Shania Twain, Chuck D, ABBA’s Benny Andersson, T-Pain, Brandi Carlile, Boyz II Men, and more artists, producers, and songwriters delve into the historical resonance of pop music in Banger Films’ This Is Pop.
The eight-part docuseries arrives on Netflix on June 22. Each episode explores pop music beyond its musical aspects, examining its societal impact as well. Racism, sexism, classism, queer politics, and social injustice are addressed, according to a statement.
“We started with the question ‘What is Pop?,’ and found answers we never expected,” said Series Producer Amanda Burt, Banger Films. “It’s more than the charts or what floats out of a car radio. It’s a perfect time capsule of how people were living as it was made and how they danced, loved, and cried as it was heard.”
Episodes are grouped by style, era, and/or genre. The Boyz II Men Effect features Boyz II Men’s Nate Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman, Babyface, 98 Degrees’ Nick Lachey, and New Edition’s Michael Bivins. When Country Goes Pop includes interviews with Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd, Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, and Steve Earle.
Auto-Tune houses conversations with T-Pain, Auto-Tune inventor Dr. Andy Hildebrand, British record producer Ken Scott, and synthesizer pioneer Suzanne Ciani. The Brill Building in 4 Songs spotlights Andy Kim, Neil Sedaka, Steven Van Zandt, and Linda Perry. Protest songs are explored in What Can a Song Do? featuring conversations with Chuck D, Hozier, Arlo Guthrie, and MILCK.
Episodes that look at pop music through a global-focused lens include Stockholm Syndrome, which features ABBA’s Benny Andersson, Ace of Base’s Ulf Ekberg, Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell, Peter, Bjorn, and John’s Bjorn Yttling, and Laleh.
Festival Rising, which looks at music events around the world, includes interviews with Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, and the Mama & the Papas’ Michelle Phillips. Hail Britpop! features Blur’s Alex James and Dave Rowntree, Skin from Skunk Anansie, Miki Berenyi from Lush, Sonya Madan from Echobelly, BBC6’s Lauren Laverne, and Alan McGee.