Genres tend to be backward looking.
In other words, new genres tend to be derivative. Influenced by a previous genre. Very hard to avoid, not meant in a bad way. Many times, some influence comes from a major label executive or producer so that the new style has some mass appeal.
Anyone can trace a genre back to a root style or artist. Most of it comes from blues or gospel or classical. Robert Johnson is cited as a major influence on blues music; while there were blues artists before him, you can't trace his style before him. Where did HE get it from? That's the thing that puzzles many musicologists.
Very very few genres or artists are truly original and not derivative. Kevin Gilbert (RIP) listened to a lot of prog rock; his music was original and not really derivative. You listen to Gilbert's stuff and you're hard pressed to trace it to a root style.
But it doesn't always translate to sales or fame. Johnson's music sold well, but people were slow to embrace Gilbert.