Take a moment and imagine ... what would your world be like, if music never existed? How about if all music disappeared tomorrow?
I was recently asked to write about my thoughts. I was to write about the importance of independent music. This led my mind to many different things.
In truth, independent music is a difficult thing to pinpoint. It means a lot of different things, depending on who you ask.
Music, at the heart of it, is about expression. When you see a ukulele on a street corner, or a bagpiper playing in the fields. These people are expressing something in a way that may come easier to them than words. And just like with books, not every person will like what you have to say.
Independent music has the ability to break free from rules. Rules about what instruments you can use, or what material you can sing about. I know musicians who walked out on rich record labels. They were being told what they could and could not sing about.
Miles Davis. Thelonious Monk. Frank Zappa. Elvis Presley. The Beatles. These are just some of the musicians who have challenged what music should be. And we should thank them for that.
You and I may not agree on who the better artist is. Though where would music be, if these people were never given a chance?
Some of the most amazing music ever accomplished was with unusual pairings. Jazz has been home to some of the most beautiful, and some of the most bizarre riffs I have ever heard. Aggro1 had a mashup between Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Gorillaz. And how about mongolian throat singing paired with a banjo?
There are people that believe these groups should have never met. Yet if you look up "ah sho dekio," by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, I challenge you not to tap your feet!
Independent music is a lot of things, because it CAN be. And we need to make sure that it stays that way. We need to make sure that there is a platform for the unusual. Without the independent musicians, the music scene would be one-dimensional. The music world often overlooks the effect that independents can have on it.
This is why there needs to be the independent. To remind not just the music world, but the world at large: there are more options out there.