What will change in music in the 2020s?

The Face guide to the 2020s: “In the next 10 years auto-generated music will benefit people who are less interested in the creative process but understand the value of generic music as a means to augment their celebrity.”

Hi, and welcome to the future: a toasty-warm, carbon-neutral, plastic-free place where your face has replaced your passport and your car drives itself. Weed is legal, alcohol is hangover-free, weekends last three days and we robots do your admin. We can dream.

Ten long years ago, The Face compiled a set of predictions for the coming decade from a star chamber of hotshot experts. That flesh-and-blood editorial team has long since disbanded but their legacy remains. From now until the first day of the new decade we’re sharing some prognostications (as seen in The Face Volume 4 Issue 002) on love, sex, space, AI, cannabis, mental health and plastic surgery (and more) for the years ahead.

Mat Dryhurst (Writer/teacher/music man)

There’s currently a lot of work being done towards automating music production. People are working on apps (like Boomy) that claim to make putting a song on SoundCloud as easy as posting a photo on Instagram. You just make some choices and the app will auto-generate a song structure for you – reducing the barriers for everybody to be like DJ Khaled, allowing you to spend as little time on music as possible so as to free up more time to promote yourself.

In the next 10 years auto-generated music will benefit people who are less interested in the creative process but understand the value of generic music as a means to augment their celebrity. You can already see this with Instagram personalities, where the more popular they get, the less they appear to be engaging with the actual music. The music just becomes an opportunity to put something out, to trigger a tour announcement or something.

Ableton music software is already largely quite automated compared to the tools there were 20 years ago. But there does seem to be a concentration of investment that’s accelerating this stuff. On one hand, there’s a positive aspect, because democratisation is cool. The challenge with that is there’s always a correlation between the ease of producing a song and its lack of significance.”


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