Everything is political. Our everyday interactions are both economically and socially charged, and while some things are more subtle, this is most evident in the media that we consume on a daily basis. One great example of this is music. Artists such as Rage Against the Machine have made a body of work that is aligned with promoting their political beliefs and advocacies, and many other bands pride themselves in making political statements through their music.
While this may seem much easier for bands and artists that have access to a wider audience, this doesn’t mean that independent artists can’t do the same. In fact, what some people see as a hindrance can be a strength, since smaller artists are closer to the communities, thus allowing for grassroots development to occur regarding their causes and advocacies. But how do you go about doing this? Read on to know more about how to promote your chosen advocacy as an indie artist!
Music can be a powerful way of communicating complicated messages. This is why one thing you can do is to incorporate themes, social issues, and advocacies into the music you produce. This way, audiences will be exposed to your message without it being shoved down their throats. Many artists from different genres have done this, but it’s most evident in rap music. Independent rappers such as Bambu de Pistola tackle difficult issues such as worker’s rights and police brutality through their music. A more mainstream example would be Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp the Butterfly which made people more aware of issues such as gang violence and mental illness among Americans in this day and age.
In addition to music being a powerful way of sending a message, it also widens your scope. One track on Spotify can ensure that your message is heard across the country, thus increasing the overall awareness for your chosen advocacy.
Now, this should be a no-brainer, as doing shows is part of the job when you’re an indie musician. Sometimes you’ll be on the road for months on end, traveling from city to city playing music, so why not organize a show to benefit your chosen advocacy? This isn’t a new concept as one of the most popular shows in the history of music was a benefit show. Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance was organized as a fundraiser to provide relief for the famine in Ethiopia.
And while it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to organize an event of that scale, hosting a benefit show for an advocacy dear to your heart will go a long way into helping that cause. You can even invite your musician friends to help you expand your reach beyond just your fans. One great example of this is Andy Baker, a ska-punk artist that raised money for the homeless.
Join A Local Organization
Lastly, one great way to boost the overall awareness of your advocacy is by joining a local organization that’s geared towards addressing the issues that you care about. Because it’s on a local level, your pull in the community will give your chosen advocacy a huge bump due to your status as an independent artist. You can also use your skills to help spread the word by playing at their local events, which will help bring in new people to the cause.
Mal Blum is a great example of this working in action, as they constantly back the LGBTQIA+ support group Everyone Is Gay by performing at their events and raising the overall awareness and reach of the group. Mal even contributes to their site by responding to messages from distressed teens on their concerns regarding their sexuality and the struggles of being accepted.
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