Dulu, Hujan for me was the very definition of indie, then THEY became mainstream and the rest is history.
The same goes to OAG, Butterfingers and many others yang spent years and years before breaking it into the mainstream. Though not all were as successful as those mentioned. There is an allure to term term indie because the connotations to being unsigned, your music too niche for the mass that translates to a lot of hustle and DIY marketing and etc.
Yalah, masa – masa dulu, sorry I mention Hujan je sebab I like em and I can relate more to their indie-nesss rather than their predecessors macam OAG or Butterfingers. Kalau dulu, as I was saying, sounds macam Hujan nie dikira indie, look at today’s scene, majority (maybe) of sounds dah didominate by indie soundinng genre. Termasuklah, Yuna clones ( jahat kan! Each one is unique, I digress!).
The gorengs of the guitars, the raw vocals aka nyanyi macam selamba, which is cool kalau dibandingkan dengan style soaring vocals of the more established and mainstream singers of yesteryears ( mulut tak insurance!). Manufactured, yeah, that was the term. Indie is deemed more natural, hence ..ambik ..hence, more honest, down to earth and can relate well with the burgeoning youth market yang wants a new kind of music to define them. Rebelling to other music, labeling them oldies and lagu parents diorang or for senior citizens ..gitteew.
Almost everybody in the music scene started out as an indie in one term or another. Not all though. Ada yg terus disorongkan bantal, lena titton. But looking at the decline of sales and shrinking of the music market ( according to the general consensus in terms of album sales la..and corporations making more money out of musicians), everybody is bracing against these tough times. That’s why many mainstream artists pun dah hire a few composers right out of indie scene ( maybe) or mainstream composers try to pose as an indie sound a like. No ill feeling there, sebab music is universal. Music alone does not maketh a star ( gittchew!).
It is the struggle, the pain and the tears yg fan can relate to. Hujan, for instance, had gone through some tough times themselves. Ada some time tue, tak makan nasi seminggu sebab pokai. Kalau dapat payment, kadang2 share dengan fan yg datang jauh2 support the band. That’s real marketing. Without trying to market at all.
As we all can relate or knew instinctively, music sometimes can come from the struggles and the pain. It makes it real. Maybe that’s why some of the indie sounds are so miraculous.
Tapi, since everyone is sounding indie, and indie is mainstream, what happened to the so called the then mainstream sounds?
Kalau kita jengok indonesian scene, lagu2 soaring high macam Bam Ssamsons ( sadly he is no longer with the band) or Marcell, masih mendapat tempat. Of course, one woud gladly point out yg their market is soo much bigger right? Betullah.
When I asked AG COCO about kita kena ke predict what’s the next sounds gonna be what, he thinks that we should do music that we like, as art. Spoken as a true musician at heart, I was dumbstrucked, to be honest. Insaf den. It makes me soo bersyukur for being acquainted with AG and his team. Sebab, for my sounds, it is not really mainstream ( as so called in indie sounding) nor it is mainstream of the oldens, but it is my sound. Even Rudy Nastia pun advice yg kalau kita tak percaya in our own music aka works, siapa lagi?
So, is it really Indie vs Mainstream nowadays? Tak jugak. To each it’s own. Kalau nak kata mainstream perlu struggle untuk jadi lebih indie, maybe jugak but music is music. If it needs to grow, merge or meta-morph into a new entity, we can only help it’s organic process by being as true to ourselves as we can be.