Indie music has long been my passion. Since I was a teenager, I’ve really loved this musical style and the way it stands out from other types of music.
So, what is indie music you ask? Well, Indie music takes its name from the word “independent” and can refer to a number of scenes, genres, subcultures and cultural and stylistic attributes which set it apart from other commercial pop. With its DIY approach, indie music has its own values and a system all of its own. Originally defined by the fact that indie artists were only found on independent labels, Indie music once didn’t have a style all of its own, however, eventually, the term began to be used to make a distinction between different types of rock, rap, pop and metal.
Indie music in the USA is different from Indie music in the UK, however, both countries have their own Indie charts which cover different categories. Most Indie music, however, has historically been guitar based. Whatever form Indie music takes, its values are what makes it truly different from other types of music.
Indie music has a DIY sensibility, very much like that which originated in the 70s with punk music. To be Indie, music must, in essence, be separate from commercial music, and thus creative freedom is more prevalent in this type of music. Indie music has been in existence for several decades now and has taken a number of forms, from its earliest days right up to the present time. The history of Indie music has been varied and fascinating, encompassing many bands that started off being signed to an independent label and then becoming a worldwide phenomenon, like Oasis. Today, however, purists would say that Indie bands that are on one of the bigger independent labels are no longer truly an Indie band.
These days, as labels are no longer essential to produce and distribute albums, it is easier than ever before to start up an indie band and to be successful. The internet has allowed artists to introduce indie music to a large audience at a very low cost, and this is why many artists have websites and a strong presence on social media.
While the majority of people recognize Indie music as simply a band that operates under an independent label, if you are an Indie purist, you will go a step further. Small independent labels are the heart of everything that is truly Indie, without any of the commercialism or exploitation of the bigger independent labels. True indie labels pursue authenticity in their art form, ensuring that only the music that they love is produced without any thought of commercialism or popularity.
So, how do independent record label contracts work? Although an advance might be forthcoming, it is likely to be small, and often comes in the form of a recoupable sum for the cost of recording tracks. More commonly independent labels offer a profit share system and have a reliance on promotional goods.