GenZ seems to have its head in the West…America. Adopted by pop culture icons, encouraged by the popularity of country music and driven by the collections of the hottest brands, the Cowboy Core movement continues to appeal to young people looking for a community style with strong values.
From social networking sites to the catwalks and the streets, the younger generation is increasingly interested in the Americana aesthetic. From cowboy boots to fringed jackets and leather belts, let’s take a look at the Cowboy Core craze and the lifestyle that goes with it.
Country: a musical style with a new audience
A symbol of American culture, country music emerged in the 18th century in the north of the country. The result of a meeting between European immigrants and locals, this musical genre is characterised by a blend of instruments from different lands. The Irish, English, Spanish, Italians and Germans brought with them sounds specific to their region, combining them to create a style in its own right. These groups of musicians travelled to the south-west of the United States, meeting new communities along the way, notably American Indians and Mexicans.
Over the decades, these contacts between the protagonists of the Midwest, the Far West and Texas gave rise to songs that were adopted and reworked by the cowboys. It was at the beginning of the 20th century that the first country-style music was recorded, without ever ceasing to be influenced by other trends. They also became popular with the general public, notably through Western films.
Young artists revive country music
Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams… Country music has always found its audience throughout the last century, but from the 2000s onwards it took on a new dimension with more pop and modern tones. This renaissance is largely thanks to Taylor Swift. When the young singer released her first albums with a strong country flavour, they were an immediate success.
Many other artists followed suit, reaching out to a younger demographic, such as Lil Nas X’s hit Old Town Road, a collaboration with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, or Lady Gaga’s country-flavoured Joanne. It’s a non-exhaustive list, given the extent to which young talent is influenced by this musical style, widely adopted by millennials and GenZ. And it’s one that’s being listened to more and more on streaming platforms.
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Front page photo: ©Old Town Road video, Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus