November 07, 2005

Why do I hear music right now?

On some browsers, you may be able to hear music when you arrive at Indie Music Center. Have a look to the bottom of the page: it's the Indie Music Radio, playing our best features 24/7 :) Of course, you can stop it if you'd like to listen to the songs when you're reading our reviews.

The blog

What will you find here? Well, reviews, Spotify playlists, social media shares, a radio station... We try to spread indie music everywhere. So be sure to follow us on social media and follow our Spotify playlists. Because we don't write reviews for all the songs that we include in our Spotify playlists. And on the other hand, we're not sharing on social media every little change we make. And we're updating the website like... 10 times a day! So don't forget to follow us everywhere, so you will never miss THE song!

The Man

Well, I'm Niko. I was born in France, where I still live, even though I'm working in English all day long, and I'm fighting with timezones to chat with artists from all around the world (USA, Canada, Asia, Australia). I want you to find here the best possible artists so it's not a problem for me to wake up in the middle of the night to chat with them.

My dad was a musician, and I was rocked with synthesizer ballads all day long...

Very young Niko.jpg (137 KB)

I live in a house in the middle of the swamps, with migrating birds, and near the forest and the ocean! While my real job was mostly in call centers or stupid office jobs, I also used to work as a volunteer for 20 years in the music industry. I mean more than 10 years in different FM radio stations. I used to own more than 30 online radio stations. I created a lot of websites, both in English and French. I've written and recorded more than 300 songs (in French, or in English with a French accent that I will never be able to get rid of haha). And...  I wanted to create something unique. A kind of portal, where you could find everything about indie music at the same place. So I've quit my job. And now, my main activity is to listen to music and write reviews for you to discover amazing songs. I also do the mixing & mastering stuff for some of my favourite artists. I also give them some tips to help them to grow or to manage their social media correctly. And that's true, I really enjoy to create videos to promote their music on social media. So you're sure that you won't miss any review. Well. That's a lot of stuff, to be honest! I need almost 90 minutes of work to share ONE song. But after all, isn't it the best job in the world, ever? It was not easy to reach that happiness level. I had to quit my job. I cut my salary in half for the love of indie music. But honestly, I'm much happier than before. Want to know more? Let's discover now how did it all start!

The 10 dreams story.

1997. Young presenter.

young Niko.jpg (263 KB) 

When I was 10, I had a cassette set. And horrible clothes, I agree. I was doing interviews with my friends at school. Sometimes we talked about dinosaurs, sometimes about the Spice Girls. But without even know it, at that time, I've always had a dream. Sharing people's adventures through a microphone.

2001. Young presenter.

Dream#1 achieved. I'm only 14. And I have my own radio show on a local FM radio to promote indie music. And my show is called "Pop'N'RocK". I was already doing mixing and mastering in the radio's studio, and a lot of local musicians wanted to work with "The Radio Teen" to record their music. Pushing buttons. Shaking hands. Sometimes watching a screen. When you're young, that's pretty cool!

2005. Bigger project.

My radio show was doing good. I was 18 and became a student. And... one day, I had a dream. Why not creating, inside the campus, a 24/7 online webradio to promote indie music and, of course, bands from the campus ? Well. I woke up. Started to work on it for 3 months. Dream#2 achieved. "Pop'N'rocK Radio" was born. And I used to play awesome Indie bands from this era, like Franz Ferdinand, The Kooks, and some others. It lasted for 12 years, which is huge for an online radio station! It brought me thousands of contacts from Artists, Bands, Labels, Blogs, and it was a fantastic adventure. I also hired awesome volunteer writers, from all around the world (UK, Brazil, Netherlands, United States, France, Australia, Slovakia). But it was only a passion, as my real job was to work in call centers. Sometimes I was a volunteer in bigger radio stations. Well, that dual life really brought me a lot of good things... But not only.  It also allowed me to meet in 2011 the most faithful listener, who became my GF. Thanks to Dream#2, I achieved Dream#3. Finding love. And her love for indie music is still here, you will learn more in a few seconds, below.

2015. New try.

I'm back on a local FM radio station to promote local artists (not only in music). Let's see below how it ended up.

2017. Few changes.

I realized that watching a screen for hours became essential, even though I don't like it, and even if I prefer to walk in the forest, or on the coast for hours. But I don't have any choice. Webradios are kinda dead, and this concept is not as powerful as it has been in the past. People are now listening to music through Spotify. They're not buying CDs anymore. Things are changing. Time to move forward.

One more night with a crazy dream: creating a blog. I woke up. Made a decision. And bam. Goodbye Pop'N'rocK radio. I started a blog, called "Music For Your Heart". For me, a good song must bring us powerful emotions and chills. Far from the high rotations of FM radios that pollute all the countries, and that kills the creativity of artists, we wanted to show that the world of music is now very big (thanks to the Internet, that's true), and that in reality, the medias confine us to less than 1% of what exists. And what exists elsewhere is much better than what we are flabbergasted every 2 hours on the radio waves. This blog brought me even more contact in the show-business world especially with famous record labels. Dream#4 achieved. But I wasn't really happy with the name. Loads of people were not able to remember or write it properly.

2019. Revelation.

May :

I went crazy. I was fed up with everything. Fed up with my oppressive work. Fed up with my mother who lied to me for 30 years about my father and my whole family, whom she deprived me of for 12 years. Fed up with my apartment in the city center where you can hear drunk men hitting their wives. Even if my GF and my blog were the only things which kept me alive, it wasn't enough anymore. A lot of things must be changed. After receiving more than 9000 songs for the blog, I had all the time to made several observations. Notably the fact that some artists don't even have a Facebook page. Others don't have a website. Others send unfinished tracks to blogs, Youtube Channels or Spotify Playlists curators (no mastering, or rough mixing). I just told myself: "Obviously! They are musicians. Not sound engineers. And not websites creators either." I've been working in the music industry for 20 years now. I owned more than 30 radio stations. I had musicians recorded in the studio, mixed and mastered tons of albums. I created lots of websites since I used to own several blogs and webradios. So I already know how to position a brand on the Internet and strengthen its digital presence. So I can be useful to these artists, and much more than writing reviews to promote them. So I created the Indie Music Center. A place dedicated to indie music. For indie music fans, first, to find all the best indie songs at one glance. And then, for artists, to find all the tools they need to promote their music.

September :

The FM radio station isn't funny anymore. It's not like in 2001 when you had something to do, like playing CDs, pushing a lot of buttons. Now you just list your songs and jingles on a screen and it's playing automatically. How boring is that? And you have to respect some rules, like playing the same commercial sh** every 2 hours. And hearing 75 times a week the same ads. Rotting people's lives with 35 minutes of advertising per hour. Wooooot?! Not my values. I've quit. Dream#5 achieved. With my faithful listener of Dream#3, still here 8 years later, we started looking at listings for houses for sale. We found a house in the countryside. Perfect. Let's buy it! Dream#6 achieved.

November :

It was time to also quit that job in the national healthcare system, where I'm taken for a fool, getting contradictory orders every hour. Where I had to put up with the smell of piss and poo from my 70 year old colleague. I've quit. Dream#7 achieved. I also realized that having a toxic mother doesn't help. On that private side, I've been taken for a fool for more than 30 years. So I needed something positive in my life.

2020. New life.

January :

Me and my GF (my most faithful listener) are moving in the house in swamps, with migrating birds, and near the forest and the ocean! The Indie Music Center can now have its own office. My Dream#7 is now becoming true, and I can see it for real!

February :

The Indie Music Center blog reached, to our great surprise, the number 1 position in the world in terms of quality, among more than 1,100 outlets. A real consecration that we owe to the 1154 artists who have entrusted us with their promotion for 3 years.

I dreamed about bringing back to life what I'm made for: a radio station. Well, let's make it. Let's start to sort all the songs we featured (more than 1K), keep the best ones, remaster them, upload them, schedule them... Well, passion is still here!

September :

Well. Apparently, Dream#8 is also achieved. Indie Music Radio is born. It plays the artist I've written about. 24/7. The radio like I wish it was in real life haha.

November :

The Indie Music Radio secuded, in less than 2 months, more than 1,900 faithful listeners. We changed the website layout to make it a little more dark, so your eyes won't get tired anymore (as the White colour hurts, we all know about that).

I had a dream. Again. I dreamed about colors on my website. So when I woke up, I decided to put a colour on each musical genre to make your discoveries easier to find: blue for indie pop, orange for indie folk, yellow for indie rock, and pink for indie electro. The Indie Music Radio now has its own color: purple. And what a change. Thanks to those new colors, I can now reach 200K people monthly on our social media with ultra-targeted campaigns for our artists. Dream#9 achieved.

December :

November has been the biggest month ever, for IMC. We never had so much visitors and never reached so much people on social media. And December followed the same path... And like a Xmas gift in advance, my GF joined me on this huge adventure. All the videos you can see on social media are now made and posted by her. And if you didn't notice any difference, it's because she's like me: caring about quality. So her amazing work saves me a lot of time to listen to songs, write reviews, and to take care of the radio station which now has almost 4,200 faithful listeners. Also, new members will join us in the team very soon... Seems like 2021 could be THE year.


January :

I don't really know what's happening but the amount of visits on the IMC is beginning to be huge. Well, OK, for me, that's huge haha. For bigger blogs, it's just a drop of water in the ocean. But I've realized something. Who else writes quality review, and shares the songs in over 20 different places? Nobody. I managed to create something unique. It's hard to admit, for me, because I never knew how to see the positive in me. But if I open my eyes and look at what I've accomplished, I realize it's just huge. To have created a strong brand in such a short period of time, and most importantly: connected to artists and indie music fans all over the world, is a fantastic adventure. My relatives think I'm crazy, living locked in my office listening to music. But it's my window to the world. And when we're all authorized to travel again, I'll have friends everywhere to visit. And that is priceless. Well. It's not over. My GF and I just signed a civil union contract. Now we're officially linked for the rest of our lives. Living together. Working together. It couldn't be better.

But it's still not over! The team is growing up again and I'm very glad and proud to welcome Luna Keller. She's really fantastic. I met her maybe 2 years ago. She's an amazing Singer-Songwriter, and quickly became a super friend. I already hosted on the blog since 2020 her great podcast "Why Doesn't Everyone Know These Songs?". And I've featured all of her singles since last year. She brought me new perspectives, and a new way of seeing things, by her young age (remember I'm 33 now, and in the digital world, it's quite old haha). She's a bit like me, having thousands of ideas a second. But without us even realizing it, it was obvious that Luna and her musical tastes quite similar to mine (we're both die-hard Coldplay fans) were going to end up on the blog. This is why you can now take advantage since the beginning of January of her own column, called "Artist Pick". Welcome to the team, Luna!

actual Niko.jpg (287 KB)

The horizon looks brighter now. And I think I'll continue to follow my dreams. Waiting for Dream#10 :)