The British Are Coming…To Teens’ iPods

Adele, Jessie J., Ellie Goulding, and One Direction are not only some of the top artists who’ve taken off in past few years, but they’re also British. The U.S. music scene is filled with artists from the UK who’ve crossed the pond and are shaping American culture. Yes, the U.S. has always appreciated British music from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones (who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year!), but there’s major momentum again where UK artists are making it in America, taking over the charts, and young fans in particular are eagerly embracing them. Millennials are increasingly interested in music discovery and they're turning to England to find out what's next.

So with that in mind, here are 10 British artists who will soon become household names — some even are already! — among teens and twentysomethings:

Rita OraRita Ora - Imagine a young, Eastern European hybrid of Rihanna and Jessie J. That's Rita Ora, who's known for her impressive style as much as her pop, dance, and R&B sounds.

Conor Maynard is often described as the British Justin Bieber; he got his start on YouTube, blends R&B, hip-hop, and pop, and is a teen heartthrob with fans best known as Mayniacs. However, Conor is paving his own way with original sounds and the support of top artists like Ne-Yo and Frank Ocean.

Ed Sheeran is a folk and acoustic artist who’s already made it in the U.S. with sold out shows and an album that hit number one on iTunes when it first debuted. You can expect to hear his name even more in the coming months, especially as he'll be opening for Taylor Swift on her next tour.

Emeli Sandé is a Scottish soul and R&B singer whose voice is a little like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys, but she's a powerhouse in her own right. You may recognize her from her performances at the Opening…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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