Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Banger Films' THIS IS POP, Eight-Part Series Streaming NOW on Netflix

The release is the latest music-focused project from Banger Films.

Banger Films' THIS IS POP, Eight-Part Series Streaming NOW on Netflix

From Auto-Tune to boy bands to the rise of country pop, THIS IS POP dives deep into some of the most significant moments in pop music history over the past seven decades. The series features exclusive interviews with the artists, producers, songwriters and superstars integral to pivotal untold stories, including Shania Twain, Boyz II Men, ABBA's Benny Andersson, T-Pain, Brandi Carlile, Public Enemy's Chuck D and other luminaries. The release is the latest music-focused project from Banger Films, the production company behind award winning documentary work including Hip Hop Evolution, ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage and more. Each director-driven episode comes with its own style, voice and one goal in common: to explore how these game-changing moments unfolded and why their impact on pop music and culture continues today. All eight episodes are available today on Netflix.

While the series speaks to the power of pop music to create global consensus and community, it also tells a more nuanced story of the genre's role as a societal magnifier. The producers and directors of THIS IS POP aim to shine a light on racism, sexism, classism, queer politics and social injustice while also celebrating the levity and joy for which pop music has long been known.

"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."

"The Boyz II Men Effect" examines the struggle that Black musical innovators face in reaping pop music rewards as well as the personal cost of cultural appropriation. Boyz II Men members take us back to their humble beginnings in Philadelphia and chronicle their rise to '90s R&B superstardom, which set the template for multi-platinum boy bands later in the decade. Features interviews with: Boyz II Men's Nate Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman, Babyface, 98 Degrees' Nick Lachey, New Edition's Michael Bivins.

"When Country Goes Pop" delves into the raging debate about what makes a song "country" and why country music has such a fixation on authenticity. Featuring country provocateur Orville Peck as host and storyteller, the episode examines pivotal and controversial moments of the Country Pop genre. Features interviews with: Shania Twain, Wynonna Judd, Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, Steve Earle.

"Auto- Tune" presents the idea that technology is an art form in itself, one that augments the natural talent of the artist. The sound has become omnipresent all over the world since its invention in 1997. Some say the pitch-correction technology has ruined music, while others have found fame by using the tool creatively. Features interviews with: T-Pain, Auto-Tune inventor Dr. Andy Hildebrand, British record producer Ken Scott (producer and engineer for The Beatles and some of David Bowie's biggest albums), and synthesizer pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

"Stockholm Syndrome" examines how the world's image of Swedish pop music differs from the reality of the musicians that make it, and how today's Swedish musicians have developed a new model for a global superstar that is more private and reserved despite the current hypervisibility and Extremely Online culture. The episode explores how one Scandinavian country came, quite unexpectedly, to dominate global pop music. Featuring interviews with: ABBA's Benny Andersson, Ace of Base's Ulf Ekberg, Backstreet Boys' Brian Littrell, Peter Bjorn and John's Bjorn Yttling, Laleh.

"The Brill Building in 4 Songs" profiles the unheralded legacy of the most important address in Pop music history, alongside some cautionary tales from behind the walls. In the 1950s and "60s, songwriters, record producers and wannabe pop stars flocked to 1619 Broadway in New York with dreams of churning out the next big hit. Features interviews with: Andy Kim, Neil Sedaka, Steven Van Zandt and producer Linda Perry.

"Festival Rising" frames large-scale music events as cultural engines to create pop culture moments that can only happen at a festival. It seems each era can be defined by a festival that mirrors the state of society at that time. Focusing on some of the most iconic festivals in history, including Monterey Pop, Glastonbury, The US Festival, Woodstock '99 and Bonnaroo, the episode brings to life the sights and sounds of these unique events. Features interviews with: Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady, Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew and The Mama & the Papas' Michelle Phillips.

"Hail Britpop!" asks what the female and racially marginalized musicians on the periphery of Britpop tell us about the movement, how class played a role in the Oasis vs. Blur battle and why Britpop was destined to have an expiration date. Features interviews with: 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 (who discovered Oasis)

"What Can A Song Do?" explores all aspects of protest songs, including how the message of a political song is changed or magnified once it becomes a pop hit, with musicians sharing their unique approach to writing about injustice. Features interviews with: Public Enemy's Chuck D, Hozier, Arlo Guthrie and MILCK.

THIS IS POP is produced by Banger Films in association with Netflix. For Banger Films, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen are Executive Producers and Amanda Burt is Series Producer.

Watch a trailer here:

Related Articles View More TV Stories

From This Author - Sarah Jae Leiber