November 07, 2005

Niko.jpg (49 KB)

Hi everyone, I'm Nicolas Pirson (for the French version), or Nick Pearson (for the American version) - yes, "This Is Us" stole my name! I was there first! People also use to call me Niko.

I was "different"

I was born in France in 1987 with a double cleft lip and palate, and the doctors told my parents that I could never speak. It seems they were wrong because, at the age of 14, I sat behind a microphone on a real FM radio. I was bullied at school for so many years, and the radio studio was a wonderful refuge, to show what I was capable of, without people being able to see me. But my schoolmates were really in awe of what I was doing on the radio, "as the grown-ups", and they suddenly stopped making fun of me and became my first fans. Surprisingly, I wasn't "different" anymore. I've always hidden behind humor, and I won an eloquence contest when I was 15 and I made hundreds of people laugh without really realizing it.

You may understand why this song became one of my favs...

I would just like to say a few words to artists who don't believe in themselves, who feel mocked or rejected because they are in their bubble: trust yourself. Just because you're told you don't live up to standards doesn't mean you won't be able to do what you love. And just like I did, I wish you nail their beak with your talent.

From radio waves to IMC

So... I first started promoting indie music to FM radio listeners in 2001, when I was... 14! At that time, I was only doing this to help some of my favorite local bands. My interviews were full of jokes and funny games. Then created my own online radio station (called "Pop'N'rocK Radio") in 2005 when I was a student. And I realized the power of the internet. We were able to cross the borders and make these musicians known outside of their own country. While I kept on being active on several FM radio stations across the country, even big ones, my online radio station became a whole platform, and I started to write reviews about the songs played on the radio. So I started a blog called "Music For Your Heart" and I used to highlight powerful emotions and chills in indie music. For someone who wasn't supposed to speak French properly, I now spend my days working all in English with musicians from all over the world. I had to pause the project for a year in 2016 when my GF got cancer. My fights are always like this: 100% or nothing.

A growing community

When we knew she was out of danger, I came back to the project in 2017. And I needed something more than just writing reviews. I really wanted to help musicians to connect to each other. So it became much more than a blog, I wanted it to be a community. "Music For Your Heart" became "Indie Music Center" (because I really wanted my musicians to have a place to feel like home) and it continued to grow in the following years while I was working for the national healthcare system. Musicians submitted almost 10K songs to IMC and it quickly became difficult to manage alone. So at the beginning of 2021, Luna Keller, a wonderful singer-songwriter from Germany joined us and brought a younger and fresher point of view to IMC. We started hosting her podcast "Why Doesn't Everyone Know These Songs" on the platform, while it's still played on several radio stations, including ours. We were then joined by Joe Pope in June 2021, another amazing artist from Atlanta, who loves talking and writing about music and musicians, who enlarged this wonderful team.

In April 2021, we celebrated 1000 reviews and 10 000 listeners on the radio with a special week of celebration, including special interviews of some of our IMC Family members

We have always put quality before quality. But unfortunately, quality comes at a cost. And we found ourselves in difficulty during the summer of 2021, donations no longer covering our costs, and in particular those of the radio station. But our amazing community helped us save it with a great online event: a Raid Train on "Twitch". Luna invited like 15 artists to play non-stop music for 13 hours, and they saved the radio station and even more. They gave us some air for the next few months.


We currently have 2K listeners on the radio every month, which is pretty amazing for a radio station playing only indie music. And it's not over because the radio station already seduced more than 17K listeners. On the blog part, we have more than 5K returning readers every month, from 142 countries, to read our reviews, written with our hearts. On social media, our community is one of the most engaged, especially on Instagram. Having 30K fans on Instagram means nothing if only 10 of them really follow you and react to your content. Our engagement rate of more than 6% on certain posts (the average on Instagram is 1%) allows us to offer our artists quality visibility and our fans quality artists.


My next project is to launch IMC TV on Twitch soon. I will just hang out there with some artists, so they can play live music and feel comfortable. It will be really challenging for me cause I still hate to show my face to a camera. But I'd do anything for the sake of independent artists.

Are you ready to get chills and powerful emotions and chills thanks to Indie Music?

A special relationship with musicians

Who else could talk about our love for independent music than some of our featured artists themselves?