior at Canisius High School.
Coldplay has announced the production of what frontman Chris Martin says will be the group’s seventh and final album, “A Head Full of Dreams.”
Taylor Swift’s “1989,” released in the fall, is expected to remain at the top of the charts in 2015 with singles including the ’80s-inspired hit “Style.” Nick Jonas’ single “Jealous” is likely to remain popular on the radio in addition to Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin’ ” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
Sam Smith, whose 2014 album, “In The Lonely Hour,” has produced chart-topping hit after hit, has recently announced “Lay Me Down” as his latest single while his previous songs continue to achieve massive success. He took four awards home from the Grammys on Feb. 8.
“After the Grammys, it appears Sam Smith could really be a superstar here to stay,” said Jud Heussler, a DJ at WKSE-FM (KISS 98.5). “Four Grammy wins, a sold-out worldwide tour, and a real personality make [Smith] hard not to love as a stand-out for 2015.”
Despite the reigning juggernauts last year, 2015 also should see its fair share of changes in the music industry, according to Ralphie Aversa, a Niagara Falls native and radio host at 95.5 PLJ in New York City.
“I don’t think that dance music is slowing down as a popular genre,” Aversa said. “I think you’ll see the already established DJs and other mixers score big hits on Top 40 radio this year.”
Included in this group is Mark Ronson, a thriving DJ/singer who has joined forces with Bruno Mars on the recent chart-topper “Uptown Funk,” which is projected to maintain its place at the top for a while. Plenty of artists also have taken an electronic approach to their music, which typically fosters roots in the dance genre. Many fans are anticipating Ellie Goulding’s long-awaited follow-up to her 2013 release of “Halcyon Days,” which, based on her recent hit “Love Me Like You Do,” is expected to fall into the same electronic-pop category she has thrived in with her past releases.
Grammy-nominated sister trio Haim has taken to social media to suggest upcoming albums in the works, while others have been dropping hints through collaborators. Ryan Tedder, who teamed with Adele on her latest album – expected to be titled “25” following her previous albums “19” and “21” – has predicted a positive reception of the release since the famous songstress has “insanely good songs” to pick from.
For some, including Kanye West, fans can only speculate, predicting a new album release within the next few months. Expectations have been based on West’s recent evidence of studio activity in his collaborations with Paul McCartney and Rihanna (“Only One” and “FourFiveSeconds”) paired with the lack of a new record since 2013’s “Yeezus.” Until West releases a new album, Nicki Minaj is expected to comfortably take over the rap charts with tracks from “The Pinkprint.”
Also expected to climb the ranks of the Top 40 is alternative R&B singer the Weeknd.
“[The Weeknd] just made a new hit single called ‘Earned It,’ ” said Cori Dickson, a sophomore at Cardinal O’Hara High School, “and I love his music because he talks about his life, not any nonsense.”
The coming months are likely to include up-and-coming acts hoping to reach the Top 40 and the ears of listeners everywhere.
“I would be on the lookout for an Australian family band named Sheppard, a young Swedish singer named Zara Larsson, and a kid from NYC named Jon Bellion,” said Heussler, of KISS 98.5.
George Ezra is on the rise, and his single “Budapest” has been gaining ground despite being released in late 2013. Shawn Mendes recently was recognized for his energetic “Something Big,” and will perform as an opening act for Taylor Swift on the North American leg of her “1989 World Tour.” Also expected to take their shows on the road this year are Maroon 5, girl group Fifth Harmony, second-time headliner Ariana Grande, and Charli XCX, as a supporting act on the European leg of Katy Perry’s “Prismatic World Tour.”
It seems as if the upcoming year will have something in store for fans of every music genre as long as we keep our radios on and our headphones plugged in.
Katie Czerwinski is a senior at Cardinal O’Hara High School.