We're halfway through 2016, but there has already been a lot to love. We've been treated to new albums from music's biggest names—Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, Drake, and Beyoncé, to name a few. We've also seen the emergence of some fantastic newcomers.
The one thing in common with all successful artists in 2016 is that they're trying something new. Music streaming is continuing to rise, album sales and digital downloads are steadily declining, and artists are getting creative with release strategies and promotion. They're also becoming more open to new sounds. Mainstream pop artists are working with underground talent, emerging artists are pushing genres into new territory, and local sounds are going global.
A lot of what's happening in music right now is being worked out through trial and error. There have certainly been some missteps, but all of this scrambling to adapt and evolve has led to some wonderful music, and that's most evident when we look at the singles. Artist are reaching for something completely new and unusual, and they've generated some excellent songs in the process.