Aesthetics Wiki
Advertisement

Bubblegum Dance, also often referred to as Bubblegum Eurodance, is a subgenre of Eurodance music that originated in Denmark during the 1990s[1]. It's characterized by its youthful and playful style, happy sounds and cheesy lyrics, and childhood nostalgia. The genre was at its peak popularity from the 1990s And 2000s. The term was coined by Eurodance fans to denominate a very specific type of Eurodance music characterized by their childish aesthetic[2].

In popular media and internet culture, this musical genre tends to be associated with Shanzhai merchandise (as many Bubblegum Dance songs were featured in bootleg kids' toys from China), Y2K Futurism, or the 2000s Virtual Singer aesthetic, which mostly consisted of CGI mascots singing and dancing Bubblegum Dance tunes. However, it also greatly shaped the Japanese rhythm game industry, with various tracks being featured in video games such as Pop'n Music or Dance Dance Revolution.

History[]

Bubblegum Dance music first appeared in the 1990s in Denmark, and was also produced throughout all of the Scandinavia area, with many musical artists and bands originating from there, but it was also popular in the Netherlands and Germany, and in Italy, where it received the name of Bubblegum Italodance.
The musical genre also developed a large fanbase in Japan, mainly because Bubblegum Dance songs were featured on several Japanese rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution, which gave visibility to Bubblegum Dance artists such as SMiLE.DK or Miss Papaya, and many Bubblegum Dance songs were featured on AMVs and Anime memes from Nico Nico Douga.
It also is known to have a large fanbase in China, mainly because a lot of Bubblegum Dance songs were featured in bootleg Chinese toys and many Bubblegum Dance artists made covers out of Chinese songs for kids.

The first Bubblegum Dance song ever released is arguably Saturday Night by Whigfield, released in 1993. With the popularity of said song, various musical artists from Europe took inspiration to make happy, childish and energetic music, deriving into the Bubblegum Dance musical scene.

Bubblegum Dance music became prevalent in the late 1990s and early 2000s during the Y2K Futurism era thanks to iconic musical releases such as "Dub-I-Dub" by Me & My, which went viral due to its non-sensical lyrics (Dub-I-Dub-Doobi-Doo-Pa-Pa) and its fast and catchy rhythm. This way, it became inspiration for lots of Eurodance artists from Europe. Later, another iconic song was released, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, which became a Top-1 track around the world, selling over 8 million copies. That encouraged lots of artists to write songs with a similar style, topics and aesthetics.

The successor genre of Bubblegum Dance is considered to be Teen Pop[3] from the 2000s.

In the 2020s, as the Y2K revival movement appeared among young people, some Bubblegum Dance songs (such as Bumblebee by Bambee, Superstar by Toy-Box and Barbie Girl by Aqua) went viral again on social media sites like TikTok or Instagram, slightly revitalizing the popularity of the genre. Some songs have also been used in memes.

Visuals[]

The visuals associated with Bubblegum Dance music can mainly be noticed in MVs and song/album cover arts.
Some common motifs of Bubblegum Dance visuals are:

  • Fantasy characters, such as fictional characters, princesses, fairies, talking animals, living objects, pirates, book characters, monsters, etc.
  • Toys from the 1990s-2000s, such as Furbies, Barbie, Tamagotchi, phone toys, old dolls, bootleg toys, etc.
  • Sweet foods such as candy, fruits, cake, ice cream, etc.
  • Backgrounds: Unrealistic Y2K Futurism 3D models, beaches, clubs, fictional toy/book scenery, blurry plain backgrounds and textures, colorful spirals.
  • Topics: Partying, love, having fun, childhood nostalgia, 'fever dreams', dream adventures (such as being a princess, sailor, pirate, etc.), sexual satire (sometimes)
  • Vibrant color filters.

Fashion[]

The fashion used in Bubblegum Dance MVs is similar to Raver and Cyberpop fashion, with a childish touch to it.
Some common characteristics of Bubblegum Dance fashion include:

  • Wide, colorful skirts
  • Colorful crop tops
  • Tutus
  • Long pants
  • Belts
  • Colorful dresses
  • Adventurous costumes (such as astronauts, sailors, etc.)
  • Costumes from and/or based on fictional characters
  • Pale and colorful makeup

Music[]

Bubblegum Dance songs are characterized by:

  • Funny, cheerful and childish topics
  • Happy, bouncy and funny choruses sung by a feminine voice
  • High pitched feminine voices
  • Back up vocals and rap vocals sung by a masculine voice
  • Cheerful covers or parodies of pre-existing popular songs (example: Sister Sister by Java or Kalinka by Yamboo)

Subgenres[]

Bubblegum Dance-Pop[]

Bubblegum Dance-Pop, also known as Bubblegum Pop, is a subgenre of Bubblegum Dance that appeared during the late 1990s, and it takes influence from Teen Pop music and a few other Pop subgenres. Compared to its sister genres (Bubblegum Dance and Bubblegum Italodance), it's less electronic.

The most common characteristics in Bubblegum Dance-Pop are:

  • Sweet, happy, cheesy and childish lyrics.
  • Lyrics that are 'deep' and 'emotional', but purposely fail by being awkward for both the singer and listeners.
  • Less electronic compared to other Bubblegum Dance subgenres; less usage of synthesisers and electronic beats.
  • Influence from other musical genres such as Dance-Pop, Teen Pop, Europop and Synth Pop, rather than Eurodance.

Bubblegum Italodance[]

Bubblegum Italodance is a subgenre of Bubblegum Dance, and as the name suggests, it refers to music made in Italy, with influence from the Italodance musical genre. Bubblegum Italodance music was at its peak in the 2000s, when its production skyrocketed. Most Bubblegum Italodance music was sold in vinyl records during the 1990s and 2000s in Italy, leading many songs to become rare or get lost.

Bubblegum Italodance is considered different from other forms of Bubblegum Dance due to its unique musical characteristics, and some of these include:

  • Heavy beats and synthesizers
  • Catchy verses and choruses, usually sung by a feminine voice
  • More mature topics, such as love and relationships
  • Silly topics and non-sensical lyrics

Media[]

Musical Artists[]

  • Aqua
  • Bambee
  • Blümchen
  • Bubbles
  • Caramell
  • Caramella Girls
  • Daze
  • Djumbo
  • Fast Food Rockers
  • Holly Dolly
  • K3
  • La Cream
  • Me & My
  • Misa
  • Miss Papaya
  • Rollergirl
  • SMiLE.DK
  • Schnuffel
  • Scooch
  • Solid Base
  • Tiggy
  • Toy-Box
  • Vengaboys
  • Yamboo

Songs[]

Music Videos[]

Video Games[]

Since the Bubblegum Dance scene is closely related with the Anime fandom and the rhythm game community, many Bubblegum Dance songs are featured on Japanese rhythm games, anime MVs/edits/memes and nightcore remixes. Some of these video games are:

  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • Dancemania Series
  • In the Groove
  • Just Dance Series
  • Pop'n Music

Criticism[]

Eroticism[]

Due to the childish style of Bubblegum Dance, some assume that it's a musical genre aimed at young children; however it's actually not necessarily for kids. Consequently, some songs with erotic or sexually suggestive topics and lyrics have been criticized, but they're supposed to be for adults. This is because Bubblegum Dance as a genre has no target audience. For example, many lyrics in works by the Danish band Aqua have double meanings, including their hits like Barbie Girl or Lollipop (Candyman).

Gallery[]

Cover Arts[]

References[]

Advertisement