This morning I had a bit of an argument with fellow artist Ezhak about how "Vaporwave is only Vaporwave if it is slow" and quite frankly, there's a lot of points to Vaporwave that make it such a complex beast that to define it as just "slow music" is a crime. As far as anyone is concerned, the movement piggybacks on the concept of Nostalgia; as it is this means many forms of art can couple into the movement which makes it ever diverse and alive as it is today. The same goes for anyone who explicitly states that Vaporwave is comprised of 80s-90s music only.
I grew up listening to music from both 80s and 90s, however, for me that was simply Retro. Retro music doesn't always appeal to Nostalgia as it isn't entirely ever present over the lives of everyone. We all familiarize to the things we grew up around and made us feel excited, happy and whole in more ways to count.
I am not a Millenial, I was born in 1996 and anyone who couples early iGens with Millenials has absolutely no idea of the great differences in experiences faced. I didn't grow up listening to Moog synths or seeing people walking around with big hair; I grew up in a time where straight hair was the thing, a time where online gaming was just starting to take on and the polygons were much better refined in games and CGI. I grew up during the death of VHS and the menial attainability of the DVD format. I do not relate to the nostalgia the largest library of Vaporwave targets. I appreciate the art for what it is as I do love me what I call Retro, but during all this time I've learned to follow my feelings where they are the strongest.
Back to the whole argument, the reason Vaporwave cannot be coupled as just "slow music" is because such music is not nostalgic to me or to everyone in it's entirety. I have experimented multiple times to mix up the formula and I have made projects that show my feelings of nostalgia towards places in my heart that don't exist in the real world anymore.
This has perhaps cut down my audience, but I do not give up. Releases by artists such as Sayohimebou [which I find nostalgic as it takes me back to what I remember as a child] give me hope that the outdated idea of Vaporwave simply being slow will change and people will open up their catalogues to our fresh ideas and also to the ideas of the Vaporwave artists out there that are older than Millenials and dabble at sampling the 70s.
Instead of hindering the progress of this movement by making it a stereotype, we need to expand and diversify it to the nostalgic needs of everyone so that anyone can enjoy sticking around.