The formations of “vaporwave” are mostly a mystery. While the commonly accepted formation is “Vektroid invented vaporwave”, several albums predated it (maybe even songs) such as “Eccojams” and “Replica”; vaporwave as a movement is supposed to be a mockery of corporatism and nostalgia in the form of a dystopian angle and throughout the years it’s served its purpose but why is “vaporwave” a derogaive term?
In recent times, many artists have distanced themselves from vaporwave like Vektroid (who has deleted “FLORAL SHOPPE” from the internet) and Dream Catalogue (which has deleted some albums that would fall under the vaporwave category.) and labeled themselves as “electronic musicians”. I presume the reason for this is because electronic music is more marketable in the mainstream and vaporwave is seen as some sort of internet meme.
Vaporwave itself is not supposed to be marketable, nor is it supposed to be mainstream; it exists as its own community where anybody can be famous and anybody can be themselves. Vaporwave is supposed to be a mockery while at the same time being a serious genre and here lays the problem… for the people who want to market this music. Who wants to listen to music that’s mocking corporatism?
Pop music can be corporatised by including generic lyrics to material things; same with rap (with it’s glorification of everything) and rock music and practically every genre on the music out there that’s popular. On the streets I hear a lot of people play trap or pop music but to hear people playing vaporwave is like winning the lottery or being struck by lightning. It is extremely rare to hear unknown music being played because people are being told what they’re supposed to listen to and because they’re being told what they’re supposed to listen to, they are essentially victims of corporate society.
Corporate society wants musicians to have fashion lines and be everywhere by selling out their ideals, hence why we have a lot of news about Nike/Kendrick Lamar (a brand which I hate for ethical and quality reasons). Society hates it when you’re anti-corporate and will go out of their way to ensure that you don’t taste success unless you sell out; of course, you can try to live anti-corporate but it’s hard when you know that some of the money is going to them intentionally or otherwise.
I have a feeling corporations have made vaporwave into an internet meme mainly because it goes against everything they believe in. It’s like every political movement that has popped up; withstanding ideals in society to the point where they themselves are sabotaged by the government. With vaporwave, it’s the same thing; say it’s a meme and joke and do it until the movement is dead.
You want to know why vaporwave isn’t dead?, because there’s a large number of people who don’t buy that BS.
Corporations sole purpose is not to help people but to make as much money as possible even if it hurts people. Nostalgia has been crazily marketed by corporations because it makes them money via people who believe in the notion that the past is better, a certain image is promoted to hip people in order to make them money, don’t you see the pattern here? Vaporwave is not about exploitation for the purpose of money; while there may be some scummy people in the movement, it’s all about exploiting the corporate exploitation.
No matter how many people try to take it down, vaporwave will remain alive. There needs to be something to bring balance to this corporatized world and the vaporwave movement is it. In addition, there will always be people who the vaporwave movement will appeal to; because corporations cannot control everyone.