Speaking to London's cosmic, neo-soul artist on her debut single 'Orbit', encapsulating her listeners with her lyricism and what to expect from her forthcoming EP.
What was the inspiration for your debut single, ‘Orbit’?
‘Orbit’ is about that obsessive desire to be with someone so bad that the feeling overwhelms you and transport you to another place where only you and your muse exist. It’s those indescribable feelings that make you want to protect everything you love and hold dear to you, whilst exploring the unthink and unimaginable.
What was your process for creating that track and who did you work with?
I wrote it back at Uni in second year, so this was like four years ago for my end of year performance. I wrote the lyrics and went into my band session and we created a jam around it. The original arrangement is very airy and soul central and it ended with a Latin progression.
I fell in love with the song as soon as I performed it and the response was great. Fast forward to present day, I wanted to translate the song to production and reached out to London-based producer Biggz. He listened to the original and I told him that I wanted it to be my debut single but it needed an edge. I have always loved electronic music and weird samples and that is the vision I had for 'Orbit'.
I wanted the listener to be taken through a journey and be transmitted through all these sounds and feel like they were out of space. He listened and came back with the beat that is now my single! There’s a West Coast flair with the leads, trap beats in the drums and that airy synth that creates a vibe, I have never heard.
What was the inspiration for the single’s artwork and how important are visuals to your music?
I wanted the artwork to really encapsulate feeling out of this world and literally show the listener ‘intergalactic fantasies’. Oi Oi! Fun fact that is actually a lyric from my song hahaha ... anyways, I essentially wanted to be portrayed as an Intergalactic Goddess and that's exactly how the artist Chloe Manning depicted me.
Visuals are incredibly important to me because they can translate to the listener the weird and wonderful vision you as an artist have for your music. Visuals can aid the impact that the record can have, as you are not only audibly stimulated, but visually too. There’s no limit with what you can create, so I like the feeling of being boundless.
"I like to be floating in between styles and not conform to stereotypes ... where's the fun in that?"
How important is your lyricism in creating vivid-imagery within your music?
Whenever I'm writing, I always keep at the forefront of my mind to tell a story and I try my best to do so. For, however, long the song is I want whoever listens to it to be taken on a journey and feel that with me.
Lyrics encapsulate people and take them through feelings they may not have experienced before. Sometimes you write something and it means something completely different to the listener and that's down to interpretation. I feel as long as it invokes something.
Who are your biggest inspirations, lyrically?
Ahhhhh that is such a hard question!! There are so many writers who I love, it so it would be impossible to narrow it down but off the top of my head, I love writers like; Ari Lennox, Anne-Marie, Esther Dean, Amy Winehouse, Etta Bond and of course Erykah Badu.
They all have written songs that I have listened to like “damnnnnn I wish I wrote that song!”, they just embody story-telling and experimental melodies that move my soul.
"When we performed, the electricity that vibrates off of you is contagious."
Sonically, what are you influenced by and how do you want to translate that into your own sound?
I grew up listening to legends like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and India Arie so at the core of my artistry neo-soul and jazz resonate deeply. Their early influence definitely shaped my tone and vibrato for sure!
Sonically, I’m influenced by genres that don’t conform to the norm. I think cookie-cutter music at times can be boring for the listeners and music is supposed to invoke feeling. I love nothing more than when a song has a section that I didn’t expect. Whether its borrowing harmony from other genres or rhythmic influences. I love when music bends the rules and fuses styles, after all, music is creative expression. So why shouldn't we have artistic licence to make whatever we want?
I definitely think that belief is something that translates and will continue to translate and develop as I continue to create. I want my sound to have a flavour that is tailored to me so as soon as it starts you know that’s an Ind¡g0 record. Having that strong neo-soul core but painted with electronica, dipped in future soul, hip-hop and whatever else inspires me during creation!
What can we expect from your forthcoming debut EP?
Oooooooo..The EP is definitely going to be career-defining, it will be the first body of work that I release so it's going to be a telescope into my artistry. Expect a sensory overload that will transport you into a space that I dominant and have created to call my own. I wanna be experimental, innovative and leave you all gagging for more! Be prepared to be taken on a journey and expect the unexpected.
What does ‘Ind¡g0’ stand for and what do you want your listeners to take away from your music?
The name actually came to me in a dream and it kind of stuck really. As a colour, it's that rich hue between dark blue and purple and there’s an ongoing debate to what colour family it belongs to. Similar to my music, I like to be floating in between styles and not conform to stereotypes because wheres the fun in that? Not to mention the spiritual links to the colour that evoke deep thought, wisdom and creativity.
I want listeners to take away from my music me, as weird as it sounds my music is how I express myself and I channel and put my all into anything I create. I think music is a powerful bond that can be a vice to connect an artist and listener. I want my listeners to feel that they are apart of a movement.
Who influenced you to first get into music and who is inspiring you today?
I was lucky enough to be born into a family where music is integral to our lives. My childhood consisted of my mum blasting out vinyls or cassettes of a variety of genres such as; Neo-Soul, 90s RnB, New Jack Swing and Garage.
I joined a gospel choir with my Mum when I was seven, and honestly have been singing ever since! When we performed the electricity that vibrates off of you is contagious and I knew I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
I’ve always drawn inspiration from a variety of sources – simply because my music taste is so eclectic. I love jazz, RnB, neo-soul, house, electronica, garage ... I could literally go on! But right now, I’m listening to a lot of hybrid artists who bend genres and kinda make their own rules on a frequency I hope to develop my artistry with. So artists like; Etta Bond, Sophie Lowe, Zilo and Thundercat create their own space that they dominate and I intend to do the same.
If you had to recommend 5 artists to your listeners, who would they be?
What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?
Oooooooo now that would be telling, wouldn't it! I am definitely manifesting BIG THINGS, hopefully, some collaborations and releasing new music! In an ideal world, I would love to have some gigs lined up so we will have to wait and see. Regardless of the outcome, I have a really good feeling about this year! Expect more music, more content and witnessing the evolution of Ind¡g0.