TONY WOLFE / SENIOR WRITER
Kris Perez is, by his own admission, not a musician.
“I can’t play an instrument to save my life,” he said, laughing. “I have a guitar, and I had a drumset when I was younger, but I just never have time for it. My siblings are much better at playing instruments than me.”
With or without musical gifts, music has nonetheless always been a major part of the Ohio University sophomore’s life. Perez, who studies journalism, attended live music shows in Columbus, just outside his hometown Pickerington, throughout high school, and during his junior year, matched that lifelong passion with another interest that was just budding at the time – journalism.
The result is The Indie Sound, a website developed and run by Perez that publishes reviews and artist features focusing on lesser-known, up-and-coming artists.
“Anybody can write about the new Adele song or the new Beyonce release, whoever’s out there who’s a big artist,” Perez, who is a former Post reporter, said. “But with this site, I want to shed some light on some of these lesser-known artists who I think have potential to skyrocket.”
The intention was not always to gain a significant readership with the site, though. In the beginning, The Indie Sound was The Indie Review, a blog Perez worked with on the side as a hobby. Then, a post on the blog about a cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” racked up 1,500 reads in its first night of being published, and Perez began to see potential for something bigger.
Months later, he bought a domain name, and had close friends contribute to help the publication gain extra voices. Before long, however, Perez began receiving emails from other writers who shared his passion for putting the spotlight on artists people don’t usually hear about every day. At first, they mostly came from other local music fans in Columbus, but then Perez started hearing from people as far away as New York and Chicago.
“I found The Indie Sound through my friend Emma, who also goes to OU and occasionally writes for the site,” Cory Schoonover, a contributor for The Indie Sound and a sophomore at Columbia University, said. “The editors are all great and encourage whatever content you're able to whip up. They're also crazy understanding of the time constraints and fiscal constraints that come with being in college, seeing as they're all in the same boat.”
The website carries a staff of 17 writers and has attained about 76,000 unique visits since its launch in 2015. Perez said one of the aspects he’s most proud of in the early stages of the site has been the festivals he and his writers have already been approved to cover, such as last year’s PromoWest Fest in Columbus.
“I consider Kris a great friend of mine with an amazing work ethic and one of the most outgoing personalities I’ve ever met,” Diana Buchert, a staff writer and editor for The Indie Sound, said. “After joining (The Indie Sound), I began with album and concert reviews and have since covered Fashion Meets Music Festival twice with Kris and the gang, and started a TBT blog thing that lasted like 4 weeks.”
As a student at OU, Perez no longer has the time for concerts that he did when he was in high school, or while he worked for the Columbus alternative radio station CD102.5 last summer. Still, Perez has big plans for the site and the direction he’d like for it to take. By the end of the year, he has a goal of 100,000 visitors to the site. Beyond that, he’d like to see it continue growing as a notable and reliable destination to find music news.
“The goal I have is to turn it into something known, to have people know about The Indie Sound,” Perez said. “Maybe, one day, turn it into a well-known publication here in Ohio or a well-known online music publication that focuses on those smaller artists people don’t really know about.”
Photos by: Emma Howells / Photo Editor
Developed by: Seth Archer / Digital Managing Editor