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The Indie Artist – The Independent Artist

The term Indie Artist, coined in the ’80s by the media, is short for ‘Independent Artist’.  It describes the band or singer-songwriter who records and releases their own records or albums released under independent labels.

Often times, the Indie Artist writes lyrics that are “rawer” than that of the mainstream.

The “Indie Artist” has come to describe a unique sound, different from the major labels. They often use sounds that are less polished or have a very different way of using their voice.

The Indie Artist frequently uses unconventional time signatures, more chord progressions or more reverb than a mainstream artist.

Many times they also incorporate unique instruments, such as a washboard, a hurdy-gurdy, Buke and Case, singing saw, bagpipes, autoharp and more.


Indie Rock

Indie rock began to emerge in the ’80s as a genre of alternative rock. The genre includes Indie pop, lo-fi, as grunge, grunge, punk revival, noise pop, emo, sadcore, post-rock, math rock, and in the UK, Britpop. In the ’90s, some Indie Rock Artists broke into the mainstream music scene.  Still, most retain an outsider, underground sound.

Indie Folk

The Indie-folk genre, also born in the ’90s, was a combination of the acoustic guitar sound and folk or classic country music added to the more contemporary sound.

Indie Artist and the Internet

The early 2000s brought change to the music industry with the growing importance of the Internet. Indie Artists began to enjoy commercial success by writing, singing, producing, and releasing their own original songs over the Internet. For example, many Indie Artists acquired large fan-bases or superfans. The Indie Artist will have more opportunities as technology expands.

Music City the place for Indie Artist

Nashville, TN, known as Music City, is receiving an influx of Indie Artists. Some hope of building a traditional music career, looking for fame and fortune. Some Indie Artists just want their music heard.

The diversity among the singers and songwriters is more varied now than ever before. There are some very talented artists in the Nashville music scene.  But there are also a lot of mediocre acts.  Most artists are hoping to be signed by the music moguls.

You don’t have to be the most talented to be noticed. But, you do have to be able to carry a tune, or write a good song, or play an instrument well.

Online Music Stores

In the last few years, online music stores have exploded onto the internet music scene. Companies such as CD Baby, iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, Soundcloud, ReverbNation are giving artists a real chance to be heard. This gives the Indie Artist a chance to make a substantial income from their music.

CD Baby will be hosting the “DIY Musician Conference” in Nashville in August 2018. For four days, Music City will be the hub for the Indie Artist, a different type of musician, the Do It Yourself Musician.

Indie Artists from varied backgrounds with differing styles, will fill the streets of Music City. This conference is unique in that it is dedicated to musicians of any and all genres who share a common approach to marketing their original music.

“Independent musicians and small boutique labels are one of the fastest-growing segments of the market, and they share a lot of concerns,” explains CD Baby’s Kevin Breuner. “No matter what kind of music you make, no matter where you are in your career, you need similar advice and support, and we program the conference in direct response to the questions and concerns we hear from musicians.”


by Dena Warfield

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