The Entertainment Issue: Teenage Dream – adolescent ingenuity is shaping the future of pop

“Here” from Alessia Cara crawled to #1, resonating with listeners on two levels: both as a dig at the social pressure to party and as a meta-commentary on pop music itself, which, in an era of synthetic E.D.M. beats, has made a banal fetish of the epic night out.

Much has been said about digital natives—people born with access to a computer—but teens today might be thought of as native creators. They are coming of age in a youth culture that thinks of public creativity, from an inventive Snapchat montage to a YouTube clip of a bedroom musical performance, as a primary expression of identity.