Music Features

Indiana (Interview)

Nottingham-based singer songwriter Indiana has been steadily garnering support for her music over the past couple of years.  And that support took a significant step up earlier this year with the release of the disco-infused Solo Dancing.  The song reached number 1 on the Hype Machine, was crowned Hottest Record of the World on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and was remixed by the legendary Joe Goddard (he of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears fame).  Who knows where her next single could take her?

After a stunning set at the Bristol leg of this year's Dot to Dot festival and ahead of a headline performance on the BBC Introducing stage at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, Craig Stevens caught up with Indiana to discuss topics including lion tattoos, Prince and wolf howling.


Craig:  Great set!

Indiana:  Thanks! It's a brand new set, I've not performed it before this weekend, so I'm really happy with the reaction. It's a difficult balance to get right, because some people want to hear new stuff, some want to sing along to the old stuff. But everyone seems to be liking the new stuff.

C:  And your new set coincides with a headline set at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend tomorrow...

I:  Yeah, although tomorrow's set is a little shorter, just six songs, and I'm including some older songs that made it on to the Radio 1 playlist. I'm looking forward to it. And I'm looking forward to seeing some of the other acts that are performing as well.

C:  Judging by the quality of the songs included in your set today, it certainly sounds as though Solo Dancing won't be a one-hit wonder. In fact, it sounds as though you have an arsenal of songs ready to launch upon the world. What are your plans for the next few months? Is there an album on the way?

I:  I've got a new single coming out at the end of July, and we're shooting the video for that in the next couple of weeks. There are rehearsals for festivals going on in the background but at the moment, it's the next single that's taking over my life. As for the album, that's done and dusted. There's a release date for some point later this year and it goes on iTunes pre-order in a week.

C:  You mentioned festivals, which festivals are you playing this year?

I:  I'm playing No Tomorrow, Wireless, Bestival and Camp Bestival, and Beacons. And there may be further festivals still to be announced...

C:  I saw the photo you uploaded to Facebook the other day of the new tattoo you're having done on your arm, of a lion. Does the lion bear any special significance?

I:  Well, I love animals. And lions are probably my favourite animal. And I'm a Leo!

C:  On the subject of animals, did you hear the audience wolf howling between songs in your set? I was wondering if there was any reason behind that, do your performances always tend to invoke strange reactions?!

I:  No, never! I didn't know what was going on. I asked my bandmates on stage, “What are they doing?” And they simply said, “They're howling!” But I don't mind - as long as they're cheering me on rather than booing me off, it's fine!

C:  With BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend tomorrow, you're obviously not able to make your home leg of the Dot to Dot festival in Nottingham, which is a shame. But you are playing there in a couple of weeks time for No Tomorrow festival?

I:  Yeah, and I'm on the main stage, so there'll hopefully be a really good crowd. It should be awesome.

C:  There have been a number of acts break through from Nottingham in the past couple of years – as well as yourself, most notably, Jake Bugg and Dog is Dead. Are there any other Nottingham acts bubbling under that we should be looking out for?

I:  Well, there's Saint Raymond and Amber Run, to name but two. In fact, there are an awful lot of artists coming out of Nottingham and I think there always has been a lot of talent there. But I think Jake's brought Nottingham to everyone's attention and perhaps shone a light on us.

C:  Solo Dancing has attracted some incredible remixes, not least from Joe Goddard. How did that come about?

I:  I emailed Joe personally to ask him to do it. I've always been a huge fan of his work, so it was quite special that he did. I did a piano cover of his song Gabriel, and posted it on Youtube. The original composer of that song, John Beck, contacted me and we started working together. John knew Joe and so that's how I got hold of him. But I didn't know Joe before I emailed him!

C:  I saw you posted about going to see Prince last week. How was that?

I:  Awesome. But as much as I really enjoyed it, I was really envious. I just wanted to run past everyone, get on stage and start singing my songs!

C:  When you go to see gigs, do you look at them in a completely different light to before you started gigging yourself?

I:  Definitely. I look at the set-up, the production, the crowd. I look at the crowd a lot more than I used to. I look at the crowd and think, “Wow, that could be for me one day!” When Prince was clapping his hands and everyone started clapping with him, I just thought, “I want to make people do that!” Visually, it's a nice thing to look at when a sea of people, in sync, are all clapping at the same time as one another. Or when he picks a guitar up and starts playing a riff and everyone knows what it is, and the crowd goes mad... I want that.

For full details of Indiana's upcoming festival dates, check out her Facebook page -