gen z: music, memes, and memories


Generation Z (born between 1997-2012) often gets clumped in with the millennial generation, but these TikTok-loving, nicotine-addicted adolescents are quickly breaking away and creating a whole new culture of their own. Us Gen Z-ers have found our own ways to cope with the fast-paced, social media-obsessed world we are being raised in, and it involves a melting pot of different music genres and artists.

Our generation is known for having a disturbingly short attention span, but we know what we like and are as devoted to our favorite artists as anyone could possibly be. Social media especially has a huge impact on what Gen Z likes. Songs that go viral on the lip-syncing app TikTok typically end up at the top of the charts. With social media in its prime, it has never been easier than it is right now for new artists to share their music. The DIY scenes all over the world can thrive and grow, as it only takes a few clicks to advertise bands and solo artists.

With it being so effortless to find artists all over the world with their own unique sounds, it’s difficult to choose a specific genre to define Generation Z. Genres like anti pop, alternative, rap, and hip hop have all won over Gen Z-ers. I decided to ask some current high schoolers about what kinds of music and artists they thought defined our generation.

Max, 16, says, “Probably Kanye (West), X (referring to XXXTentacion), and Young Thug. I would say those are the three that started the wave and kind of influenced pretty much every other artist at least in some way.”

Other answers included many alternative bands like Cage the Elephant, Twenty One Pilots, Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, and The Struts. Not surprisingly, some thought more mainstream artists like Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles (both as a soloist and as part of One Direction) were proper representations of our generation’s definitive music genre.

While there really is no one specific answer, I think that Generation Z’s music taste is a perfect example of what we represent: open mindedness, chaos, and acceptance. We love and support all types of artists; it may make us “undefinable,” but it shows our ability to transcend expectations and be who we truly are.

Words by Lily.

Photo by Eva.