The music business has been owned and controlled lock, stock and barrel by giant record companies for decades. Most artists today who have “made it” were lucky enough to get a record deal from the likes of Capitol Records, MCA, Mercury, Sony music Entertainment and a few others.
Nashville, Tennessee, arguably the greatest music city in America, is strictly the realm of the corporate music giants. Any band that hoped to get a song played on the radio had to go through one of these gatekeepers.
But times seems to be changing for Nashville’s rock music scene. Indie rockers are flourishing in the Nashville environment like never before. Dozens of acts are creating their own albums and finding their own audiences – and they relish bypassing the greedy corporate middleman.
DIY artists are recording music in their basements. They’re being helped along by advances in personal computer music mixing technology. Now anyone with a laptop and a few extras can command the power of a studio and create an end product that sounds as sharp and shimmering as a professional studio product.
But Indie bands still need to perform live and find audiences. That means booking gigs at physical locations – again, an aspect of the music industry under control of the music label giants. Even this isn’t stopping new bands from breaking out of the mold, however.
House parties, neighborhood venues and slap-dash arrangements for putting on concerts in back allies or empty lots are proliferating across Nashville. Cash from tickets sold goes directly into the pockets of the artists, bypassing the corporate ticket sales and distribution companies, such as Ticketmaster.
In a sense, music has come full circle from the time when major labels had far less power and organization as rock ‘n’ roll began to rise in the late 1950s.
In a recent publication posted by the Nee York Times News Outlet, a contributor discussed the role of women in the new indie music scene across the United States and Britain. Specifically, the article focused on the development of the modern rock music industry by female musicians and recording artists. For the last two decades, indie rock music has made a relatively large impact on the mainstream music industry, at large. A huge part of the expansion of the indie music scene has been wrapped in the music of the talented female indie artists such as Lisa Skye, Tailor Maddox, Linda Begal, and Patricia Leavy. Each of these women have created new paths for themselves in the indie rock industry that were hitherto unexplored by predecessors, male or female.
In the decade long career of indie rock artist, Tailor Maddox, many metaphorical ceilings have been shattered. This stay at home mother of 8 children under the age of 12 has successfully broken into an industry that has been, since its professional establishment, dominated by men. The female rock artists who have been successful in mainstream rock and roll have not at all resembled Maddox in lifestyle, career moves, or boldness. The artist did not allow her passion for marriage and motherhood to stifle or be swallowed up by the dominant culture in the rock industry. Instead, she established an online presence via a musical blog which quickly amassed a following of more than 6 million rock lovers across the world. The rock artist has now completely revolutionized the way that women and mothers think about pursuing a career as an indie rock artist.
In an interview with Rollong Stone Magazine, Tailor Maddox states that her widespread success would not have been possible without the dawn of the tech revolution and the freedom afforded by free access to the internet. Maddox is a firm supporter of other females in the indie rock industry and attempts, through her blog, to encourage other artists to enter the industry.
The Indie music scene is definitely changing, and it is changing for the better. More people are going to be able to connect to the growing number of
Indie artists because this is a music scene that is going to have diversification. There was a time where an Indie music artists were typically folk or alternative rock artists. Now the Indie music scene is changing and expanding with a whole plethora of rappers, soul singers and pop artists.
Much of this has to do with the transition into a place where Indie music is appreciated by a wider audience. In the past when people thought of Indy distribution they were going to think about a small-time artist that did not have the ability to sign to a major label. This is not the case anymore. With artists like Emily King and Tamia it appears that the Indie music scene has more Grammy-nominated artists than before.
Much of this has to do with the artist that have been on major labels that have totally switched and decided to do something else altogether. This doesn’t happen very often, but there definitely seems to be a level of change that is happening in the music business. More people are going to be able to hear some of their favorite artists that are deciding to create their own labels. Many of them are actually going into a phase where they would utilize social media to create a buzz about their albums.
Even Grammy winner Frank Ocean, with all the critical acclaim that he has received for his debut album, would take a route away from mainstream media and released the “Blonde” album under a Indie distribution contract. This is so just how much Indie music has evolved thanks to the internet and social media.