An inquisition is an inquiry or investigation into a matter. The Inquisition was a historical religious movement of tyranny to suppress heresy. The heretics were those brave, but unfortunate individuals who bucked the traditional belief system and stood up for their own ideas, and were subsequently silenced. The Indie Times does not pretend to argue which side was right or wrong in that case. We only use the word inquisition to illustrate our message. In that spirit, the “indiequisition” is an inquiry into the word “indie” and also a movement to cheer on and give a voice to instead of silence the artistic rebels who are making their own way, and defining their own existence, in spite of the traditional expectations.

A few months ago, I began to casually inquire how people defined “indie.” The answers were as diverse and interesting as indie artists themselves. You see, indie means a lot of things.

“independence is defined by the people who live it”
Kaya Oakes

“Independent” is the most obvious when putting a meaning to the term “indie”, as it is its very source, but it is not altogether a complete definition. Regarded by some as a philosophy and others as a genre, it is easy to see why the word is almost indefinable. We, at The Indie Times, realize that the line between mainstream and indie is sometimes blurred, and even crossed over. We don’t pretend to adhere to a strict definition of “indie.” We celebrate the ongoing, ever-changing, self-defining nature of the indie culture. We have also chosen to champion a variety of indie arts because we all share the same philosophy (or genre), however it might be described.

It might be argued that even the potentially wide range of terms used to define “indie” might still be boxing it in, as one might actually be a suburban indie artist, but the word suburban isn’t the first word on the tongue when one thinks of “indie.” While “indie” fits in no box, it is an evolving amalgam of interpretations. On that note, I will let the following list speak for us in helping to illustrate “indie” to the world.

We would love to hear what you think. Please leave your comments below as to what “indie” means to you!!!





not kowtowing to Hollywood vanilla


creative freedom

an original

a copy of nothing




not backed financially by a large studio or producer


an ethos

a community

a style

an aesthetic

a sound



retain majority control of their copyrights and other assets







a philosophy

a genre


self defining

self actualization via creativity


cutting edge


for art’s sake


creativity above profits


skinny-pants-wearing hipsters





resistance to convention

ahead of its time


Which words speak to you? Why? Which don’t? Why not?  Please let us know in the comments!

Michele Jennae: Editor-in-Chief and contributor, The Indie Times;
Host of The Michele Jennae Show on and blogstress at

Posted by on June 26, 2012. Filed under Michele Jennae,This Indie Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to IndieQuisition

  1. Curtis Hildebrand

    June 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Awesome article awesome writing, awesome person! Michele you have the motts kid!

  2. Michele Jennae

    June 27, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Thank you Curtis! So what does INDIE mean to YOU??!! :)

  3. KevOz

    July 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Michele, I’m going to go with “DIY”. I like that one. :)

    • Michele Jennae

      July 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Are you an indie artist KevOz? :D

You must be logged in to post a comment Login