Welcome to a very special issue where we put the spotlight on independent artists and bands. They are the real fighting force in the music industry and as far back as we can remember, this group has had a profound impact on where the industry is today. No place in the music industry can you see and read more about this group than right here on the pages of New Music Weekly magazine. Our charts are filled with independent artists and bands that have taken the task of releasing their product directly to radio without the benefit of being signed to a major. In fact, it’s also appropriate that we give shout out to the many independent record labels that are helping many of these artists out. For many of the indie artists and bands, they finance their operation on their own and we applaud them for their strong and valiant efforts.
In the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s, many bands took to the streets in Hollywood to “strut their stuff” for the record industry. It was not uncommon to stumble on the likes of the Doors and the Byrds at the Whiskey A Go Go. We even caught numerous shows from Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers at this renowned venue when he was trying to launch his career. Van Halen was often seen at the now defunct Starwood, while over at the Troubadour some of music history was in development. It was there that Elton John first played to an American audience. We were also on hand during a three night stint from the local band The Knack as they entered a bidding war with all of the major record labels, finally choosing Capitol Records as their home.
In the later years it was found that independent artists and bands could actually make records on their own and get things rolling that way. Playing the local music scene would soon become too much of a “pay to play” situation and it became more cost effective to put the little money that artists had right into their own recordings. If you had the knack for Country music you needed to make your way to Nashville. Music Row became the place to go and to visit music publisher’s and record labels. Only recently came the great story of a young Taylor Swift being scouted out at a performance at the Bluebird Cafй. With the event of the Internet, came an entire new way of doing business. Artists and bands no longer needed to press thousands of CD’s for distribution and marketing. We were now able to set up a label and sales force through the likes of I-tunes, CD Baby and Amazon, just to name a few. Radio stations have seen such an influx of product coming from small labels or off-shoots that they have stopped asking the question about what label the act is on. The main question now coming from programmers is, how’s the music”?
New Music Weekly continues to be the best friend to the independent artist and band. Here on our charts all artists are treated as equal and so are the radio stations. That way you can see a good healthy mix of majors and independents all on a very “level playing field”. Our STS radio tracking provides the very best way of keeping track of your music on a weekly and daily basis. The Future Hits compilation that we do also provides artists and bands with the ability to get your song to “all of radio”. In this issue you will see advertising from the independent and column stories, all of which provides radio stations with show prep and information they can use “on the air”. In a few months we will be nominating many of these artists for our New Music Awards so stay tuned as our quest to help the independent in our ongoing “new music revolution” continues strong.