Indie Rooftop is seven-part documentary series that explores the world of some independent music artists.
Each episode is about 20 minutes long and features one artist at a time as they talk about the journey, highlighting their struggles and experiences as indie artists navigating the challenges that come with their growing popularity.
Interestingly, the acts cut across a vast range of genres and styles of music.
In the docu-series, the artists are seen performing some of their tunes on a rooftop terrace with either a DJ, an accompanying guitarist or a full band. Each performance is interspersed with inserts of their interviews talking about their lives and some of the motivations and influences for their music.
They also share some interesting views are perspectives that seemed to be influenced by how and where they grew up.
One of the acts that I found quite interesting is a folk singer with the stage name Land is Rising who is the focus of the fifth episode. His music talks about his interesting worldviews and philosophy that seems to tie into his Native American roots. He also talks about volunteering and activism that is targeted at saving the earth and making the world a better place.
Considering that the focus of this documentary series is the music, it is disappointing to note that there are some challenges with the sound production for the live performances. For several of the acts, you can barely hear them sing or rap audibly enough. Even though the performances are in an open space with external interferences that are beyond the control of the production team. I still believe a much better job could have been done to ensure that the best output of the live performances is captured particularly because of the purpose of this film.
However, this doesn’t take anything away from the individual acts and their commitment to making sure they performed to the best of their abilities. It is easy to identify what the unique strengths of each other acts are and how that seems to influence their style or choice of music.
You are sure to find yourself either tapping your feet, bumping your head or trying to sing along to some of the performances as the series progresses.
My favourite among the indie acts would be Will Jordan who is featured in the final episode. He appears to be the most experienced of the talents. Besides sharing his journey through music, he talks about his experiences on the industry side as a songwriter and also on the personal side as an indie act trying to make a name for himself. Even with a Grammy nomination to his credit, he admits that he has his work cut out for him if wants to succeed as a performing artist.
By the end of the docu-series, you would have gotten properly introduced to seven unique and talented artists in this experience. You can only hope and wish them well with their career in what is a very competitive and brutal industry.
I would score Indie Rooftop 3.5 out of 5 stars. Despite the terrible issues with the sound that takes away from the unique experience that this docu-series sought to provide, it is an interesting watch.