Few years back I was at a friend’s birthday party when I overheard this splendid track. Within moments I found that song getting stuck to the wires of my brains and repeating itself in a loop like that lingering after-taste of my favourite ice-cream. I remember coming back home and burning the midnight oil digging the few parts of the profound lyrics that had stuck with me. Hardly did I know, that what I was about to find would define the way I would look at music forever. Sure, it was an Indie artist who is till date my favourite. Soon enough the brilliant melodies of Indie musician started crowding my playlist and before I knew I was slowly becoming an Indie music aficionado.
Going back to that day, I feel the deep urge to share with the world, especially people from my country the meaning and definition of Indie musicians. Here I am today trying to throw some light into what I think is earnestly essential for the growth of Indie artist and Indie music lovers in India.
You already know about Bollywood Movies Music Industry, right? So what is Indie music? It might sound rude but there are hardly Indians who know the real definition of Indie music. Most of us, including me, were fairly oblivious to the idea of Indie music. Indie music seemed to me as those non-Bollywood and non-classical songs. But do you think all non-Bollywood and Non-Classical songs is a part of Indie music family? Well, Indie music has a much bigger definition which took me quite some time to understand.
Essentially, any musician who is hardly or partially dependent on any big record label forms the part of the ingenious Indie musician community. These musicians do it all by themselves. Be it recording, releasing, marketing or promotion. Hence they are honored with the term, “Indie” meaning – Independent. Furthermore, Indie music spreads into various sub-genres like Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Indie Metal, Indie Hip hop, Indietronica etc. Since the year 2000 Indie Music scene in India has been enriching itself with new artists stemming out from each sub-genre.
Indian Indie music scene has flourished like a palm tree in these few years. Starting from the musical hub of the country – Bangalore where bands like Raghu Dixit Project to Kryptos dominated the Indie Rock and Metal scene, to the country capital – Delhi where bands like Parikrama and Indian Ocean created a substantial mark. Indietronica made its way in the industry with the Delhi based producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist – Shakej Bakshi AKA Dualist Inquiry and Ahmedabad based musical prodigy – Udyan Sagar AKA Nucleya. These bands amongst many others have created a celebratory mark for themselves in the Indie music arena.
But had there not been annual events like NH7 Weekender, Gig Weeks, venues like Blue Frog and Hard Rock Café, promoters like Artist Aloud, Companies like Songdew and other platforms like Balcony TV Delhi and Bombay Cab Sessions, Indie music and its kaleidoscope of colors would have been the lyrics to a far-fetched dream.
But besides the help of these platforms, the Indie musicians have a lot to do it by themselves. The Mumbai Based world band Maati Baani is the pioneer in this Do it yourself mentality. The band slowly rose to fandom with more than 26,000 followers on YouTube and Facebook besides their hectic schedules. Apart from investing in good equipment and promotion, they had to see pretty rough days but their hard work would not desert them without earning them rewards. These online platforms like YouTube, Bandcamp, Spotify, Songdew, Reverbnation, Soundcloud etc. provided the music lovers the covers or the originals they were craving for. This is how they began to know the Indie artists. Moreover, these platforms served as the foundation on which Indie musicians would build up their phenomenal careers. Shazneen Acharia – who works with Orange juice Entertainment and manages the Mumbai, based alternative-rock, punk outfit -The Lightyears Explode says that 2007 was precisely the time when Indie music came into force in the country. That was the when Facebook was just starting to build its presence and venues like BlueFrog and HardRock café had just opened up. This was the time when live music was gradually becoming the next favorite of the Indians. This was also the time when Sunburn Music festival kicked off in our country. These venues and music festivals became the prime ground for Indie musicians to display their artistry. Gradually they started receiving sponsorship and their audience grew in numbers.
Today, with the emergence of exciting platforms besides the easy to use websites like Imovies, Windows Movie maker etc., making a music video and uploading it on websites like YouTube, Vimeo, Songdew is insanely easy and incredibly rewarding. Gradually, Indians are becoming more accepting of the budding artists who are on an earnest journey to melt hearts worldwide. With the growing count of MP3 Song download and YouTube subscribes of Indie music and their online channels, Indians are no longer ignorant to this vibrant and brilliant industry. Indie music is slowly but surely making its inventive and progressive spirits felt in the industry. This is a huge step in the direction of progressive future where I earnestly hope and believe that Indie musicians are going to dominate the industry.