David Bowie wasn’t just a chameleon in the music industry. As it turns out, he also had quite a knack for predicting the future.
From foreseeing the future of the music industry, technology, and even the birth of a superstar, it seems there was nothing the legendary singer couldn’t do.
Here are some of Bowie’s past predictions that have quite eerily come true in the present.
Online music streaming
Back in 2002, Bowie made this declaration to The New York Times: “Music is going to become like running water or electricity.”
He was referring to the changing nature of the mass availability of music (thanks to the explosion of Napster and LimeWire), but his words seem eerily fitting with how we share music today, nearly a decade and a half on.
His thoughts on how this would impact the music industry also ring true:
I don’t even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don’t think it’s going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way.
The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it.
I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen… You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left. It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen.
In a time where breaking down the boundaries of gender in popular culture was almost non-existent, David Bowie characterised his music in a way that exposed his fans to a different kind of thinking.
Through his androgynous multiple personas, Bowie pioneered a visionary method of exploring the complex question of gender that still continues today.
Remember how you’d choose a song to compliment your MySpace profile back in the mid 2000s? Bowie was doing that a decade earlier with his early form of social networking, BowieNet.
BowieNet gave users access to archives of music, photos and videos, as well as letting users create their own personal page within the site. Basically like an early version of MySpace.
Bowie managed to predict the iPad a whopping 30 years before the Apple product hit the shelves. In his 1980 music video for Ashes to Ashes, Bowie (as Pierrot) held up a hand-held tablet to the camera with a moving image projected on it. Coincidence? Or psychic?
The birth of Kanye?
Twitter user Alistair Coleman proposed that the cover art of Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars foretold the birth of Yeezus.
How exactly? Well, as Coleman points out, Ziggy’s artwork features the exterior sign of a London furrier, which went by the name ‘K. West’. Not exactly a prophecy, but if you take a look at the album’s tracklist, you come across a song entitled Five Years which foretells the end of the world (“We’ve got five years, that’s all we’ve got”).
Take a wild guess who was born exactly five years and two days after Ziggy’s release. Kanye ‘effing West.
Was David Bowie telling us that Armageddon is coming at the hands of Kanye West? With Bowie’s track record in predicting the future, there’s a good fucking chance, guys.