“You become an artist the day you stop pretending” – Some famous person.
As hard as it is to believe that there are still bands/musicians today, whom when asked what genre of music they play, say ‘indie rock’ – perhaps not knowing that indie doesn’t tell the listener the category of music one can expect. It’s almost confusing, especially to the fans. While confusion still rests in the minds of a few bands, who don’t realize ‘indie’ simply translates to independent, audiences are further dazed.
In our understanding, indie has begun to relate to something of the urban ‘cool’ (see here) even if one doesn’t get the music. To play to that perplexity, here’s a quick style guide, or a camouflaging uniform, for you to fake being an indie musician, regardless of whether you can play an instrument or not. Just look the part, be there at the right place at the right time, and voila, you can be mistaken for an artist.
Metal Fakers – Step 1, grow your hair longer than your shoulder. Step 2, keep alternating it with shaving it off, as we had mentioned in the stereotypes of an avid metal-listener. Step 3, wear black t-shirts. If this doesn’t help you fit into the metal community, you can buy a skull and attend gigs with it. Step 4, a few piercings. Don’t overdo it. Ears, and may be another visible body part at most. Step 5, a tattoo or two. Again, avoid overkill. If you still don’t get rolling heads, then just invest in an Ouija board and … okay don’t. You don’t need to do that. You will find your place with these suggestions.
Trend Setters of Indie Metal – Demonic Resurrection, Scribe, Skyharbor, Bhayanak Maut
Folk Rock Fakers – If the traditionalist in you doesn’t allow you to exit home without a kurta or kolhapuri chappals, then chances are that you will enjoy folk renditions of rock songs. That gross generalisation apart, folk rock has a typical style that you can emulate. A kurta from Fab India (if you want to have some class, or you can always buy cheap kurtas, which work well too), kolhapuris (make sure you get cheap ones because let’s be honest no one looks at someone’s feet) are bare essentials. If you would like to be typecast with the southern states, throw in a dapper monochromatic lungi and if north Indian blood runs within you, then add a rosary to your neck auxiliaries. Beards can be helpful.
Trend Setters of Indie Folk Rock – The Raghu Dixit Project, Raagleela, Swarathma, Avial, Saurav Moni
Western Hipster Fakers – Many like to be associated with alt-pop rock and the sub varieties thereof. For you guys, don a hat, wear suspenders, adopt a retro style, or anything incongruent from the regular office going straight-haired look that adds to your intensity. You will definitely earn a compliment or two for your attempts if nothing else.
Trend Setters of Indie Daily Hipster – Nischay Parekh, Dhruv Visvanath, The Incredible Mindfunk, Peter Cat Recording Company.
Hip Hop Fakers – Vishal and Shekar! Apologies, that was irresistible (for those who don’t know, listen here). But no, this has nothing to do with Vishal or Shekhar instead hip-hoppers of our indie realm have no particular dressing style of the glitzy variety, which in a way is refreshing. They wear their integrity. So if you want to be known as someone who raps, then wrap yourself with ideologies that plague you or your socio-political environment. Clothes don’t make a difference. Though baggy jeans and an oversized shirt can help you fake it if you’re spineless and care about nothing except IPL.
Trend Setters of Underground Indie Hip Hop – A-List (Ashwini Mishra), Kav-E (Lester Cardoz), Encore (Ankur Johar), Microphon3 (Tanmay Bahulekar)
Electronica Fakers – With grave sadness, we have to announce you cannot fit into a bracket of an electronica artist by mere style or fashion. The electronica brethren are always seen in urban-chic outfits more often than not complemented by good looks and well-styled hair. Snazzy headphones and a face buried in the console are a requisite. Despite all this there’s still no set landmark style, hence we leave it as this-is-not-meant-for-you-just-go-play-ludo.
Trend Setters of Electronica – Dualist Inquiry, Sandunes, Nanok, Fuzzy Logic, Arjun Vagale
Hairy Dude Fakers – And if nothing of the above, like NOTA, appeals to you, then just grow hair – face, head, arms, legs, neck (if you’re Sonam’s Kapoors dad), ears (no, please don’t) and nose. Sorry girls, this may not apply to you, unless you want to. In which case feel free. Sheer volume of hair can often tend to be very confusing to the mundane individual. With that hair, make yourself available at gigs and you will stand out. Of the trash can. Just kidding. This always works. Promise!
Trend Setters of Hairy Dudes – Guy in the image, men going for Axe’s boat party, Akshay Kumar from his ‘Tip tip barsa’ days
*Strictly for those not gifted with any musical chops. Much like this author*