Collaborate, find opportunities & promote your music

Indie Bands

Music icon
Indie bands, what we can do for you?

Getting a recording contract

Meet the right people through our global marketplace network. Through our vast digital industry network get the opportunity to pitch to Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artist Managers, Advertising Agencies and more.

Get opportunities

Find anyone you need to work with, from band members to producers, writers and graphic designers through our global community. As well as access to our artist development and music promotions services.

Manage your assets

Manage your catalogue, rights splits and metadata in one central place. Create professional playlists to send your tracks to industry professionals and anyone you’re working with. 

Music icon

Getting signed

One of the most important assets you have as an artist trying to break into the music Industry is your network. We understand that it can be tough meeting the right people and breaking through the noise. We have the solution. Submit your music, songs & demos directly to creative companies, A&R and music industry professionals worldwide through our Demo Submissions tool!

Accelerate your career in music and make real connections. We’ve done most of the work already…

Georgia Box is a Music Gateway independent pop artist, shown sitting on a kitchen worktop listening to the radio
Recent work by Music Gateway

Manage your assets

We understand it’s crucial that you keep track of your projects, catalogue and metadata, as well as the professional network that you have invested so much time into creating. Manage all of your master recordings (Wav files) and assets securely in one solution. 

Keep all your rights information in one handy place and easily use it to get sync opportunities and more. Our inclusive audio library search tool gives you full flexibility to manage your audio and add files to the integrated playlist creator, allowing you to create professional playlists to send off to industry contacts and get you opportunities.

Collaborate in our cloud storage space 24/7 from any location, and manage your digital assets all within one tidy, innovative space.

 

Read more
Film & TV placements
Blue and purple gradient divider

Music Licensing Showcase

Various

We secure some of the most exciting Sync placements for our talented Artists, Songwriters, Labels, and Publishers. This has been made possible by working with our established and growing network of skilled Music Supervisors within the Film and Entertainment industry.

NCIS: Los Angeles

CBS

American TV Network CBS’ ongoing crime drama “NCIS: Los Angeles” starring LL Cool J, Chris O’Donnell and Daniela Ruah follows the Naval Crime Investigation Services team as they take on the toughest cases in LA.

Souluvmuziq’s multi-genre songwriter and producer MadD3E’s uplifting R&B track “Know Me Better” featuring vocalist Bluesforthehorn secured a seamless sync to begin episode 10 of season 11 on a high.

Bulletproof Season 2

Sky One

Sky One Sky One’s action-drama series “Bulletproof” follows undercover police duo and best friends Bishop played by Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Adulthood) and Pike played by Ashley Walters (Top Boy) as they pair up to take down criminal gangs across Europe in the pursuit of justice. 5ive 9ine is a genre-bending team comprised of U K Rap pioneer Sway Dasafo and Producer Zagor who landed a Sync for the series’ multiple action-packed promotional trailers with their high-intensity Rap track “Born A King”.

Close

Piccadilly Pictures / Netflix Originals

Actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus) leads the action-packed Netflix thriller “Close” as a deadly bodyguard hired to protect a troubled heiress. Directed & written by Vicky Jewson.

Working with Music Supervisor Claire Freeman we secured two placements with tracks “Kerbela” from artist Orlando Lanzini and “Middle” from JP.

BROS: After the Screaming Stops

Fulwell 73

BAFTA award winning documentary following the reunion of brothers Matt & Luke Goss from the 80s pop band “Bros”. Watch how their journey to resolve past issues & deliver long-awaited shows at sold-out London O2 Arena gigs.

We secured a sync for Jess & James 60’s pop track “Move” through working directly with established Music Supervisor, Michelle De Vries.

The Terror

AMC

Ridley Scott’s “The Terror” airing on AMC is a 10-part horror anthology series based on the bestselling novel by Dan Simmons.

With a catalogue full of nostalgic & vintage tracks suitable for period dramas, working with music supervisor Natasha Duprey we placed “Candy” by Jack Kluger & Jay Clever and his Orchestra.

The Capture

The BBC

The BBC drama “The Capture” was a huge hit. A 6-part mini-series about a persistent young detective who begins to discover a multi-layered conspiracy when handling the case of a British soldier who is charged with murder.

We placed a techno track for a specific club scene through Music Supervisor Michelle De Vries for this brief, which featured producer Politis’ track “Gravity” within the fifth episode.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Amazon Prime Original

“The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” is an Amazon original comedy/drama set in 1950s Manhattan following the life of Miriam “Midge” Maisel who is refinding purpose through stand up comedy after her husband leaves her for another woman.

We secured a sync for artist Lily Chao, whose track “Picking Tea Leaves and Catching Butterflies” was placed by Reel Music’s Robin Urdang.

Moffie

Portobello Productions

“Moffie”, 2019 London Film Festival’s Best Film category nominee is a British South African LGBT biographical war drama written & directed by Oliver Hermanus. The film is based on an autobiographical novel by Andre Carl van der Merwe.

Working with Music Supervisor Jack Sidey led to us securing 4 amazing sync placements by 3 separate artists for this film including artists Denny Leroux, Structure and Steve Swindells.

Bloodline

Sony Pictures / Netflix Originals

Critically acclaimed Netflix Original series “Bloodline” is a drama/thriller based in the Florida Keys following the well-off Rayburn family (Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini) who has a dark past which slowly unravels leading to an uncertain future.

A sync placement was secured for the final season with “Never Been Good at Goodbyes” by Mike Goudreau & The Boppin’ Blues Band by experienced US Music Supervisor Mark Wike.

American Soul

BET

Biographical drama “American Soul” is a series on BET based on the ambitious story of Soul Train show creator and host Don Cornelius. Set in 1970’s Los Angeles, this is a series filled with iconic music, dancing & fashion.

We secured 60s soul group Bud Ross & Pals with their lively track “Do Your Own Thing” working directly with Music Supervisor, Ashley Neumeister.

Ashes In The Snow

Sorrento Productions / Lithuania's Tauras Films

“Ashes In The Snow” is a historical drama film based on true events starring Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) & Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service). Set in 1941 during Stalin’s brutal dismantling of the Baltic region, Lina, a young aspiring artist and her family get deported to Siberia.

Our trailer placement was via LA advertising agency Soda Creative syncing independent artist NEVERGONE’s track “Motion”.

Honey

Universal Pictures

Def Jam signed artist & dancer Teyana Taylor stars in Universal Pictures’ “Honey: Rise Up and Dance”. Skyler joins a dance crew to compete for a college scholarship. Discouraged by her family & friends, she tirelessly practices amongst Atlanta’s underground dance scene.

Singer, Songwriter Tyler Shamy scored a major sync with “Work You Out” performed by Spencer Sutherland. Thanks to established Music Supervisor, Adele Ho.

Little Drummer Girl

The BBC

An amazing 6-part BBC mini-series “The Little Drummer Girl” is based on John Le Carre’s best-selling novel. Actress and idealist Charlie gets drawn into high-stakes espionage. Starring Florence Pugh, Alexander Skarsgard & Michael Shannon.

Working with Air-Edel music supervisor Matt Biffa, we secured three sync placements for authentic Greek copyright music productions played during the opening scenes set in Greece.

Private Eyes

ION Television

eOne Entertainment’s “Private Eyes” is a crime-solving comedy/drama TV Series based in Toronto, Canada. It follows an ex-hockey player and private investigator who form an unlikely partnership.

The soulful R&B track “You Wreck Me” by Artists Kaki & Eddy Smith was placed in the opening scene of EP 9,, S3 through Canadian Music Supervisor, Dondrea Erauw.

Girlfriends Guide To Divorce

Bravo / NBC Universal

Produced by NBC Universal “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce” is a TV series following a self-help book author who is recently separated and is navigating her life in Los Angeles as a single woman in her 40s.

Working with NBC in-house music supervisor Kerri Drootin, we secured a sync licensefor Artist Sounds Like Moving’s track “Away”.

Friends From College

Stoller Global Solutions / Netflix Originals

Netflix original comedy series “Friends From College” stars Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele, Keanu) & Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Avengers). Experiencing nostalgia from their time at Harvard together, a group of friends try to manage their complicated lives whilst entering their 40s.

Music Supervisor Manish Ravel licensed a selection of Polish club music frok us for a nightclub scene featuring Weekend’s tracks “Ona Tanczy Dla Mnie” & “Dalem Ci Kwiaty”.

Destination Dewsbury

Independent

British Indie comedy film “Destination: Dewsbury” based almost entirely in West Yorkshire, follows 4 old friends on a mission to see their dying friend Frank for the very last time. The BBC reported that this made director Jack Spring the youngest feature film director at the time.

A song sync opportunity within the trailer was secured here through Music Supervisor Will Smith using rock band The Great Cynics’ energising track “Whatever You Want”.

Music Licensing

NCIS: Los Angeles

Bulletproof 2

Close

Bros

The Terror

The Capture

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Moffie

Bloodline

American Soul

Ashes In The Snow

Rise Up & Dance

Little Drummer Girl

Private Eyes

Guide To Divorce

Friends From College

Destination Dewsbury

Get opportunities

Sync, record labels, collaboration in our global community. As a Music Gateway member you will have access to major industry opportunities.

Get opportunities

Sync portal

Through our sync portal, make the most of our sync placement postings and you can get your band’s original music played in film, TV, games, and advertisements (see previous sync placement successes).

Demo submission

Submit your music, songs & demos to creative companies, A&R’s and music industry professionals worldwide.

Collaboration

Create your own projects to find new people to collaborate with from all over the world.

 

Sync portal
Promote your music
Promote your music

Get your music heard by a powerful network of influencers & professional tastemakers that we’ve built from 30 years of combined industry experience. We pride ourselves in working with you on your goals, meaning that campaigns are always tailored, delivering results that you want to see.

Whether you have a polished brand and know exactly what you want, or you’re just starting out, we’re here to help. Our Artist Development team is on hand to help you develop your brand and style and market your way to sustainable success.

Once you’ve developed your brand and style, you’re ready to take on streaming, press, radio and more with our Music Promotion team!

Learn more

SHARE:

How To Become A Successful Indie Band

Are you and your friends wanting to take your basement band rehearsals to the next level? There is no limit to where music can take a hard-working and committed recording group, with the right approach and talent the world can be your oyster. Recording and releasing music as part of the band can be both a blessing and a curse. You have to keep everyone happy, but you do have more people to share the weight of the responsibilities and provide inspiration.

If you think you and your band have the drive and passion to make a career out of recording and releasing music, or you’re looking to start a band, read on to find out more about a recording group’s musical journey…

Starting an Indie Band

Maybe you’ve all been friends since high school, or have met at university, a lot of groups are founded on already built friendships. This isn’t always the case though, and many successful groups have been formed from the love of the art and a level of creative understanding. If you’re looking for band members, one of the best things you can do is investigate your local music scene and find out who does what and who’s in which bands already. You can also post online on local or national forums and social media pages looking for band members. 

When you’re starting a band, make sure you have good and open communication between all the members. There have been countless tales in the past of famous rock bands breaking up because of disagreements and unresolved disputes. Treat every member with respect and value their contribution to the music all the way throughout your careers. Discuss each of your own aspirations for the band and creative dreams, if someone wants to take the band in a direction that the others do not then you’re going to have a problem. Make sure you’re all on the same page.

A lot of people gravitate towards large cities like New York City, London, Manchester, LA, Paris & Berlin as it’s easier to meet and network with lots of good musicians.

Writing Music

This process can be where a good portion of disagreements originate between band members. People can be very protective over their creative work and not take well to criticism. There are many advantages to working as a band as multiple points of view can elevate a song and polish its edges. Compositionally it’s advantageous to write music as a band because you might not have to hire composers to contribute to the instrumentals unless there’s an element you feel you’re missing. 

When you’re writing music, be sure you decide who owns what part of the compositional copyright. It’s pretty standard practice that bands will split the rights evenly between band members, although you don’t have to. If one person has contributed the lyrics and melody and the rest of the band add to it, the writer could ask for a higher portion of the copyright. It all depends on the dynamic and agreement you have as a band, but evenly split rights generally lead to less drama.

Producing Music

More members to chip into production costs can be a big advantage to emerging bands making music as it enables them to stay in the studio longer or put the money to use elsewhere. If one of you has a good grasp of production you can self produce your music, all lending a hand when needed. If you have the resources to have it produced, or co-produced, externally then it can add that extra shine to your sound, benefiting from the expertise and guidance of a professional producer and studio.

If you’re signed to a major label they will likely place you with an experienced producer who can turn your tracks into hit singles. Independents might connect you to a producer who’s more specialist or who they feel can really get to the heart of your music, rather than produce a sound that is more radio-friendly.

When looking for a producer look at their recording portfolio and work out what they can do for you and your music. Choose someone who will understand your creative vision and inspire you.

When you record a song or a debut album with a producer you must decide who owns what rights. If the compositions have been altered on the suggestion of the producer, then they could claim a proportion of the compositional rights as well as the master rights. If one of your band members has co-produced the record, then they could be entitled to share the master rights with the producer. If you’re on a major label the master rights will most likely belong to the record company. Whenever you’ve finished recording a piece of music, draw up an agreement of who owns what percentage of the compositional and master rights based on every individual’s contribution and get it in writing.

Publishing Music

This is the process of officially registering your copyright to a recorded piece of music and allowing others to exploit it in return for compensation. Music labels, majors and independents, usually act as the publishers or work with publishers to do this for artists, although it can be done independently as well. 

To publish your music you’ll need to register with performing rights agencies like PRS for Music and MCPS in order to receive your due royalty payments. Publishing can be a lengthy process however due to the platforms through which we can now access music on a global scale. This has meant that musicians with global audiences must work a lot harder to collect their due royalties from PROs all over the world. 

As an independent musician or group, you can sign publishing deals to employ someone else to do this administrative element and focus your time on your music. Some publishing deals simply handle the paperwork and collection side of publishing for a small portion of your publishing royalties, whereas others will take a larger cut but do more to promote your music and open up sync licensing opportunities. It comes down to how much of your publishing royalties you want to give away and how much of the promotional side you feel you can do yourselves. Publishing deals can last for single songs or albums or on yearly contracts. There are lots of deals and contracts out there but before you sign one you might consider having a lawyer look at it to make sure you won’t be licensing away all your royalties.

Music Distribution

Distribution is the process of getting your music to your listeners. In the digital age, you can opt for both physical distributions in the form of CDs and/or online retailers and streaming services. For many independent artists are smaller indie labels, online distribution is the avenue they usually choose its cheaper and easier than physical distribution.

Major labels usually release music both on physical CDs, sometimes vinyl, and online. They have vast resources and distribution mechanisms already in place to get your music everywhere. Indie labels might also print your music as well as distributing it online, but it depends on their size and scale. As an independent artist, you’ll have to work with a distribution company to get your music on all the key platforms. There are a number of online distribution companies that enable DIY artists to get their music online for fair prices who will also pay you your due revenue from these sources on a global scale. Being in a band once again means you can split the costs of distribution.

Music Marketing and Press Relations

You have to promote your music if you want anyone to listen to it. Marketing is through which you will create a brand identity for your band and your music, this includes your album artworks, personal styling, social media content, visual elements at shows and the way you carry yourselves in public view. Press is media coverage in print, online and on TV and through public conversations concerning your music.

Majors have huge marketing and press budgets to help their artists reach the highest levels of success, hiring top photographers and artists to work on their artwork and visual content, whilst also splashing out on advertising campaigns. Independent labels and DIY artists rely heavily on social media and the power of the internet to market their music, harnessing the power of grass-roots support. The internet has done wonders to help DIY bands compete with major label acts however a marketing campaign is only as effective as the campaign itself. There is a right and a wrong way to do something. 

Marketing is an element you can take into your own hands, or you can hire music promotion and PR companies to help you out. Whatever your campaign size or approach, it should reflect who you are as a band and always be authentic. If one of you has a flair for social media then leave the marketing with them, it will create a clear online voice if only one of you has control. Delegating responsibilities like this between the band will help keep everything organised and running smoothly.

Gigs And Touring

As record sales are still falling and online streaming services continue to thrive, touring is going to be one of your main sources of revenue. Tours should be timed with releases and carefully mapped out and budgeted before you all jump in a bus and hit the road. Touring involves working with booking agents, promoters, tour managers, support crew and each other to increase ticket sales. Always think realistically about your potential turnout on a tour, you need to at least break even in terms of spend/revenue for it to be financially worthwhile. 

Promoting your shows is going to be one of the most important elements of touring. The more people turn up the better it is for your band fund. Make sure you promote the shows in each town and talk to the venues about what they will do to get people to come to your show. Targeted, local advertisements on social media can be bought cheaply and go directly to your potential fans in that area. 

Merchandise sold at shows is going to be a great source of revenue as it can be done cheaply but with high-profit margins. Make sure you order enough merch for the whole tour, you don’t want to run out halfway around the country. Any you don’t sell on a tour you could sell through an online store on your band’s website.

Getting Paid – Sales, Royalties, Syncs And Touring

As has been the trend for the last twenty years in the music industry, record sales are still falling. That’s not to say you won’t see a return from your records being out in the shops, but it’ll be small. Streaming and online radio are now where many choose to access and listen to music. You’ll still generate money through airplay and streams, it just won’t be a considerable amount unless you’re racking up good numbers.

Performance royalties are owed to artists for every time their music is played or broadcast for public consumption, whether that’s on the radio, in a bar, on Spotify or on TV. Performance royalties are paid to the owner of the compositional copyright and the publishing rights. Mechanical royalties are paid for the copying of your music onto CDs or when online platforms are used to play music. Any royalties generated through the performance or use of your music should be paid to you by your label or publisher, or your registered performing rights organisations.

Sync licensing is another way for bands to make money whilst also benefiting from free music promotion. A sync license is agreed between a recording group and a TV production company, filmmaker, advertising agency or video games publisher for the license to use your music alongside a piece of visual media. Sync deals are highly competitive placements and are usually negotiated between music publishers or labels and the music supervisor responsible for sourcing the music for the project. There is nothing stopping independent artists from contacting supervisors and submitting music for sync opportunities as well, it may just be a little harder to secure one.

Sync licenses are consent agreements obtained from all the rights-holders on a recording to use the music in a visual project. They usually involve payment of a one-time sync fee to the rights holders and can generate sync royalties for each time the track is played or ‘performed’ publically. For long-running adverts or popular TV shows, sync licenses can be a valuable source of income for bands whilst also opening up their music to new demographics. 

As we’ve said, touring and live performances are generally how bands stay afloat these days. It can be exhausting, but it’s one of the most lucrative sources of income for acts across all levels of the industry.

Trade Unions

The Musicians Union is used by most musicians and bands to assist, campaign and support their causes. For bands looking for new members in their local area or musicians to help accompany them on a record, it can be a great resource as you can easily connect to other artists in your area.

Trade unions can support you if ever you’ve played a show and not been paid, you need legal advice about an issue your band is facing and campaign for governmental changes in legislation to help support musicians careers. There is an annual membership fee, but again as a band, it can split between members. 

Career Advancement

Most bands start rehearsing in someone’s garage/basement, playing shows in local pubs and small venues but you can change all that with hard work and good music. Like with anything you have to start small. Your writing and releasing cycle will begin with writing, then recording, then marketing to release, going on tour and then starting all over again.

Successful and driven bands can go on to release record and record if they have a good team behind them, a talent for songwriting and a close relationship with their fans. You may start in your basement, but a committed band can go on to play the biggest arenas all over the world.  

Successful & Famous Bands

The best-selling band of all time is, of course, The Beatles. They have sold over 800 million records worldwide and have been named the most influential band in music history. Their experimental albums meant they were always evolving and challenging the popular musical norms of the time. They released 13 albums in just seven years, their songwriting abilities knowing no bounds. 

Each Beatle had successful solo careers following their breakup. Unfortunately, John Lennon and George Harrison are no longer alive, but Ringo Star and Paul McCartney are both still making and playing music. 

If you’re a band looking for sync licensing opportunities, music promotion services or music jobs, see what Music Gateway can do to help further your musical career.

FAQ Section

Q1. What are indie pop bands?

Indie pop, also known as indie-pop or indiepop are terms that relate to a music genre and culture that combines guitar-based pop bands with being independent. Being in opposition to the style and tone of mainstream bubble gum pop music. The definition of indie pop has also been mean to describe bands from unrelated independent music scenes and cultural movements with a pop influence.

Q2. What makes a band indie?

The term indie is sometimes used to describe the indie genre, but feel this better describes whether the band is independent, indie for short and means that they are either unsigned or signed to an indie label (independent record label).

Some indie bands go on to being signed by Major Record Labels, losing their independent status. It’s also considered that to be a true indie band, you have to be in total control of your rights and business activities, self-releasing your records, gigs and tours.  

Q3. What music is considered ‘indie music’?

Independent music (often shortened to indie music or indie) is music that is produced independently of any of the major commercial record labels such as Universal, Sony, Warners and BMG who are the 4th largest company in the music industry.

It also includes any subsidiary labels, for example, Warner owns Atlantic Records home of Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. Indie is a process of being autonomous and embracing the DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to recording, publishing and promoting music.

Q4. What is the indie genre?

Rock, Alternative Rock, Folk Rock, Post Punk, Indie Rock

Q5. What is the difference between alternative and indie?

Indie rock music and alternative rock are often used interchangeably. There are some key differences between the genres and the term “indie” was mainly aligned with British indie bands and their music, whereas the term alternative is more aligned with American indie bands. In addition, indie rock bands have fused to create several new genres and subgenres.

Q6. Famous Indie Bands

Here are just a few of the top most famous indie bands. The Killers, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Smiths, Franz Ferdinand, Mumford & Sons, The Stone Roses, Blur, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, The Prodigy and The Kooks.


Music Gateway Company Logo

Sign up for a 14 day free trial

Get started