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Future of the Industry

The Beginners Guide To Independent Music


Indie music is a term used to refer to artists who are unsigned or are signed with independent labels.  In the beginning, Indie music was not a term used to reference to a specific genre of music.  As years have passed, it has become the generic term for a sound of a particular band or bands that they have influenced.  The styles associated with Indie rock are similar to regular rock music, but are connected to a variety of underground cultures.  The genres and subgenres that are usually associated with Indie rock include post-rock, C86, math rock, sad core, and lo-fi.  Shoegazing and Indie pop are also genres associated with Indie rock.   

Artists who play Indie rock are in complete control of their music, by releasing their own albums and often starting their own record labels.  They rely on spreading the word of their music with touring around different areas, word of mouth, and airplay time on college radio stations or independent radio stations.  After time, they usually move to larger labels, but it takes a strong amount of determination and patience.   

In the UK, ‘The Smiths’ are regarded as the most successful Indie artists of the 1980s, while the ‘Pixies’ were one of the main influences in the US.  During this time period, Indie rock was referred to as a broad variety of musical styles, especially experimental.  As we entered into the 1990s, Indie rock became more mainstream into the musical culture, as more Indie bands began to be successful with larger record labels.  The US was slightly different, with Indie rock being a generic term for “underground”music.   

In our world today, Indie rock attracts mostly college students.  Many of the Indie bands have started their careers by offering free concerts at universities and colleges.  Arts Councils have been large contributors to some of the independent bands, but the UK has benefits from the fact that the term “mainstream” and “Indie” have overlapped genres.  There are many Indie bands, both in the US and in the UK, that continue to make experimental music without trying to achieve mainstream success.   

Online companies, such as CFTA, or “CDs-From-The-Artist.Com” helps promote artists that specialize in Indie rock.  The company’s mission is to help independent artists accomplish their own promoting website, list audio clips of their music, and sell their CDs.  Companies such as CFTA are beneficial to Indie artists to help promote their work.  Many of these sites were created by artists and music lovers alike with the mission to provide the latest and greatest web technology.  The services are usually free, and often they are supplied by college students who are wanting to practice in their particular field of study.   

If you are an Indie rock artist who is trying to get your name out there, the best advice that could be given is to immerse yourself into your local scene.  Be involved in any music aspect that you can find, especially the college scene.  This is where true success lies.  Look for music parties in your area where all different types of artists come together and practice their music.  These are often companies that host the music parties and help to promote your music in the process.  


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