Indiekingss is a new Spotify-centered blog about indie music. Site owner Ryan Freeman got in touch to tell us about the site, so I persuaded him to tell us some more…
How did your site get its name?
Well, I picked up the name Indiekingss when I started sharing music on tumblr, but I couldn’t seem to gain much traction in getting attention. I still use tumblr all the time, but not for sharing music. Nevertheless, the name lived on, and made it to my full website. The name was a good fit, because it sends a straightforward message about what you can expect to find on our site. The name also plays on the fact that most indie fans want to be the best hipster they can be. They want to know as many talented, underground, and unheard of bands as possible. It’s up for our readers to decide whether we are throwing down the gauntlet, or just being facetious. Lastly, it’s a little bit obnoxious, so it’s easy to remember.
How long has your site been running for?
We’re essentially a newborn baby blog, we only got started in mid-October 2013! When my friend and I got started, we decided to use WordPress as our web design tool; It has given us tons of flexibility, and that decision also allowed me to focus primarily on generating content. We’ve tried really hard to pack our site with articles and playlists, so visitors can explore as much as they like, and not hit dead ends! It has been a busy few months for us, and we’ve got some big plans for the future! In the short term, we’ve got plans to do online interviews with Hotel Cinema, The Zolas, Kid Runner, Young Liars, and Slow Runner. Writing that last sentence is mind-boggling for me, because those are some of my truly favorite bands right now!
What styles of music do you cover?
I think most of the genres covered on our site fall under the umbrella of either indie rock or indie pop, but more specifically: electro, synthpop, post-punk, lo-fi… I could go on all day with that list, but honestly I dislike this part where we dissect these bands and squeeze them into universal categories. I would rather group songs together by what sounds good while you’re driving or working out. So if you’re still curious to know what kind of music would be covered on our blog here’s a few rules: 1) If a band has rock or pop influences were going to give it a listen. 2) If the band is in anyway influenced by the 70’s or 80’s well try them out. 3) Lastly, and most importantly, if a band is idiosyncratic or obscure then we’ll write about them.
What makes Indiekingss different from other blogs?
It is really important to us that we differentiate ourselves from other indie music blogs and outlets. I mean, were primarily fans of musicians that explore different routes in music, so it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for us to have a conventional blog about them. With that being said, there are a few things that make us different from the normal music blog. Firstly, we take a different stance in the indie music community then most blogs. We are all about keeping the momentum behind the artists we love, and we gravitate toward the little guys. Our goal is to promote as many talented underdogs as possible.
Secondly, we’ve yet to tear anyone down for making music we don’t like. That doesn’t make any sense. So instead, we just ignore them. If you’re reading about a band on our site that means they have our stamp of approval.
Thirdly, we put together massive themed playlists that range all the way from 25 Songs You Might Listen to if You Were Flying on a Unicorn to The Best Songs of 2013. Obviously, the former is the one that makes us different from other indie music blogs, not the latter, to more specifically answer your question.
Why do you blog?
I always find myself reaching out to friends and sharing music with them. I think my friends and I have a lot to offer anyone that wants to be a part of our community. Particularly when it comes to bouncing songs and playlists around on Spotify. I want to create a situation where I can publish a playlist in an article and generate a good discussion about artists that deserve to be included. However, I primarily blog because I have a vision for a clique that will help spread the word about artists they love and help me get the best of the best off the ground. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to start a band and generate any kind of following. Often it’s the bands that have less than 1,000 fans that want it the most and because of internet things like blogs, anyone can help them out! It’s not like you have to drive to a record store and pick out one or two albums you want, then go home and put them on your 8-track. It’s easier than ever to give musicians a chance, and my blog is specifically designed to provide publicity where we see fit. We obviously do all kinds of other fun things too!
Do you have other blog contributors?
Yes I do! Many of my friends have written at least one article and admittedly most of them are better writers than me. But, I work with two people who regularly contribute to the website. One of them is a content creator and the other is a web designer. I wouldn’t have been able to make my vision a reality without them.
How do you decide what to write about?
We typically focus on three different types of articles: features and interviews from our favorite bands, articles about themed playlists such as 10 Songs Indie Kids Can Twerk To, and classic articles that cover our favorite songs, bands and albums over a specific period of time. We try to mix it up and we are willing to write about anything that seems interesting. Just to reiterate, we are only a few months old, so we are not trying to put up too many stringent rules about what we are willing or not willing to cover.
Do you plan out your posts in advance?
Up until I started this project, I had never creatively written anything, so planning and organizing posts plays a major role in covering up my inexperience; that and making jokes every now and again. It also takes a ton of planning to organize some of the playlists that we put together. At any given time, I’m working on 5-10 playlists for future articles. I mean, I’ll be working on my Best of 2014 playlist all year, but even more unconventional playlists take a ton of time to put together.
How do you approach reviewing an album?
As of right now, we haven’t reviewed any albums. We are sort of at an impasse about whether we ever want to review albums. When we started blogging, writing album reviews was definitely on our roadmap, but now that we’ve got around 30 articles under our belt, it’s starting to feel like we never will. There are a few reasons why we might never take that route: We can keep a 100% positive upbeat atmosphere if were not ripping on other people’s music. I don’t personally ever read album reviews. I decide for myself whether I like a certain album. I might read them after I’ve already formed my own opinion, but reviews rarely sway me one way or another. Sometimes, I read them just to disagree and comment with my own two cents, but like I said, I haven’t decided yet whether writing them for my own blog would be a worthwhile venture. Maybe if our regular readers requested that we do specific album reviews we could do that.
Who are your favorite bands and artists?
Two Door Cinema Club, Little Comets, Phoenix, Hey Ocean!, Otis Redding, The Chain Gang of 1974, The Zolas, Immoor, Kings of Leon, Kid Runner, Say Hi To Your Mom, Tokyo Police Club, Air Review, Atlas Genius, Beautiful Small Machines, Blondfire, California Wives, Colour Coding, Diamond Rings, J Roddy Walston and The Business, Faded Paper Figures, Gemini Club, The Rolling Stones, Geographer, Gold Motel, Gorillaz, Haim, Her Space Holiday, Hot as Sun, Ke$ha, Kyle Andrews, LCD Soundsystem, Lasorda, The Last Royals, Lucius, Midnight Juggernauts, Mother Mother, The Naked and Famous, Mr. Little Jeans, Fleet Foxes, New Navy, RAC, Radical Face, Sea Wolf, Telekinesis, Walk the Moon, Young Liars, Young Galaxy, Boxed Wine, El Ten Eleven, Youth Lagoon, Futurecop!, Christopher Norman, Hannah Georgas, The One AM Radio, St. Lucia, Chew Lips
Name a band you love that no one else seems to have heard of
Well, this is officially my favorite question of the interview! We recently published an article featuring 100 Underrated Bands, and while some of them are more popular than others, there is some truly undiscovered talent in that list. But, in the spirit of answering your question with one band I think Hot As Sun fits the bill. They are currently followed by 280 people on Spotify and their most popular song on Youtube, Night Time Sound Desire, has 991 views. That being said, they are badass and definitely deserve more attention.
Which review, interview or feature are you most proud of?
That’s a really tough question, because I’m proud of the various articles for different reasons. I’m going to go with the aforementioned 100 Underrated Bands. It takes a lot of work and time to put those together but in the end, it felt the best to put that post up because I’m plugging so many of my favorite artists all at the same time. I’ve spoken to a few of our readers that have started to regularly listen to some of the artists on that playlist, so that makes it even more worthwhile!
Thanks very much for you time Ryan!