The early Indie spread among young people in the 90’s was regarded as dirty and violent. Around the year, the musical works are only at the underground stage. The bands have also created and written the lyrics of the song independently, playing them on the gigs.
However, listeners became smart as they started looking for an option or alternate music during the era where it was fully monopolized by the mesmerizing melody and unique rock style. At the time, many began to be driven towards indie music which was fully ‘underground’ because of the unique and distinctive lyrics, melody and images carried by the bands.
Among the earliest bands that managed to get the attention of public or became mainstream are OAG and Butterfingers. The performance and lyrics of the band Butterfingers were more of uplifting the Malay’s image and, the verses of the lyrics were sung in a casual way and resembled as conversational.
The represented image may be the attraction to listeners and in that way, OAG also started becoming popular through 60’s TV, to the point where it skyrocketed its name. If the local film enthusiasts still remember, OAG’s song titled Slumber was also included in the starting scene of the film ‘Gila-Gila Pengantin’ in 2003.
However, the scenario was not long-lived and most of the national music industry observers felt that the music will extinct and will not be able to survive for the long term. But around 2005-2006, the indie music began accepting new rays when the songs of indie band were broadcasted on mainstream media such as radios, TV shows, magazines and many more.
Indie’s revival became an option for music lovers who wanted to run away from the Indonesian band music that had topped most of the Malaysian Radio song charts. Youngsters wanted different music genres, and many began to go to the gigs to enjoy the indie songs while head-banging and moshing.
Apart from that, the film ‘Kami’ also successfully surged the indie element, and at that time, Hujan, Bunkface and Meet Uncle Hussein (MUH) were among the popular bands considered mainstream.
History was made around the year 2009, when MUH won the Anugerah Juara Lagu Ke-23 (AJL23). At that point of time, the national music industry players had to accept the fact that indie began to be widely accepted to meet the preferences of music lovers and to demolish the boredom of mainstream music. This ensured a wide space opened for the indie bands to spread their creativity.
Now, even more indie bands can be spotted as mainstream music. Do you still remember the phenomenon of the song Dinda by Kugiran Masdo? Although a handful will argue that the other songs of Kugiran Masdo were not as powerful, Dinda managed to gain mainstream interest, probably because of the melody and catchy lyrics.
This is due to listeners’ thirst towards different choice of music beside the ones by newbies which is already more than enough in market. Listeners are bored with such music which is mostly emotional and are also unable to withstand until old decades, unlike the songs of the 90 ′s which are still embedded in memory until today.
This write-up is not at all done to denounce the mainstream music, but it is to encourage youngsters who are involved in the music industry to be brave enough to experiment the lyrics and melody in a smarter way. At the moment, mainstream music is seen as being in line with a set of rules to sooth the ear of listeners and blindly follow the emotions in the song. Whereas, music can actually be used as a tool to educate the community.
Not all indie songs are good to listen and some are even considered as trash, and not all of the mainstream are seen as lame and cliche, but the loyal listeners are looking forward to a masterpiece that is experimented with far-thinking, and not just good to hear.
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Known as Loki (the good one though), is someone who loves the rain & coffee combo and reaches out for movie at her leisure. She is the one you heard on radio for one of her articles.