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What Is Indie?
If we turn to books to define what the concept of Indie is, they tell us that Indie music or Indie rock is a genre of music that originated in the UK and USA in the 80’s. Even though Indie is traced back to the 80s the term Indie itself was used since the 1950’s to identify music produced by independent labels who looked for artists unsigned by major companies.
Most people, specially the younger ones, identify Indie rock as a style or genre of music, rather than as a way and philosophy of producing it. These two different ideas blur the concept of Indie music today.
If we go back to the 80’s inside the indie music etiquette we could include musicians from many genres like rock, pop, grunge, and punk that although diverse, had something in common --- the low budget with which they produced their music. Although This was a disadvantage for most musicians Indie musicians and the small labels that stood behind them took it as an opportunity to explore sounds, lyrics and aesthetics without the pressure of having to please the mainstream audiences.
Nonetheless the explosion of Indie music as a recognized genre happened in the 90’s paradoxically when it started to lose its essence. During this decade, groups like Nirvana started to have a huge backup by major labels. For example, although we can categorize their first album, Bleach as independent, their second album Nevermind doesn’t lie inside the strict meaning of this term. The so called “Indie” groups in this decade continued to produce the music style borne in the 80’s but now they had all the resources and money of the big music companies.
As mentioned before, the concept of Indie may be a little bit confusing, often related with alternative and non-commercial music. The truth is that the sales of the groups identified as “Indies” continued growing during the first decade of this century. Many detractors argument that Indie musicians and fans only care about going against the commercial and pop culture, leaving in a second place the quality of their music but not the sales they produce waving the “alternative” or “Indie” etiquette.
Here, on welveyoursongs.com we think that although some of this criticism may have a little bit of truth, the rising of internet and of new technologies has given a new meaning to independent music and a new opportunity for musicians who are not even signed by any label to experiment, produce and distribute their music worldwide. We see how this happens every day. Here. Now. The only thing left is to proclaim the death of Indie and to wish long live to the new Indie.
This article is only a really short summary of the genre called indie, with a lot of gaps to fill. That’s why we ask to the members of the WLYS community for your collaboration and comments on the topic. What do you think about the evolution of Indie music? What is the situation of Indie music today? Is there a real Indie genre? WE CAN’T WAIT to read your comments guys!
Article written by Cristina Torres, a new London based contributor to our blog. You can follow her on Twitter at @cristorresfer.
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