Through the static and distance, a farewell transmission.
Five years ago, I started a small personal project that quickly turned into my proudest and most successful achievement, as it gave me every great opportunity in my life. Because of it, I have had the amazing honor to meet and talk with many incredible musicians, collaborate with talented writers and visual-artists, and got to support the work of 100+ visionary independent artists.
I have seen many of these artists grow, not just the numbers in their fanbase or streams on SoundCloud and Spotify, but also as musicians and creators in the way they produce innovative music and accompanying media; most importantly, they’ve grown as people in the way they connect with the world and affect change to inspire others. I am proud of my work here and am honored to have provided my passionate support to artists I truly believe in.
After I decided to take this last year off (sort-of) to clear my mind and decide what’s next for IndieBeat, I quickly saw a changing landscape–one where more and more independent artists were getting the recognition they needed, especially in communities that critically-acclaimed “indie-rock” gatekeepers generally excluded, ignored, or suppressed (and not just for blurring the lines of genre): women, people of color, and queer. I have seen positive change and representation rise in the way artists are featured and written about, in the way the music-industry is changing to support (and pay) all of their voices and instrumentals, and in the many new and unique blogs and platforms that have emerged since my start in 2013.
In these five years, I have also grown as a person, listener, and a writer, and have been thinking about my next step. After much consideration, I have decided that it’s time to close the chapter on IndieBeat. This was a difficult decision to make, since the work I do here is a major part of my identity and drive, but I think in my five years, I have done and said a lot of what I’m capable of in this platform and format. It’s time for me to be curious and discover new ways that I can engage with music and art of all forms, and to support and listen to others speak about the artists and music they care about.
When I started, I wanted rising artists to have more of a say in their presentation and connection to fans, in a manor in which we all got to know the amazing people behind our favorite tunes and see what influenced them, while also providing them with a space to grow, experiment, and showcase their work. After all, our mission was always to introduce fans to their next favorite artists in a personable way.
Now, with social-media and an online-community that seems more transparent and accepting of that open line of communication, musicians can now make themselves heard in new ways and listen and engage with fans like never before. This is what I wanted IndieBeat to inspire, and I want to believe I made some impact in affecting that change.
We will try and know whatever we try, we will be gone, but not forever.
Before we say our final goodbyes, we will be catching up with some of our favorite artists from the last five years in a series of Encore Exit Interviews, to honor the end of this era. Stay tuned for those features in the coming months.
This is only goodbye for now, and hopefully this won’t be that last you’ll hear from me. I am excited to work on new projects that I hope to share with you soon. I know that the artists I’ve covered will continue making amazing sounds for many, many, many years to come. I am more excited for independent music than I have ever been. I am excited to see the ways new bloggers and critics listen to and engage with music, so that they can amplify their own voices and causes they believe in, but also help amplify the voices of deserving artists out there. I can’t wait to be re-inspired on the other side, as a fan and reader.
As our patron-saint, Annie Clark of St. Vincent sings, “it’s not the end,” it’s only another beginning. IndieBeat lives on in the spirit that lets artists be artists, and in the spirit that lets fans connect with music they believe in. IndieBeat will always live on because of you all, and how you have shown me and these amazing artists your unwavering support. It was my honor to have you along this journey of mine. For that I will always be grateful.
With Lots of Love,
Josh S. Pineda