As the Indianapolis music scene continues to grow and evolve in new ways, it's important that a new generation of journalists and critics ascend to create spaces for documenting and disseminating the work of emerging young artists.
Music journalist Ariana Beedie was seeking to do just that when she launched her new digital media platform Face à Face this summer.
The content on FAF runs deeper than the strictly musical. Beedie and her contributors also offer editorial opinions on everything from gentrification in Indy, to the Black Lives Matter movement.
NUVO: My impression of FAF is that you’re covering music, social justice, and culture at large — but from a different perspective than we might see in more established publications.
Ariana Beedie: You really captured it. I wanted to start something that covered a full scope. I just know that I have a different experience than you do, and a different experience than my contributors do. We just wanted to shine light on what we see. It's a cultural hub for millennials in Indianapolis to shine light on what they see.
NUVO: Before starting FAF you were active as a music journalist and, if I’m not mistaken, you contributed content to the much loved site AfroPunk.
Beedie: Yes, I contributed a few stories to AfroPunk.
It was totally freelance. I had some ideas, emailed someone, and I got picked up. That was back in 2012 or 2013. And I wrote specifically about hip-hop for AfroPunk.
NUVO: One thing I really appreciate about FAF is that you're covering music and social justice shoulder to shoulder. That's something I've tried to do in my work for NUVO and I think it's important to connect these themes.
Music is such a big part of that movement. It's more than just a soundtrack for the movement, it's often the inspiration for people to even begin thinking about ideas relating to race, justice and equality. That was certainly true in my case. And in your case, you're directly involved with these issues as an activist. You're a member of the Indy 10, which is affiliated with the national Black Lives Matter movement.
Beedie: We are the Black Lives Matter
group in Indianapolis. Indy 10 was founded by two beautiful and amazing Black women that I love, Leah Humphrey and Kyra Harvey.
Indy 10 was a blessing for me.
I had just moved back to Indianapolis and I saw that they were really doing things as far as standing up for Black Lives Matter and just raising their voices. I went to a few meetings and joined and they welcomed me into their inner circle. They really get out on the front-lines and connect with other organizations like DON'T SLEEP. They are really standing up and in the face of the police — not to spread hatred at all, which is the common misconception. But just to make people aware that this is clearly still an issue we're dealing with. It's good to see people in Indy really stepping up for the cause.
NUVO: So how does your work in social justice influence you as a music journalist?
Beedie: I feel like music pushes everything for me. As far as my activism, it can be hard out there dealing with hatred against a group you're part of, or someone that you support. Having music as that backbone is key. I gotta keep my A Tribe Called Quest on. I gotta keep my soulful music that makes me feel like home and family. It definitely plays a part, and not just hip-hop. I love punk rock, and that real urmph! I don't even know what to call it, but that feeling in punk rock that just makes you want to fight for what's right. And reggae music, it pushes you with the positive and sustains you when you may feel like your spirit is low. Music influences every aspect of my life, even the activism.