Independent music, or best known as Indie music, is music that -even though it might sound redundant- is produced independently, not by a major commercial music label. From the creation and recording, to the production of the music, this type of music has a “Do It Yourself” approach. Independent music has become more popular over the years, which has made it possible for indie labels to rise into existence, they are not large commercial labels, even though they are actual record labels, they hold themselves true to the indie sounds and often had to struggle to get where they are, facing large record labels, but they were able to bring some great music into music history. Music, being a vicious industry has made many independent record labels to fail, but some have been able to survive in that industry have earned their place.
Indie as a Genre
Indie may also refer to a music genre, as there is indie rock, indie pop, and so on. However, it is important to note, that even when the genre refers as indie, not necessarily was it produced or created by an independent record label, just means that the song has a specific sound that does not fit into the typical sounds and genres that are already out there, they tend to be more different and unique, and that is why they are referred to as independent.
As the music industry grows so does the number of bands and musicians, the genres and the type of music that are being produced. For example, the genre known as “Grunge” was not always a genre, so we found bands like Nirvana being categorized, at some point, as indie since they did not seem to fit into any other genre. It is like people producing independent music are placed on a waiting room until the sound or type of music they are making becomes popular enough to have its own name and genre.
Indie and Popularity
Whereas the term was originally used to describe independent record labels, nowadays, when listening the term “indie” that is not exactly what comes to mind. Famous music bands, such as Coldplay, have, at some point, been labelled as indie music, however, as they grew in popularity they also outgrew the “indie” label. It is probably paradoxical, but indie bands sometimes like to stay unknown and different as that is what makes them more unique.
We have all listened to indie music, whether or not we like it as a genre, or subgenre, or a specific song or band whatsoever. Unknowingly you probably have listened to a band that was produced by an independent music label, away from the commercial record labels that have taken over the music industry. You can see that this music genre has become a huge part of the music industry, and apparently is not going away anytime soon.