2018 Preview: Mitski, Mura Masa, Coach K and More Predict Big Changes Coming to the Industry

From left: Kevin “Coach K” Lee, Mitski & Mura Masa
Getty Images, Yoni Lappin; Design by Jessica Xie

From left: Kevin “Coach K” Lee, Mitski & Mura Masa

Industry vets and artists both emerging and established predict changes coming to music in 2018 -- from reaching peak music festival to an influx of experimentation.

Kevin “Coach K” Lee (COO, Quality Control Music)   

“I love that hip-hop has so many evolving parts. With some of these dance-trap records, I think that Atlanta bass-influenced music could come back with a mix of trap beats.”     

Kevin “Coach K” Lee (COO, Quality Control Music) Prince Williams/WireImage

Daniel Glass (Founder, Glassnote Records)

“I believe a number of festivals will disappear due to overexpansion in the last five years. We will also see artists getting smarter about recording cycles. Instead of taking extended breaks to record full albums, they will continue to release music without staying away for too long.”

Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso)

“I am so excited to see what our generation’s protest music will sound like. I believe it will be much more self-aware, feminist and inclusive of America’s many cultures. We need anthems, and I can’t wait to sing along.”

Amelia Meath (Sylan Esso) Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Ludwig Göransson (producer, Childish Gambino)

“Younger generations tend to learn music first through computers, which is part of the reason so much music today is loop-based. Those willing to marry technology with more traditional theory and true instrumental craftsmanship will find the most compelling ways of creating music.”    


“The world is becoming increasingly chaotic and conflict-ridden; I think there will be a lot of artists taking risks, being bold, experimenting out loud, as people won’t have as much time or patience for lukewarm music.”

Mitski Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Hartwig Masuch (CEO, BMG)

“If one thing is certain in 2018, it is a continuing swing in the balance of power toward artists as a result of reversions and shorter terms. Do not expect artists in the age of streaming to want to sign up to old-style deals.”

Mura Masa

“2018 is all about grassroots movements in politics, in social change and in music. Anybody who’s authentically creating their own environment is going to win. Bands like [electronic duo] Jadu Heart have millions of streams with no press or radio.”

Mura Masa Yoni Lappin

Stephen Canfield (VP Marketing, WeTransfer)

“The next barriers to fall will be between the traditional artistic mediums -- music, photography, film, design, fashion and more. We’re bound for a lot more cross-medium collectives like BROCKHAMPTON in 2018.”

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of Billboard.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.