Nashville’s Ari Surdoval has a pretty dark picture of the state of the industry for DIY and indie musicians especially those who don’t want to jump through hoops to satisfy commercial gatekeepers. He shares his perspective and his response in an excellent interview with NEKST.
He’s not the only one that sees things this way but Surdoval is one of the few with his stark perspective that’s taking positive steps to come up with a solution that’s viable for the 21st Century.
Hearit is Ari Surdoval’s response to “the golden age of not giving a shit about artists.” The site organizes artists by location and genre. The idea is to give local musicians a fair platform to connect with fans and sell their music.
- Original local music online, organized by locations and genres.
- Free for listeners, $1 per published song per month for artists.
- Artists set their own song prices and keep 100 percent.
- No advertising, no data capture, no subscriptions, no commitments.
Surdoval points to such inspirations as the slow food movement, with its emphasis on sustaining local culture, and a “job as Director of Communications, BMI which offered a vantage point to see the dangers of media consolidation and the impact it’s having on artists.”
Ari Surdoval focuses on local artists for very solid reasons:
“There is a perception that local bands are the guys that didn’t make it. But in fact, they are often the people that could not be commodified enough for mass consumption and/or wouldn’t play along or compromise enough to become palatable to a very small number of corporate-controlled radio programmers.”
“Right now Nashville is having this ‘it’ moment of musical notoriety. But where can I go to hear the dozens of incredible bands there are even in one East Nashville neighborhood? Where can I click ‘Nashville indie rock’ or ‘Nashville punk’ and buy those songs and give my money to that band without some website taking 40% of it?”