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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

As someone who was raised on the pop hits of Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato, I have high standards for my pop music playlists. Lately, pop music hasn’t been hitting the same and new artists come as fast as they go. As much as I would like to replay the same albums over and over again, I know I should branch out and see what else is on the musical horizon. From my endless scouring and replaying of Spotify’s New Music Friday or Pop Rising playlists, I’ve found artists that fill the 2010’s Pop hole in my life. And no, I’m not talking about those random TikTok hits that use nursery rhymes as their chorus, but of real pop music: nostalgic, lyrical, and upbeat. So, if you’re a pop-depraved girl like me, here are some artists that will bring out the inner Britney in you. 


First off on the list, is the unintentionally funny Sabrina Carpenter. We all know her from her Girl Meets World days but she has come so far as an artist, especially with her latest album emails i cant send. The breakout hit from that album was the song “Nonsense,” which was very Ariana Grande-esque due to the high-pitched vocals and boppy rhythm. When performing the song on tour, she personalized its outro for each city, which I thought was such a cute way to connect with her fans. Anyone can have kickass vocals and catchy tunes, but not everyone can have the pop star personality that creates a loyal fanbase.  


When I think of Rina Sawayama I think of quintessential pop. Her songs are catchy and upbeat and have so much depth to their lyrics. Her style is also very unconventional and eye-catching, which is very reminiscent of the iconic Lady Gaga. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she said that her LP was her way of infiltrating therapy into pop music, which I think is what music’s all about! Her latest album, Hold The Girl, has so many hits that I don’t know how they aren’t dominating the charts. 


Like most people these days, I first heard of Tate McRae from TikTok. In 2020, she had a viral song called “you broke me first,” but I didn’t think much of her until a video of her landed on my ForYou page. She was dancing to one of her songs and when I looked it up on Spotify, I realized it was her singing it! So as one does, I binged all of her music videos and songs that she had released, and I loved them. She has such relatable lyrics about heartbreak and growing up, that I think our generation can heavily identify with. However, what drew me to her was the visuals she puts into her songs. Whether it’s a music video or a visualizer, she goes all out for it, especially with her dancing. Nowadays it’s rare to find a pop star that seems to do it all, but Tate definitely has that star potential and that nostalgic pop vibe with her music videos.


When I say talent, you say Renee Rapp! No, but for real, this girl is the epitome of a triple threat as she can sing, dance, and act flawlessly. Renee Rapp plays Leighton in the hit HBO show The Sex Lives of College Girls, and if you didn’t know her from there maybe you saw her in the Broadway show Mean Girls. Her latest EP, Everything to Everyone, is honestly one of the best debuts I’ve heard in a while. Her songs are lyrical masterpieces and her vocals are to die for. Other than being a vessel of talent, she is also very open about her mental health struggles, body dysmorphia, and her sexuality.

As a picky pop girl, these girls have wormed their way into my playlists and I truly think they all have what it takes to be full-blown pop stars. As much as I love my old pop music, I’m so excited to see the new generation of pop stars rise and raise a whole new generation of pop girlies. Hopefully after reading, you go straight to stream these artists and fall in love with them like I did!

Valeria is the Vice President and Coeditor in Chief of Her Campus UConn. She is a rising senior studying English and Communications. She enjoys writing about pop culture, media analyses, music, and lifestyle. She works at UConn Magazine as an editorial assistant. For fun, she likes reading, journaling, crocheting, and making incredibly niche Spotify playlists.