Our music licensing class does not enable us to cover artists who are truly independent. 

What does "truly independent" mean? This means that the artist has not submitted their material to a record label or Performance Rights Organization to be covered or represented by them. Perhaps they only play at open mic nights or have never released their material. If you receive permission from the musician or group directly granting use of their tracks on your station (via email or written permission), then they effectively are allowing you to play their songs without expectations of royalty compensation. 

Our music licenses from BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC (as well as their Canadian counterparts, SOCAN and Re:Sound, and U.K. counterparts, PPL and PRS for Music) cover approximately 95% of all commercially produced music (both for composers and performers). If your collection is derived from major record labels, then you are covered with a standard Live365 Broadcaster package. Most musicians are covered or represented by these PROs (Performing Rights Organizations). These PROs also have reciprocal agreements with international PROs. This means that it's also fine to play foreign music on your station.