'Indiependence' explores ATL's self-made music hustle

City's music community seen through the eyes of independent artists


Chances are the casual music listener thinks of Atlanta as <a href="http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/04/29/a-speakerfoxxx-guided-tour-of-atlanta-hip-hop-capital" target=_blank">"America's Hip-Hop Capital" or the place "<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/t-magazine/in-atlanta-where-hip-hop-meets-strip-clubs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0" target="_blank" target=_blank">where rappers who want to make it big get their start by making it rain." Well, well, well, yes and no. Musically, ATL is a lot of things, but most consistently, it's a southern metropolis where the independent, creative spirit rings louder than any trap anthem at your nearby gentlemen's club.

Local writer/director Annette Brown's doc Indiependence, Vol. 1 asks the question: "Wouldn't it be great if Atlanta was not only known as a great music city but as a city where artists could make a living from their craft?" Featuring interviews with everybody from <a href="http://thedojocollective.com/" target="_blank" target=_blank">Jack Preston, <a href="http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2015/01/13/bosco-channels-missy-elliott-michael-jackson-and-hype-williams" target=_blank">BOSCO, and <a href="http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/11/21/ruby-velle-and-the-soulphonics-tried-on-a-smile" target=_blank">Ruby Velle to <a href="http://clatl.com/atlanta/warrior-princess/Content?oid=1236159" target=_blank">Joi Gilliam , and Speech of <a href="http://clatl.com/atlanta/speech-and-arrested-development-make-a-strong-case-for-consciousness/Content?oid=2358774" target=_blank">Arrested Development, the film chronicles ATL's history as a creative melting pot for artists, but also the highs and lows of making a career out of music.

"I felt like Atlanta’s independent music scene was so diverse and so talented, but these artists were not getting the recognition they deserve," says Brown, a photographer who spent a lot of her career shooting more mainstream artists. "Many of them find it challenging to live off of their art. The music industry has changed so much over the past few years and I felt like there had to be a way for artists to capitalize on that by using the resources now available to them."

Brown (with the help of friend Elizah Turner) says she worked in collaboration with each artists for the individual segments. As the title suggest, the docs will be broken down by volume, featuring different artists and topics. Brown's goal with Indiependence is to bridge more social, political, and cultural gaps via the city's tight-knit independent music community.

"I decided to do this documentary to showcase some of Atlanta’s artistic talent to the rest of the world and to try to build a cohesive community where artists, business, fans, and government are all supporting one another," she says. "I honestly feel like as a city, everyone can benefit from that."

<a href="https://www.freshtix.com/events/indiependence-day" target="_blank" target=_blank">Indiependence Day. With performances from Ruby Velle, Jack Preston, and Afua Richardson. $10-$15. Sat. Jan. 24. Screening starts at 9 p.m.; performances at 10 p.m. The Music Room, 327 Edgewood Ave. S.E 404-343-4404.