Posted On 4. Januar 2016 By In Front Page, Opinion, Talking Pop With 9260 Views

What’s going to be shithot in 2016?

2015 is done. It’s over. Finished. Finito. So while a lot of other blogs and magazines felt the need to compile their Best of 2015 lists we thought it would be interesting to take on a different approach ourselves. We want to know what 2016 has up its sleeve before it actually happens. But instead of just writing up our own predictions we felt it was time to let some people speak who really know what they are talking about. We talked to some friends and industry professionals and bugged them a few days until they agreed to tell us what they think is going to be shithot in 2016.

I don’t want to give too much away, but digitization, streaming and vinyl are definitely keywords. So dear readers, please make yourself comfortable, take a bit of time and have fun with the following predictions!

Astrid Exner (Walzerkönig/Sony Music)

Astrid founded Austrian music blog Walzerkoenig together with a few friends in 2011. She also works as Junior Manager Digital Business at Sony Music Austria.

What are your expectations for 2016?

2016 is going to be an exciting year for me because I’ll be taking a sabbatical to write my masters thesis. Hopefully that will also bring the benefit of having more time to spend with my friends, to go to more gigs and to listen to more music for myself.

What is going to surprise us all in 2016?

Optimistically speaking: That music streaming will make all participating parties happy.

What are the trends we won’t be able to escape from this year?

I’m afraid bootcut jeans might make a comeback. If not in 2016 then in 2017 for sure. Musically: The deep-houseification of pop music will continue. Deep/tropical house djs might soon annoy litereally everybody but pop acts just started grasping that (see Justin Bieber or Jason Derulo). There are tough times ahead for us all.

What is going to be the real hot shit in 2016?

I’m really digging Honne and can’t wait for their album. Jack Garratt is the same. Tinashe will finally become huge! OMG, Lapsley! Seinabo Sey! Ben Khan. Tei Shi. If they will all release albums this year, I’m going to be really happy.

What channels will become more important in 2016?

Snapchat! Even my mom wants to start an account now.

Bands from Austria really rocked 2015, will that continue in the next year and are there even more bands who deserve success across the German border?

Oh hell yes, you bet there are! Only two examples: Crack Ignaz & Wandl have a new in the pipeline already which is going to be awesome. And Leyya have played pretty much every showcase festival of the continent and that will definitely pay off in 2016.

It’s also never a mistake to have a look at to upper Austrian Kremstal area, where Bilderbuch staged their first audio interpretations of fairy tales about 10 years ago. There’s literally always a bunch of young bands that sound brilliant, different and original. Although this might change with the new right winged, by the way 100% male, local government because of the expected cuts in cultural funding. Currently I’m really into Flut, who don’t sound too much like Bilderbuch and who definitely follow their own original concept (to check them out click here).

Torben Hodan (Diffusmag)

Torben is founder of German online magazine Diffus. He recently formed tape-label Diffustapes as well as being actively involved in management.

What are you expecting from 2016?

2015 was a great year in music. There were plenty of very good albums and songs (like ones from Sizarr, LUH or Jamie XX). It’s going to be tough to beat such a great year, but i think 2016 will surprise us with some great new artists. In addition I hope to attend festivals with better lineups than this year.

Will there be any big surprises in music?

I don’t think that there will be a lost of big surprises. If we’re talking pop, there could be a new Kanye or Rihanna record, but everyone is expecting these, right?

Are there any horses you’re betting on for the coming year?

I’m fully convinced of one German artists. His name is Drangsal and he’ll release his debut album „Harieschaim“ in April. German and English lyrics meet very wavy and post punky sounds – he calls it „Brachialpop“. There will also be some great guests on the album, which is produced by Markus Ganter (Casper, Sizarr, Tocotronic).

Any trends we will see emerge in 2016 musically (i.e. any Genres you think will pop up again)?

In my view a very nice trend startet to emerge over the past few months and will finally pop up next year: It’s kind of a 80’s Sound revival mixed with DIY culture. When I talk about that I think of artists like FINS or Drangsal as mentioned above.

Michael Bock (Erased Tapes/Finetunes)

Michael Bock is working as a label manager for digital distributor Finetunes. He’s currently based in Berlin where he also takes care of all promotion matters for Erased Tapes for the German speaking market.

What are your expectations for 2016?

That it is going to be exciting – really. There needs to be some kind of disruption. It has been a few years now since you cannot tell, from the flood of releases that you come across, who copied from whom and what direction or trend the pop music will turn to. After nearly everybody has used a synthesizer now, replaced three band members with a loop pad, and even the last Fruity Loop beat has been used, I would be ready for some shredding again.

What is going to surprise us all in 2016? /
What are the trends we won’t be able to escape from this year?

I really do hope that some labels will surprise us with their signings. I obviously don’t know anything…
It feels like there is going to be a musically exciting year ahead of us. I guess most people will be talking about Radiohead, James Blake, PJ Harvey, Animal Collective and Bon Iver. It could definitely be worse, right? Especially James Blake will hopefully make another step forward and dance between genres. And if Frank Ocean decides that in 2016 it would be time for a new album, I’d be all ears.
I’m quite sure that remixes will take more of the limelight. 2015 showed that the remix of a single can attract a lot more attention than the single itself. The success of many more or less talented „DJs“ is quite an indicator for that. And I really do hope that rock will gain more influence as a genre again and be heard more often. Please… do me a favor – nobody wants another EDM drenched Helene Fischer single!

What is going to be the real hot shit in 2016?

Andreya Triana
AnnenMayKantereit (GSA only)

What channels will become more important in 2016?
Who knows what Google and Facebook are cooking up behind closed doors? And someone will buy Snapchat. I believe it will be key to tell a creative and exciting story with the channels availabe instead of just trying to be everywhere half-heartedly. The annoyance-factor in the web is getting more and more crucial.

Youtube will further establish itself as a music streaming plattform – not just with their classic music video content. Their growthrate is huge and with YouTube’s own ambitions to position their service a lot will happen. Its advantage is simply that YouTube does not have to bet on an expensive, curated and customized offering as people are already using YouTube as a music-search engine already.

Spotify will further strengthen its market share, and Apple Music will try and gain more influence as well as Pandora. We’ll have to wait and see how Pandora will extend their product – in terms of territories as well as the service itself.

Niko Prade (Day By Day Records)



© Victor Schanz

Niko Prade is running the indie label Day By Day Records with a few friends. He’s also working as a manager for various bands.

What are your expectations for 2016?

Well, expectations are a thing… I’m expecting great releases from Blackout Problems, who have recorded a really great album. Smile and Burn will also release a really good EP. Furthermore I’m looking forward to releases by Fjørt and Thrice.
I’m expecting more guitar driven music getting radio airplay and finally less German rap and Schlager. I hope that more bands come up with the courage to market and their music themselves. D.I.Y.!! And that certain bands stay true to themselves and keep on going even without big commercial success.

What is going to surprise us all in 2016?

Day by Day Records will launch a new website. The BuViSoCo (Bundesvision Song Contest) will loose the rest of quality left (is it even still running?) and that casting shows can’t pull superstars out of their own arse as they wish any longer. And the new albums by Kmpfsprt, Fjørt, Blackout Problems, Heisskalt, Thrice, Smile and Burn and Alex Mofa Gang.

What are the trends we won’t be able to escape from this year?

The advancing digitization will sooner rather then later reach a point where bands won’t make money anymore and will effectively pay for themselves. People will hopefully realize how certain online retail giants dictate prices at will and therefore set the value of an album as they wish and we have to succumb to their power.
More and more bands will host their own festivals – and the majority is organized really, really well. Unfortunately people will still feel the need to attend „The Final Tour“ gigs, even though there will be another 10 tours later.
I hope the vinyl trend will continue, I mean, is there anything better than listening to an album from your favorite band on vinyl?
And the trend that bands do what they feel like doing, not what might bring bigger success.

What is going to be the real hot shit in 2016?

All releases by Zeitstrafe, Grand Hotel van Cleef and Uncle M (Mirko is an unbelievable guy). The hopefully soon to be released new album by Thrice. The new releases from the Day by Day Records roster (hopefully) and obviously all tours booked by Sparta!

Alex Beyer (Believe Digital/Off the Road Studios)

Alex Beyer is working as PR Manager at digital distributor Believe Digital in Hamburg as well as for Off the Road Studios. He’s also been long involved in playing live music with his own bands.

What are your expectations for 2016?

I would wish for more openness and empathy, in pop culture as well as in society and politics. 2015 was really disappointing for me in that department that’s why I’m hoping for improvement! And I would wish for less arseholes in Germany and the world, as you wish for every year.

What is going to really surprise us in 2016?

Lemmy is dead. Somebody has to fill that void. Whoever thinks he’s capable of doing that and succeeds will definitely be a surprise. Apart from that Apple will probably come up with some nonsense which is more likely I guess.

What are the trends we won’t be able to escape from this year? /
What channels will become more important in 2016?

It’s evident that record labels will lose significance and influence perspectively, at least in their longtime work with artists. Given that artists are not too modest: The D.I.Y.-trend, i.e. founding your own label as an established or almost established act, is growing. What previously was something bands in the underground had to do as a necessity is now seen by many acts as the luxury of independence. It will take some time until the majors will really feel that trend though. But the development is already in motion. Additional trends: Streaming will continue to grow, a vinyl peak hasn’t been reached yet in my opinion, and the CD will slowly but surely disappear completely. That’s nothing new though. Further I’m guessing the power and influence of the so-called Youtubers on the next generation will creepily grow. But hey, my parents said the same thing about SchülerVZ and ICQ… Maybe that trend will go at some point! I’m not really comfortable with that though.

What is going to be the real hot shit in 2016?

I’m betting on Streaming service Twitch as the real hot shit, that will challenge Youtube big time perspectively, if they are continuing their impressive growth! While it started in the Gaming-Scene, the focus is switching more and more towards entertainment, opinion and little by little towards music. When you take a look at the usage, a lot of online media can learn a lot from there and maybe some outlets should reconsider their formats and approaches.

Tobias Zumak (Virgin Records)

Tobias Zumak is working as Senior Manager Digital at Virgin Records Germany. Before that he worked at Sony subsidary Four music as well as running his own label which released the first two Marteria records amongst others.

What is going to surprise us all in 2016?

You can’t predict surprises, so this is the most likely:
Kanye West will not stand for the US-presidency elections but he releases an album full of reversed samples of German marching music.

What are the trends we won’t be able to escape from this year?

I’m fearing with that EDM will continue to dominate. Vinyl will continue to grow and streaming will further reach the center of society. In the domestic market, German speaking music will continue its success story from the last couple of years. Unfortunately also in the direction of Helene Fisher 2.0…

What is going to be the real hot shit in 2016?

Probably some band with a hip name without any VWLS.

What channels will become more important in 2016?
Like every year I’m preaching: your own channels, newsletter & homepage.

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From the beginning to the end, I will see this through. This has grown from a blog about the music I love to something bigger and I will keep looking for the great stuff out there. Keep the great music coming!