What is Indie Music? Is it Really a Music Genre?

What is Indie Music

Introduction on what is Indie music:

Indie music has erupted in the unified prowess. Whenever you hear the term indie music, there are a ton of bands that pop up in your head. The whole genre is almost like nostalgia to everyone. 

Adding to that, the presence of social media platforms or music platforms has added to the genre. Reaching out to a wider range of people via this platform is ten times easier than it was earlier. So, maybe that is why the whole indie music is booming, by reaching out to their listeners. 

Apart from the platform, there are indie songs that everyone knows and also the lesser-known ones. Indie has a lot to offer to its listeners, but do you know what indie music really is?

If you knew, you wouldn’t be here, would you? So, taking that as a no, we’ll be telling you about the genre that is widely famous but not known. We mean, although people are aware of indie music but they still cannot pinpoint the same when it comes to it. 

So, let’s learn about the genre that is otherwise known to all yet needs to be put into a category. Indie music is a term that needs a defined explanation of what falls under the same. 

We will walk you through what it is along with its brief history and a few examples too. Adding to that, we would also try to explain why exactly the industry has been booming in recent years. So, buckle up and stay till the end to find it all. 

So, here is what indie music is anyways:

What is Indie Music? 

Modest Mouse, The National, Bon Iver, Belle and Sebastian, Arcade Fire, Mac and DeMarco are some of the common bands. Now all these bands are famous for what we call the indie genre music. Yet if you notice closely, these are all different in their own ways. 

The very first thing you would need to know is that Indie is not a genre at all. Adding to that, it is not even a style of music. Often people confuse it as a genre, and then the complications begin. 

If we talk about indie folk, indie rock, indie pop and more, these are precisely the genres. Adding along with that, these are all related, yet when it comes to music, and these are all different. 

Indie in Indie music is sort of the short form for the term independent. So by that, it means that the music is not really associated with any major music labels financially. 

There are, in total, three music labels that account for almost 80% of the labels in all the music industry. These three music labels are Warner Music Group, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group. Apart from these three labels, all others are the subsidiaries of these labels. For instance, if you have heard of Columbia Records, it is an offshoot of Sony

So, Indie music is basically the music made by independent artists. Meaning that these artists in no way are in a link or connection with the big labels. Neither with them directly nor with their subsidiaries. So, the most obvious interpretation of what Indie music is would be that it is music and not a genre. Adding to that, it is purely made by independent artists that are not in connection with the big labels. 

Identifying what is Indie Music

What is indie music
Source: Music Gateway

So, now that you know that indie music is more inclined towards grit rather than aiming for any commercial success. So, basically, identifying indie music depends on the context, more like how you identify indie music. Further, the answer to how to identify indie music really depends on what you are looking for.  

If you are a music enthusiast, then you would have to do a great deal of research. As enthusiasts who want to get some new music, but not from three big labels, it is going to be tough. Starting with reading, you would need to check every record artist’s release for distribution to learn where they come from.

Most of the indie artists eventually end up signing for these big labels in order to be heard. It is mostly out of necessity rather than a free choice. If an artist wants to make a living out of their art, they need a big label to survive and thrive. 

It is one of the worst of the worst kept in the dark things that you need money to make more of it. Or, in these cases, you need to pay to get more AIR time. It is basically needed so that you reach out to people and actually create value with your work.

Although after the global pandemic, things are seemingly changing for indie artists. But before that, it was really challenging to stay in the industry if you weren’t labelled under some label. So, yes, the times are slowly changing, but it is still taking baby steps. The additional thanks to social media are allowing for these artists to work on their music more freely. With the platform, they are producing more music and are able to promote the same with ease. 

The Brief History of Indie form of Music

The Brief History of Indie form of Music
Image Credit : medium.com

When it comes to the history of indie music, it is really like finding how the languages begin. You can really not pinpoint its origin. However, there are some studies stating that indie music started in the early 1970s. Adding to that, it started in the UK and the US. 

It was precisely the same when people started using indie or independent labels or artists. Adding to that, it was almost the same time that people started taking the whole indie term as a different genre. It was different from the other genres that we were already familiar with. 

Then the whole terminology was used interchangeably while describing a genre. 

It was a time when there weren’t many artists making indie music. But the ones who were making the music were super influential. Their works were so intriguing that you can still see their influence in the current generation of indie music. 

Here is a brief list of some of the artists who were pre-indie and yet had a massive chunk of influence on the music. 

Basically, there were artists before the term indie came into existence and then there were those artists who came after the term. So, before the 1970s, there were a few indie artists, and then there were more afterwards. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, there were so many indie artists. Then following these two decades came the 90s and its music. Then we moved on to the indie music of the 2000s. 

The sort of indie music we hear now is a different interpretation of all these stages of indie music. But at the end of the day, it is all inspired and innovated from the previous decades. 

Example of Independent Music

We know what indie music is, but you know it too. These examples can give you a better insight into the terminology and music as a whole. The thing actually is that understanding indie music becomes easier once you learn about some of its prominent examples or bands. 

So, doing your work easy, we will help you with the same and with pleasure. 

Indie rock is one of the most prominent genres of indie music. One of the major reasons is that it is partially mixed with other alternative rock, which helps them get more streaming or playtime. 

Some of the most common and famous bands in the indie rock genre are The Decemberists, Vampire Weekends, and Arctic Monkeys. Adding to these bands, Vampire Weekend, The Smiths and Pixies are some of the most liked ones. 

You can easily find these people over the internet or, to be more specific, YouTbe and get the taste. We are sure these bands are never going to disappoint you in any way. 

Following indie rock comes indie pop, which is again popular and there are so many pop artists. The songs from this genre are majorly full of breakout songs and artists. 

There are several other genres coming from indie music. All you need to do is explore. 


What is Indie music
Source: Pinterest

So, now that you know what indie music is, you understand the same quite well. Also, learning how tough it is for the artists to establish themselves, you should look forward to helping them. We openly promote indie artists because indie music is more interesting and creative than the ones we hear from the big labels. 

Besides, working alone and developing a style of your own is not something small. Not everyone comes out authentic. So, do your research and try helping the growing and underrated artists that you can find. 

These big music labels, we believe, kill the authenticity of the music. Most of the songs are either remixes of what our ancestors made us decades from now. Or the same tune and base are being played in every new song. So, what we basically end up with is listening to the same sort of music or songs over and over again. The only change is that of new raps and DJs adding their slight parts.

But with indie music, you get new songs and music, and most of these are interesting and worth all our attention. Especially the music enthusiasts who need to help them grow. Because these artists, at the end of the day, are making music for us anyways.

Apart from that, if you liked what you read, then we have an abundance of what you absolutely love. Head to our home page straight, and you will see for yourself. We do everything to keep you entertained, from lifestyle blogs to health care tips; we have got everything for you.

So, head straight to our home page, and you will be glad that you did. 

Keep supporting these indie artists and music till then!

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