Tech and Music: How Digitization Gave Birth to the Indie Music Scene
Music has always been a part of Filipino culture. Its strong impact on the Philippine culture is evident in how it is incorporated into the everyday lives of the Filipinos--from radios blasting at home to gigs in bars and music festivals in prominent locations.
The consumption of music before was limited to big music labels, producing music in analog storage such as vinyl and CDs and releasing them on media platforms such as radios and televisions.
As the country eventually experienced digital transformation, the music industry also evolved. With the advent of technology settling in, great opportunities to reach more audiences and an even greater opportunity to create more musicians and music also arrived.
This digital revolution in the Philippines has led to the creation of independent music, more commonly known as indie music, by musicians who wanted creative freedom for their works and who liked the opportunity to pursue their music career according to their own rules.
As technology further grows, so does the indie music here.
When one imagines the indie scene in the Philippines, the most common imagery that one gets is a dim place with people swaying to soft music played by a band and drinking beer. And honestly, they are not wrong.
Music venues and bars such as B-Side, Mow’s Bar, Route 196, SaGuijo, and Z Compound have seen the humble beginnings, and even the rise, of many independent acts here in the Philippines. These places’ location and ambiance have contributed to the underground and mysterious feeling that the indie music scene usually gives off. In addition, their walls have been witnesses to the many emotions indie artists tend to evoke from their audiences during their performances.
However, as the pandemic and the community quarantines forced these venues to close their doors, indie artists once again turned to technology to continue making music. Indie acts are now relying on online platforms to share their songs and creations.
And as the pandemic continues to restrict audiences from getting their much-needed doses of live music from their favorite musicians, they just have to make do with jamming alone in their homes through online playlists that contain their favorite songs.