What is independent music, or what’s the image that comes to mind when you hear “independent music”? Maybe that of a white guy strumming his electric guitar loudly. Or, a bus filled with a band touring small towns and playing in a sparsely populated bar. It’s time for a change of view on what independent music means and connotes.
First, let’s address it from the basics, indie music is short for independent music.
When you come across any indie artist, know that these artists produce their music. They are not in any business partnership or relationship with a record label. Another misconception about indie music is being a genre of music. No, it’s not; indie music does not have restriction to a specific genre of music.
What Defined Independent Music in Its Formative Years
The media coined the term “indie” in the 1980s, used to describe unsigned artists and bands who produce and release their music. This was long before the coming of the internet, and attached to artists whose music is commercially unacceptable.
Usually, people interchange indie music with alternative rock. While there are indie rock artists, not every indie artist tilts towards the genre of music. More so, while indie music became popular for its introspective, depressed, and poetic disposition. This is only traceable to a few indie artists.
These qualities expressed in the lyrics and arrangements of Bob Dylan, the songwriter and Nobel laureate. Became the framework for considering every other indie artist —afterward, the scope through which definition was given to the entire independent music.
Another example of this dreariness that defined independent music is Nick Drake. This was the medium through which every other indie artist and independent music’s definition.
Correcting the Contradictions in Independent Music’s Definition
Don’t even bother to check for the meaning of indie music on the internet. This is what you’ll likely find; the lyrics of indie music are powerfully emotional. Indeed, as much as they spark emotions, they don’t sing about how their lives suck? Imagine! Who is the “their”? You already know who; indie artists? This connotation became attached to indie music over the years.
Moreover, our job is not to correct these misconceptions but rather to popularize the true meaning of indie music.
Independent music refers to music produced by independent artists, bands, or record labels. Usually, little to moderate budget is used to produce indie music as major record labels do not bankroll indie artists.
Finally, The use of the term indie music as a description for artists unsigned by any major record label. Or those signed by an independent record label.