What Does Indie Music Mean?

Posted by Mike Schumacher

This article will discuss what does indie music mean, who it’s for, and what makes it worth listening to.

It’s easy to forget that “indie music” has been a term that has existed as long as there has been music.

Often dismissed as niche or under-appreciated, this genre of music was defined in the mid-twentieth century, the first acts being avant-garde musicians like The Velvet Underground, and performers like Dylan, Simon, and Garfunkel.

Though the definition of indie music has shifted, it has remained an ever-evolving genre. From what many understand, “indie music” is known to emphasize individuality, creativity, and self-expression, as well as being more accessible to a mainstream audience.

Indie music in pop culture

Two men playing electric guitars

In popular culture, indie musicians often appear on television shows such as Saturday Night Live, Fresh Off the Boat, You’re the Worst, or Drunk History.

When discussing the demographics of indie music, many people tend to think of a specific type of person. The majority of people would define indie music as a generation born between the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, when many of the great acts formed.

The people that represent this group are commonly identified as “hipsters,” though others in the industry have identified the group as being Generation Y.

Some of the common indie characteristics include social liberalism, anti-authoritarianism, and a musical inclination towards singer-songwriters and acoustic music. In this, we will talk about what indie music is, what makes it worth listening to, and who it’s for.

What are the qualities of Indie Music?

Grayscale piano keys

Indie music is defined as music that focuses on the artist’s contributions to the creative process. Indie musicians typically reject the idea that music is a product that is meant to get sold. They believe that their contributions to music, rather than making it a business, should be what is important.

Indie musicians do not produce music that sounds like what’s out there. There is very little resemblance to pop music. Indie music is focused on quality of song. This means that the music is acoustic or acoustic-type. At its heart, indie music is related to jazz and folk music.

If we take a look at indie musicians, we are able to see what indie music represents. Indie musicians take risks, because they believe that doing so is important. In doing so, they reject traditional ways of making music. It is their own version of creative freedom. For the most part, indie

Independent artists in this day and age.

Black vinyl player

Indie artists are not afraid to be creative, and write their own music, produce their own videos, and write their own story.

By not being afraid to be what they are, indie artists can be artists without having to have their fingers on the pulse of the mainstream.

They can make a career out of making music their own way, and have fans that want to listen to their music.

Indie artists can produce the music that they want, even if the mainstream music industry says they cannot. Indie artists are not afraid to create their own image, and to present themselves the way that they want.

Indie artists stand for their music, not the mainstream music industry. Indie artists do not need to be indie, but they also do not have to be mainstream, either.

Indie can have its own place in the music world.

Indie rock used to mean ‘underground music’

A microphone rests on a live sound mixing board containing colorful knobs.

Not all music comes from the major labels. There is a whole underground music scene that you would never expect to have much impact, but has made a huge impact on music as a whole, as well as the people that make and appreciate it.

From many years of digging into independent music, I have found a community of amazingly talented and driven artists, and countless small labels that do fantastic work.

As a result of the influence of Indie music, a large number of people who are “Independent” are more than just the social perception of “Indie”. A huge portion of Indie musicians are able to rely on their DIY music to make a living.

There are many labels and studios that only take on artists who are willing to work hard, without having to have a major label manager in their pockets. Indie has made it possible for a great number of artist to get noticed, if they work hard.

That is a huge part of the music community and why they get things done, and I like that aspect of indie music.

Marketing yourself in this competitive world as an indie artist

The world of marketing is all about controlling where you are seen. If your image is the only one you can be seen with, then you are confined to being seen that way.

Indie musicians have a huge toolbox for marketing and branding their music.

Some indie artists get very in-depth with their marketing, making sure they have a huge music portfolio, videos, and social media accounts.

I have seen indie artists utilize these platforms in the most creative of ways!

You can even set up a Patreon or Bandcamp subscription so people pay you continuously instead of just paying for your release.

envelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram