What is “Indie?”


I’ve been a Daytime DJ at WKNC for over a year now and I still have the hardest time answering when people ask me, “What exactly is indie’. Recently one of my co-workers asked me this and my mind went completely blank. So I decided I should probably think about that question. 

The reason it’s so hard to define ‘indie’ is because it has so many subgenres and those subgenres can be ambiguous and sound a lot like other kinds of music. What’s the difference between indie rock and rock? What about folk indie and folk music? Is there a difference or is it just a title? Is there some stylistic differences between the two? How does something qualify as ‘indie’? I mean I really don’t know but I do play/ listen to a lot of indie music so I guess in some indescribable and undefinable way I do know what ‘indie’ music is. 

As far as what I like to call ‘indie’ music I sometimes say that if it doesn’t fit somewhere else it probably fits into indie and if the band is smaller it’s even more indie. But that doesn’t apply to all cases so that’s not even close to a good definition. Maybe indie is a style? I definitely see indie as a bit of a style, the album artwork and the way people in indie tend to dress can really be described as just weird enough and a little effortless looking. 

Indie is one of those things that you can spend ages explaining and not making sense (much like this article) or you could just listen and look to identify it. Basically, what I’m saying is the only real way to know what indie is to listen to the music and look at the style. So I’ve linked my ultimate indie playlist (it’s something I’ve been working on for ages and still work on regularly) so if you’re curious about this ‘indie’ thing be sure to check it out. 

Playlist //

– DJ Psych