British Invasion Re-ignited

Think back to the nineties and the music industry, from The Backstreet Boys to N’ Sync, boy bands were huge and a number of chart toppers were coming courtesy of them. Today, with the introduction of social media and T.V talent shows, a spark has ignited a new generation of boy bands. But long gone are the matching ensembles and synchronized dance moves, today’s idea of a boy band has created a different mould proving to create just as much noise. It is no secret that teen idols have been around for a while, in the ‘60’s girls went nuts for a small band who made their American debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” called “The Beatles.”  The music industry is all about what’s new and fresh, when you get it right your career can take off exponentially. A great example comes in the form of eighteen-year-old Stratford, Ontario native Justin Beiber, whose career sky-rocketed after uploading videos on his YouTube page, now he has become a household name not just in Canada but around the world. And with that a dominoes affect began to take place beginning the squeals and screams of teen girls of a new generation, and you don’t have to listen carefully.

It wasn’t too long ago when The Jonas Brothers, were making girls scream with excitement. With a hit T.V. show and sold out concerts dates, it seemed as though “the boy band” was back! But the revival was not as massive as one had expected. Fast forward to 2012, and the resurgence has taken off and fast. From The U.S to The U.K, boy bands have been dominating every “Teen Bop” and “POP” magazine cover sitting in stands at arms length of young customers. But it is clear that the Brits have come out on top this year.

Just this year, not 1but 2 new bands from the U.K have been introduced to North America and have completely made fans stir-crazy. After being discovered on Britain’s hit show The X Factor, One Direction have gone on to become one the most successful boy bands of the year. Consisting of five lads from the ages of seventeen and eighteen, these boys have definitely made their mark in North America with their mass amount of “Directioners,” AKA, their fans. Another band, slightly older and pegged the “bad boys of England,” The Wanted, have been rising the charts with their catchy dance single “Glad You Came” and with the recent North American EP release, I see a lot more hits for these guys.

In the past few years The U.S have only had one huge success in the boy band genre and that was “The Jonas Brothers.” Most recently, Nickelodeon has dipped their foot in the water with Big Time Rush, after being featured on a show of the same title. With a sold out North American tour, they have been making quite the splash. But then again that might be because they had “One Direction” as their opening act. When they hit Toronto February 26th, much of the press, from radio to T.V, was centered on the young group after all.

So what is it about the British boy band that has filled the void in North America and has made young hearts flutter? Well it’s simple, get five guys who can sing and dance, add a cup of good looks, put them in front of a camera and you’ve got gold. Now, add a tablespoon of U.K accents and record companies will be hearing “cha-ching” quicker than a slot machine in a Las Vegas casino. With the rise in hip-pop music being played in radio, a gap was left for artists and record companies to reintroduce a genre that really hasn’t been filled since the late nineteen nineties to early two thousands.

One could say that it’s only teenage girls who become caught up in the whole boy band phenomenon, but in-fact, there are also slightly older fans who have gotten in on the madness. Although there is no arguing that “die-hard” fans can sometimes go above and beyond.

With boy bands there is purity to the music and it is this factor that I believe causes fans to become completely invested in the music and the people themselves. It’s why so many of us from earlier generations who grew up with groups like  “New Kids on the Block” or “The Backstreet Boys” feel a sense of nostalgia, bringing us back to a time when things were simpler and it was okay to plaster our walls with pin-up posters of our favourite singers. With so many songs on the radio promoting less than responsible lifestyles, I think a new generation of teen idols is just what today’s generation needs.