Bringing a new kind of sexy back, a stark, exposed experience in song form, singer/songwriter, and producer Indiana rips through our understanding of all that is good in the world, and in the process, shakes us to the core.
Through her sparse, and slightly corrupted tales, the young starlet paints a dark, haunting picture of the world as she sees it – she isn’t asking you to come hither or fawn. Instead, she’s doing so much more, she’s baring her soul. Evoking a pain that has touched us all on some level drips through harsh percussion as haunting choir notes writhe and creep behind Indiana’s shrill, sultry cries – a feeling that’s almost too intimate to be sung aloud. Beneath a bassline that speaks to your body in all the right places, the Nottingham singer’s take on soul flirts recklessly with R&B, crawling on its knees towards you ensuring your eyes (and ears) are locked for every move.
The odds that this young starlet has ever been to Indiana are slim, but we can’t be mad – her sexy, brooding music is too captivating to care what it’s called. Best Fit was lucky enough to nab one of the first introductions with her, so read on as we talk inspirations, Frank Ocean, the future, and so much more.
You possess this sense of raw emotion, in your recordings and your live performances, that other artists lack. It’s something that feels very tangible. Can you talk about where that comes from?
I think I’ve learnt to channel my emotion. I lost my Dad when I was 17 in a very traumatic way and my childhood leading up to that moment was pretty tough. It wasn’t until I discovered music that I learnt how to deal with the stuff I’ve been through. I think you can hear the pain in my voice, it’s like a release. I’m not bottling it up anymore and acting out… I use it as a tool. Some people say Dad left me, but he left me with a gift… it just took me a while to discover it.
Your music is soulful and a bit bluesy, with pop and R&B elements scattered throughout. Where do you draw your musical influences from?
I love James Blake, I love his voice and production. The xx, Portishead and Gary Numan have all played a part in creating my sound.
Do you have a particular process for writing and recording songs?
Not really, it can start from anywhere. From a beat in the studio to a chord progression on the piano. It rarely starts with a lyric. Normally I’ll hear something of someone else’s and want to interpret it in my own way.
Your cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Swim Good’ was completely unexpected but truly brilliant. Are you a big Frank Ocean fan?
Yes. I still have channel orange on repeat in my car. He takes chances with his music, he’s inventive, creative, innovative… I like to think I am too. Hopefully I can pull it off as well as Frank!
What other artists are you currently a big fan of?
I do like Clean Bandits stuff. Their stuff is fresh and exciting.
Did you have any music idols as a kid?
Me and my sister used to make up dances to Michael Jackson songs… but who didn’t?
How long have you been singing and writing music?
About 2 years now.
You were discovered by Grammy-nominated composer and songwriter, John Beck. What has it been like to work with him?
Ha, its funny I just know him as John. It’s been amazing. I’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible. I owe so much to him. But equally, if we didn’t connect the way we do, we wouldn’t still be working together. We have something, he brings out something in me I never knew was there and I think that works both ways.
When you were working with John Beck on your first song ‘Blind As I Am’ were you going by “Indiana”, or another name?
My birth name is Lauren, I was still deciding what to call myself. I had a YouTube page called musicbyl (urgh) which is where John found my cover of Gabriel. Thankfully I discovered Indiana before we finished ‘Blind As I Am’.
You call yourself, a “Raider of Arks”. What’s the story behind that?
It’s just a nod to Indiana Jones, which is where Indiana came from.
Congrats on signing with Sony! What can listeners expect from your debut album?
Cheers! And… All killer no filler!
Any collaborations on your album or in the near future?
No not as of yet, I’d love some remixes of my stuff though.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far in your music career?
I haven’t really learnt any industry lessons, but I have properly grown as a person. Discovering my voice and songwriting has changed so much about me. I’m so much more creative than I ever thought. I’m now a singer/songwriter as well as producer, short film writer, designer, director… it’s crazy!
What can we expect from Indiana in 2013?
More music, videos, clothes and probably a dozen hairstyles.
Any closing words/shout outs?
I’m part-owner of the clothing label, Some Kind Of Nature. I’m one of the designers, check out my stuff!