The Independent Artists’ Liberty through Social Media

12Sep11

Producer, director and writer Issa RaeThe interconnectivity of the global market has opened new avenues to independent artists, creating a new wave of art that is more interactive and audience-centric than the Studio market of record labels, television, and cinema.  This has created opportunities for emerging artists to not only cater to specific audiences’ needs but it allows them the liberty of freedom of expression without Studio restrictions. There are many examples of this; from M.C. Front A Lot’s Nerd Core Rap to the web series “The Guild” but one of the most recent examples of this emerging art is a web series entitled, “Awkward Black Girl“.

“Awkward Black Girl” was created by Issa Rae, who felt that the depiction of African Americans via the mainstream television lens was skewed and did not accurately portray or lend a voice to this ethnic group.  Rae said that, “…it’s frustrating to look at the screen and only be able to relate to people like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, people who don’t look like me.” 1 “Susan Fales-Hill, who produced and wrote for the long-running NBC situation comedy “A Different World,” called Rae’s work fresh, incisive, and non-stereotypical. “She is showing an educated, African-American woman leading an integrated life and a professional woman with friends of many different nationalities and backgrounds, and just trying to make her way,” Fales-Hill said.”1

Rae has directly filled an audience’s need that was not being addressed by the mainstream market by utilizing social media. “”Social media is what made the show honestly,” Rae said. “Had it not been for social media, this show just wouldn’t have been what it is today. I couldn’t have done this 10 years ago.””1   The proof of the success of her unique voice is exemplified by the fact that the product she has created has gone on to be self-sustaining via the support she garnered via donations to the series through the social media marketing of her product.

Russell McGee

1S. A. ANDERSON, Diverse Web Series Grows Through Social Media, WWW Document, (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=14484023).

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