Indie Music Facts

 

From an underground style to a popular one, indie music has come a long way ever since its beginning, in the 1980s. Although the genre is complicated to describe, it has become increasingly popular in the past decade thanks to various illustrious English bands such as Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, and Scottish Franz Ferdinand.

Want to know more about this type of music? Keep on reading below and find some interesting and funny facts about indie music.

Name and history

As we’ve previously stated, indie music didn’t exist until the 1980s. Similar to various other genres, indie music appeared as a total contradiction to the mainstream music, artists, and bands of the decade. If hip-hop, metal, and rap were highly popular back then, indie came like a breath of fresh air for those who wanted to focus more on the music and not on the lyrics.

Described as a DIY (Do It Yourself) style, the term indie stands for “independent.” In other words, it became an invitation for new bands and artists to experiment with new sounds and musical instruments in order to create something original and fresh.

Most indie artists see themselves as spontaneous and are eager to complete all the stages, from writing their own lyrics and songs to producing their music, promoting, and even releasing their work.

 

Sound origins and most popular bands and artists

Although it is hard to describe a band’s sound as falling 100% into a single category, various music groups distinguish themselves from the crowd and can be considered as indie.

Originated from the alternative genre, indie is similar to punk rock, Britpop, grunge, and even gothic rock. Apart from the famous examples mentioned above, there are other popular bands whose sound falls into the indie category, including R.E.M, The Cure, Placebo, Kings of Leon, Imagine Dragons, and the new Icelandic sensation, Kaleo.

Financial support and recognition

Most like all other underground genres, indie is rarely supported by music agencies, which makes it even harder for musicians and bands to make a name for themselves. On the other hand, the genre became increasingly popular in bars and pubs, helping groups to make contact with the crowds and express their feelings in a more intimate environment.

Most of these musical products are launched by word-of-mouth, on university radios or through online means, turning indie music into a popular genre, highly appreciated by youngsters.

Although once underground and listened by a handful of people, indie has increased in popularity in the past few years, also thanks to the development of an entire “festival culture,” with hundreds of music festivals around the world for everyone and everything.

 

What you should know about Sting

 

Born in 1951, Sting has become one of the most appreciated singers and songwriters in the world. Some of the musical genres he has experimented with include classical, new-age, jazz, rock, and even reggae. If you too love his music and have been inspired by his meaningful lyrics, perhaps you would like to know more interesting facts about Sting.

 

A fruitful career

The singer started his career in 1977 with the new wave rock band called The Police. He left the group in 1985 to launch his solo career and has been very successful ever since.

He released no fewer than 18 music albums, out of which six with his former band, The Police. His first solo album hit the market in 1985 and was entitled “The Dream of the Blue Turtles.” He released his last solo album so far in 2016 but also has a fruitful collaboration with reggae artist Shaggy. Both joined forces for the album “44/876”.

Throughout his career, Sting received numerous distinctions and awards, including 16 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, an Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe.

He was also nominated four times for the Academy Awards for Best Original Song. His impressive career also helped him secure a place on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.

 

Activism and philanthropy

Gordon Matthew Thomas Summer, also known as Sting, is very active in the social life as well. He is a well-known humanitarian and supports numerous causes. He has been actively involved in human rights since 1981 when Martin Lewis included the singer in the fourth Amnesty International Gala.

Alongside his wife Trudie Styler, he founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund, a nonprofit organization that aims to look after the few rainforests left and protect indigenous tribes and their cultural heritage.

 

Strong political views

The singer and songwriter is known for his strong political opinions which he usually states through the lyrics of his songs. He was an avid critic of the communist regime and totalitarian regimes practiced by several world leaders.

Released in November 1985, the single “Russians” remains, perhaps, his most powerful political declaration against the Cold War and the endless dispute between the European Communist Bloc and the United States of America.

The song speaks about the destructive foreign policies of both the West and the East, stating that both powers should find a way to coexist before another nuclear catastrophe hence the lyric “Russians love their children too.”

Another powerful song that speaks about the dictatorship of Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile is “They Dance Alone,” released back in 1988.

 

Healthy lifestyle

If you ever wondered how come Sting manages to be so full of life and look amazing at almost 67 years old, the secret is a balanced lifestyle. He practices yoga as an integrated part of a healthy life and refuses the consumption of processed foods or those of animal origins.

Famous artists who donate to charity organizations

 

Charity organizations bring their contribution every day to making lives better for millions of people, among which many of them are children. On a global level, the number of these organizations and the work they do makes a real difference.

However, all of this would not be possible without the donations constantly given in every corner of the world. Artists have also come together and made impressive charity work throughout time, bringing their contribution and providing real opportunities for young and talented people.

Music artists

Of course, famous music artists are the first ones that come to our mind when we think about consistent donations and charity work that sustains new talent.

Taylor Swift is one such example. In August 2016, when 13 people died, and 146,000 homes were destroyed in one of the worst floods ever seen in the state of Louisiana, she quickly donated 1 million dollars to those affected, and a further 50,000 to a food bank in Baton Rouge.

In 2003, the famous blues, R&B and soul musician Ray Charles donated ‘1 million dollars to the Dillard University in New Orleans, to create a new course on black culture covering every area from music, food, and art, to literature and more.

However, this was not a first for Ray Charles. In 2002, he donated 2 million dollars to the Albany State University in his hometown of Albany, Georgia, while in 2000, the Wilberforce University in Ohio also received a donation of 2 million dollars.

Dr. Dre is also such an example. He has consistently given back to Compton, the southern Los Angeles city where he first started with N.W.A. In June 2017, he gave $10m towards building a performing arts center at the new Compton High School.

The artist stated that his goal is to provide kids with the tools and learning they deserve. The performing arts center aims to be a place for young people to be creative in a way that helps further their education and maybe even define their future.

Actors

Australian star Hugh Jackman provides educational and entrepreneurial opportunities to those in need of a boost. The Laughing Man Foundation aims to change lives by spreading “personal initiative, collective action, and community awareness”.

After achieving tremendous success with the Harry Potter series, actor and Global Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women Emma Watson led a worldwide campaign to transform the way we look at feminism.

The campaign is powered by the United Nations and it calls upon people of all genders to stand together in the pursuit of equal rights for all. Watson’s star power has given the campaign a significant push as #heforshe is prompting important conversations throughout the world.