The induction of the term indie into the music lover’s dictionary was as the result of the follow up to the end of the punk and new wave serge in the 70’s as an “alternative” to mainstream. As with the majority of terms applied in music it’s a slippery one; the term blankets the smaller, more recognizably talented artists on the scene.
For instance, an all too frequent misconception of indie is a band unaffiliated with a major record company. This misunderstanding is based on the (relatively recently) outdated assumption that all record labels deal in specific genres. However, artists commonly dubbed as indie that are signed to major record labels surely cannot be defined otherwise?
Yet another anomaly is indie bands that trickled into the charts that remain under the privileged classification of indie. Take for example Oasis – the zenith of mainstream indie with all six albums hitting the UK hotspot of #1 (and their only ever compilation album hitting #2).
Confusing though this may be the answer is clear – indie is in actual fact not a genre; it is a status.