New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, which is an essential component in creative industries. Since melting pots are destined to breed creativity, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple has been home to some of the world’s most eclectic and inspiring musical groups throughout the ages.
The punk rock scene initially started over in England in the mid-1970s, but soon found its way to America. The anti-establishment messages, angry lyrics, and quick beats of punk music resonated perfectly with the teenage angst of that era. One of the most notable bands that originated in New York at that time was the Ramones. Many people thought they were related because they all shared the same last name, but it was just part of the act. They were a main staple of the punk genre for over 22 years, touring nonstop, and the four boys from Queens have been hailed as the first official punk band of all time.
Blondie is perhaps one of the most famous household names when it comes to punk music. Debra Harry was the co-founder and lead singer, and she helped propel the group to the top 40 singles chart eight times. She also had an edgy look that many people wanted to emulate.
There were other popular music styles at that time, like the underground rock scene. This differed from the punk scene in that it was less angry and more centered around art and poetry. The Velvet Underground was a band that consisted of varying quantities of band members throughout the group’s lifetime. Founded by Lou Reed, the artist Andy Warhol was also a major contributor when it came to securing venues and doing promotional work. The band mostly earned its cult-like following since their heyday, not so much when they were actively touring.
There are several artists who owe their careers to the rise of indie rock, also known as garage band rock. The Strokes came onto the scene in the late 1990s. Three of the original founding members met while attending a college preparatory school in New York. Like many indie groups, they mostly performed in small venues as a preference because they enjoyed having a close connection with their audience.
On the other side of the spectrum is folk-rock music. No duo is more iconic than native new yorkers Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They originally met in Queens, and started making music together over a decade later. They will be remembered for generations because of their well-known lyrics, melodies, and heavenly voices.