Synthwave leans heavily on a set of nostalgic elements dating from the '80's, including movies and video games from the era.

But why is there an association with Miami? In a lot of the artwork accompanying the songs on Youtube, Miami has a prevalence only exceeded seemingly by the blue-purple-yellow gradient and stylized Lamborghinis.

A selection (certainly not all) of playlists with 'Miami' in the title:




There's at least two bands with Miami in the title: Miamihighway and Miami Nights 1984.

So why would this association exist?

  • This is too speculative to make it an answer, but maybe the association is the iconic 80s show Miami Vice, known for it's New Wave soundtrack and stylish visuals. Commented May 23, 2019 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


"Miami Vice" is the reason. Not only was the visual style of the show very influential, with soft pink and blue pastels, but it was famous as one of the first TV shows that heavily relied on contemporary pop music, so much so that some of Jan Hammer's songs composed specifically for the show became pop hits in their own right.

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