Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Indie bands versus mainstream music in Malaysia. That's what they've been talking bout these days; why indie band stand out, why indie band sucks, why mainstream music needs change, why mainstream music is better than indie bands...it doesn't really make sense does it?
My point here is that people are comparing music from two very different sources and labelling them as genres (if you would put 'indie' and 'mainstream' as genres that is) What's wrong listening to mainstream music? What's wrong listening to indie? Why compare music? Why degrade a certain genre? Aren't music suppose to be subjective, where anyone can listen to anything they want to listen to?
Why do most Malaysians degrade the indie movement?
Some people don't like indie because of the scene, the impact that gives to our youngsters, like a plague brought down from virus infected meteors on earth. Suddenly kids everywhere wears the same style of clothes, same hairstyle, same skinny jeans...Some, even hate indie bands for singing their songs in Malay; jumping on the bandwagon they say. Quite true i suppose, cause before, indie scene in Malaysia had always been in English; OAG, Flop Poppy, Butterfingers to name a few.
Maybe they don't understand indie in the first place...most consider indie as a genre, which is partially true. But what does it really mean to be indie?
Indie is the understanding that music should not come in genres, music should be independent, free from any type of musical, content or language reasons. Indie is an expression, an expression that does not fall within limits. To express is to tell a story or and idea transcending the boundaries of self, culture and even religion. Indie is SUPPOSE to be a movement, to revolutionise and to extort limitations from songwriters and music listeners alike.
Well, its not wrong to place indie as a genre, but think of the implication of this would develop into? Pattern. A pattern of the same sound, shared by numerous bands, copied and recycled. If indie were to be labelled as a genre, they will develop this idea that if its not broken, it should not be fixed; if a certain style or pattern in writing a song works, why try hard in finding new music? If indie is labelled as a genre, then where is the 'indieness' in Malaysian music? The soul and originality of a songwriter? The expression of musical ability and musical messages?
But then again, it's not the listeners fault in the first place. Youngsters are conditioned to follow what are shown and given to them. I remembered this audition ad for a Twisties commercial aired sometime ago. It displayed how to become an 'indie', which is to grow your hair long, colour it then bang your head...what's that suppose to mean?? Stereotyping could never be more degrading than this. Youngsters are indoctrinated that for them to become an 'indie' (again, labelling), they only need to have this certain style of dressing or a specific image of to present themselves to the public. In the end, these guys would turnout to be one of them 'posers', not understanding a bit of what indie means, but declare themselves as a disciple to the indie understanding.
So, back to the question, "Why most Malaysians degrade indie movement?" Do they feel that the Malaysian music industry can make a breakthrough through rock kapak? Or ballads? Do Malaysians really think that by recycling the same pattern we did back when our music industry was in a glorious state would be suffice for us to evolve?
Indie is what we need right now, the catalyst that will instill in our youths the understanding that they can do it if they believe in it, they can do it if they put effort and pursue it, to escape from the social stigmata that Malaysian youth cannot succeed in the musical industry, to escape the stereotypical Malaysian style of songwriting and especially, to start a revolution, a fresh start that might change the Malaysian music scene into something of it's own. Still hate Indie? HATE indie for a cause, but SUPPORT Indie for a cause.