This article will discuss how has indie music changed over time. This is part one of a two part article.
Starting out in the ’60s as a sub-genre of garage rock, rock music became more sophisticated and progressive with the emergence of the Beatles and other popular bands of the ’60s and the ’70s.
Trying to define the genre of indie rock, most will agree it is a mix of folk rock and punk rock with a more roots based and organic sound.
The more progressive sound is characteristic of indie, but this was pioneered by other bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth. Many indie bands will even combine elements of both genres.
Owing to its growth and popularity, indie rock has become a part of mainstream music culture. It has also influenced many other genres like folk, hip-hop and even pop.
The success of many indie bands in the ’90s is often credited for jump starting mainstream popularity in many other genres.
As time went on, indie grew into a worldwide music phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, The All Time Indie Chart is one of the most notable sources of information for indie music.
Trying to figure out why indie has such a broad appeal and still has a niche audience can be a very interesting question. Maybe part of it is due to its endless diversity and creativity.
A large part of indie’s success comes from the fact that it can be a raw, honest expression of emotion and emotion comes from letting it all hang out.
The seeds of rock music are there, but they are hidden or only show up when things are broken. Indie musicians are less concerned with being over produced and more focused on the music itself.
When rock stars have successful and long careers, it is often attributed to their ability to become mythological or larger than life characters. In this sense, rock and roll is about building a character or persona and maintaining it over a long period of time.
Part of rock and roll is a show. A rock star must go on stage and entertain an audience.
They must be a performance artist to some degree. There is nothing wrong with this, but it tends to put many indie musicians at a disadvantage.
What many indie musicians lack is the ability to control their image. As a result, many indie artists fail to become icons.
Some of their songs are also not well-suited for television or radio. For example, Nirvana and The Replacements had a lot of success with songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
It’s a great song but it is not typical of an indie song.
Indie musicians often cannot afford the large record labels. In order to have their music heard and distributed they must start small and work their way up to a larger audience.
The cost of recording a record is much less than what it costs to have a record label take over the process. This is why alternative radio stations can do a lot to support indie artists.
The listener base is far more passionate and willing to listen to indie artists because they often want something different. Indie artists are often very much an expression of a person’s style, interests, personality and personal views.
This can be good and bad. People are more likely to get behind an artist because of who they are and not their style, art, lyrics or the type of music.
With the relatively short lifespan of indie music and the paucity of major record label involvement in indie, the process of growing an audience and spreading your music can be much easier.
Most indie artists have fewer worries than other artists about whether or not their songs will get played on the radio or in a commercial. The truth is there are simply more people listening to indie music than ever before.
This means that it is much easier to get your music out there and get a small, but growing following.
Indie artists must maintain their local following and draw bigger crowds. There is a big difference between playing at a small venue in your hometown and playing to a large crowd of people in a huge arena.
There is also the problem of music piracy. This is where indie artists have it tougher than the mainstream artists.
Pirate technology allows the listener to copy music and distribute it easily. It also creates a smaller market for musicians.
As more and more bands use the technology to create a higher quality product, it creates a more exclusive and smaller pool of people interested in buying music.
The reliance on fan clubs or Facebook for promotion, and the vast quantity of fans that these sites can attract can be intimidating for indie artists.
Fan clubs can be very effective. It can be a good way to increase the reach of a band and get it attention from a large audience.
However, the downside of fan clubs is that people can buy the band’s merchandise, and this is usually very popular with the “normal” audience that most indie artists are trying to reach.
The biggest problem with fan clubs is that it can be very limiting and confining for artists. These people are often extremely loyal and loyal people can make problems for the band.
Another major difference is that indie bands have a much better idea of how much they need to invest into promotion and development.
All of the members of an indie band know what they need to do to be successful and they all are equally responsible for the success of the band.
This allows the band to invest the money and time in developing their art, music and audience. Major labels usually try to get as much money as they can from a band in exchange for mass distribution and marketing and that has proven to be a very risky investment.
Indie artists are often smaller than major labels, but they are usually more flexible.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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