There’s a relatively high chance if you spent your young years in the 2000s, you were into emo music. Or had a phase at least. But where is the genre in 2020?
Placebo, MCR, Taking Back Sunday, you name them, the secret stars of the 2000s. The ones that some might be remembered for longer than any pop star to hit the charts in the first decade after Millennium. Wasn’t it the greatest feeling to have those artists that poured their hearts out on every song, exposed their darker sides and pain without shame and were so easy to identify with, especially as a teenager.
Nowdays, we are unsure where exactly this genre is to be found. But there’s one thing that’s for certain – the artists as well as the target group still seem to exist.
When we first heard Ashton Traitor on his viral hit single ‘On My Own’ in 2017, the artist seemed ahead of his time. Converting the intense emotions and energy of youth angst and dark thoughts into something so contemporary seemed new, even though artists like the late LilPeep had paved the way for this next stage.
The new sound and face of emo?
If anything has ever come close to the spirit of emo music, it’s Ashton Traitor. 808s and stuttering hi-hats aside, the majority of his songs are build on very melodic vocal arrangements and dark synth and piano chords. And – who would have thought – distorted guitar samples that attach another cord to the 2000s movement.
Ashton Traitor has his own aesthetic which isn’t only found in his social media posts, album art work or lyrics, but also very present in his self-directed music videos. The artist with the hidden face and identity is a creative by any means.
While we are struggling to put a label on his genre, it’s artists like Ashton Traitor whose progressiveness is vital for the hip hop and rap scene. People who aren’t scared to break with stigmas or genre limits are the ones that will be remembered by the next generation, just as we are looking back at the ones who made a difference in the 2000s.
While we are still waiting for the release of a full body of work, we are constantly being fed with new singles by the ever so productive Houston export. And we have a feeling Ashton Traitor is just getting started anyway.