The term ‘underground music’ has often been the subject of discussion and debate in recent times. Strangely, a vast majority of the world population isn’t aware of what it implies. Both ‘alternative’ and ‘underground’ could mean online music, in award shows, music magazines, channels, and also, fun conversations. These terms are usually fused with a few other genres that would describe a type or style of music, like underground dance music or alternative rock, and so on. So what exactly is this music and who is an underground artist? This read will help you know everything about it.
Who Is An Underground Artist?
It doesn’t matter if you are a painter, a musician, or a writer- you can be an underground artist. But there are subtle differences between a struggling artist and an underground artist. In music, underground rap artists are those who have stayed in the field for some time. These people have their characteristic sense of style, good rhymes, and awareness of what they play.
Besides this, their local fan base is worth appreciating. Compared to that, a struggling or new hip-hop artist or rapper will take a considerable time to build a fan following. Or probably they’ve just started perfecting their craft and are currently putting their music together. So, it's the skills that distinguish between an underground and struggling artist.
What Qualifies As Underground Music?
This terminology ‘underground music’ is linked to multiple artistic movements. Musicians who wish to avert the trappings of the ‘mainstream commercial;’ music industry fall under the category of, underground artists. If you check the present-day popular music, ‘underground’ implies a variety of musicians.
This range includes those who regularly do DIY guerrilla concerts and those who produce self-recorded shows. Besides that, it also includes independent and small-scale labels.
The good thing is that any music that is not commercialized is also called underground. Thankfully, those who work beyond ‘the margins of the ordinary’ have become extremely popular in different levels of society. Artists who associate themselves with this type of music are comfortable specializing in musical styles that are beyond the core culture. Not many would know this, but underground music has often proved useful in communicating thoughts.
A classic example would be an artist who pays heed to values like sincerity, loyalty, and intimacy. In addition to that, understanding artistic identity is a pivotal value. Contrasted to that is conforming to the current styles of commercial music. Whenever someone adopts a ‘unique’ or ‘exclusive’ mindset to portray an honest and raw expression, the artist can be a part of the ‘underground’ fraternity. Writers, musicians, and other creative minds also form a part of this group.
What About Mainstream Music?
Popularity and trends are hallmarks of mainstream music. For the most part, it is ‘real’ music that a third party can change. Thus enabling a wider section of the audience can agree and relate to it. In the mainstream, people consider only the top songs like the ‘hottest’ tracks. If you see the trending section on YouTube or the curated ‘hit’ playlists in Spotify or the age-old radio and billboard charts- they adhere to some specific roles and increase the existing popularity of select musical styles.
Even artists who are linked to these musical forms sell big! These channels and artists are famous for being ‘mainstream distributors’. Now if you compare, underground music certainly has much fewer media presence and visibility. Here, the independent artists control the creative and production processes in music, which helps them to be class authentic. Also, the strong connection between these artists and their listeners is simply unparalleled. They can work at smaller venues in out-of-the-box styles, and that helps their listeners connect to them.
How To Tell Apart Underground Artists?
That’s not a difficult job, to be precise. In this day and age, talent can be searched for over the internet and you won’t always find them on popular platforms like Spotify or iTunes, or Apple Music. Since they are unsigned, SoundCloud is a dependable place to find them.
You can follow new-age artists and stay updated with the new content they produce. Try and create playlists and you might find similar people around who enjoy the same kind of music as you!