interview. INDI and the soul-stirring ‘Corps’

It stands as a testament to INDI's ability to translate her own emotional experiences into a musical bijou
5 December 2023

London/Brighton artist INDI introduces her latest single, Corps. This emotionally charged track unravels a deep personal journey, inspired by the artist’s experiences in Paris during the lockdowns, where she immersed herself in language learning and soul-searching.

INDI stumbled upon Corps during a session with producer Bedlam, who encouraged her to sing a song that held deep personal meaning. The hauntingly beautiful melody and the raw passion in INDI’s performance sparked a collaboration resulting in a cover that resonates with the universal theme of dislocation and yearning. Corps stands as a testament to INDI’s ability to translate her own emotional experiences into a musical bijou.

The chorus lyric, “I’ve lost my mind, where is the way home,” mirrors INDI’s feelings of disconnection during her time in Paris, becoming the soundtrack to her journey of self-reconnection.

Not limited to her musical prowess, INDI is also a visual artist who seamlessly intertwines her creativity. The cover artwork for Corps showcases a series of paintings created by INDI, expressing the disconnection from self and the concept that emotions are stored within our bodies as a self-protection strategy.

INDI’s passion for singing as a conduit for emotional expression surfaced early in life. Her musical journey truly took flight at 16 when she embraced songwriting and picked up the guitar. Seeking a producer who shared her creative vision, she found synergy with Bedlam, leading to the creation of a sound uniquely her own.

Drawing influences from notable artists like Holly Humberstone, Olivia Dean, Lana Del Rey, and Billie Eilish, INDI has carved out a distinctive space in the music world. Her collaborative track Naughty with Black Pepper earned her the spotlight on the main stage at Manchester Pride, receiving recognition on Gaydio.

With a bright future ahead, INDI is unquestionably a rising star. Join us in following her journey and delve into the world of INDI through our exclusive chat with her…

I took off alone to Paris spontaneously, where I lived in a studio apartment with a piano and had planned to write and clear my head for a month

Your latest single, Corps, reflects a personal journey. Can you elaborate on how the lyrics mirror your feelings of disconnection and the process of creating this song with producer Bedlam?

When I heard “Corps” for the first time I was captivated by the melody, and Yseult’s voice – which I’m still amazingly in awe of. After translating the lyrics I realised that, for months, I had been singing a song that was all about losing a sense of home, loss of clarity, self-doubt and the hope of rediscovering ones path – all things I was experiencing at that time. A couple of years later the producer Bedlam and I were in the studio and he asked me to sing a song that had a deep connection with. I sang ‘Corps’ and we immediately decided to record a version that captured my unique feelings at the time. It was an incredible experience working with Bedlam on this track. It felt like a full-circle moment. 

Moving to Paris between lockdowns to learn French and immerse in music, how did the experience influence your approach to songwriting and your artistic vision?

Being in Paris, I had the space I needed to rebuild my confidence, to experiment and reconnect with music. I had fallen in love with Taylor Swift’s album “Folklore”, where she worked remotely with Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff and collaborated with Bon Iver on a track. I wasn’t really a ‘Swifty’ before this album, but the songwriting felt so raw and natural. That inspiration in combination with being in Paris in ‘August’ really unlocked my songwriting and I had a creative rebirth in many ways. I found this to be a pivotal moment within my artistic journey.

The chorus lyric “I’ve lost my mind, where is the way home” is a powerful statement. Can you share more about the significance of these lyrics and how they became the focal point of the song?

COVID triggered a sense of being misplaced. I was lucky enough to have human interaction, however I was experiencing loneliness, isolation and disconnection. I felt a loss of home, sense of self, which created a spiral of self-doubt and an urge to get away. I took off alone to Paris spontaneously, where I lived in a studio apartment with a piano and had planned to write and clear my head for a month. I had been stagnant and felt the need to shake it all up.

You are not only a musician but also a visual artist. How did your series of paintings expressing disconnection from self and emotions being stored in the body influence the creation of the cover artwork for Corps?

When I started painting, my only plan was to not ‘control’ the outcome and to allow my body and mind to express freely. I tried to step out of my mind and my emotions just fell into the painting. I mostly paint with bold colours and textures. However, this time it came out unusually monochrome which to my understanding, reflected the feeling of human disconnection and visual desaturation. I felt an urge to paint a vulnerable girl curled up in the centre of the chaotic textural landscape. I ran with this idea and couldn’t stop painting different bodies and human shapes within textural monochromatic scapes. When I look at the paintings, I see the powerful human response of negative emotions stored in the muscles and the suppression of trauma. Everyone will have their subjective experience with an art form.

Alongside the desaturated concept, I found the final track emotive and vibrant. It liberated those monochrome feelings so I reworked my first painting digitally with bold colours to represent that. A live performance one-shot video of “Corps” will be released on Friday, 15th December, and in the video, you can see this series of paintings floating in the background.

Your musical journey took off at the age of 16 when you picked up a guitar and started songwriting. How has your artistic vision evolved since then, and what role has experimentation played in shaping your unique sound?

A combination of tonsillitis, boredom and the inability to practice music my usual way led to picking up a guitar at age 16. This was the beginning of my songwriting journey. I struggle to express myself through speech. Music and painting have been a method of self-soothing first and foremost, but also a conduit for self expression. I’d often find myself in creative trances, painting for hours without blinking (so it felt) or spending a whole day songwriting or singing every melisma from Rhianna’s “Good Girl Gone Bad”. I think a lot of my experimentation happened in these trance-like moments. 

What are some of the most challenging aspects of your creative process, and how do you overcome them?

The centrality of social media in the music industry is something I’ve had to adapt to, but the biggest creative challenge has been learning to trust my gut and understanding when to let go of perfectionism. 

It can often be difficult to juggle conflicting advice in music business with the eagerness to learn, collaborate and create something authentic. To overcome this, I have surrounded myself with like-minded people who can challenge me creatively but encourage my authenticity. It makes for a fun and innovative environment! Bedlam is a very talented musician and producer who encourages and enhances the integration of my multimedia art and creative journey, and I am wildly grateful to be working together. 

What are the most important qualities of a great song?

Authentic storytelling. Every experience is subjective, but holds a shared truth. It’s amazing how music can invoke emotion – happiness, empathy, reflection etc. A perfect example of this is my guilty pleasure song; “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes, it’s fun and ‘good vibes’, with quite a deep story that entails a surprising twist at the end! Many people overlook the story until they actively listen to the lyrics. I do have an unapologetic love for it!

Tell me about your last gig – what did you play, how did it feel…

It was an open mic with my friend and French tutor/vocal coach Clara, who accompanied me on the piano. We performed some classics such as; “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, and “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra, alongside some originals. My housemates and Boyfriend were all there, laughing at my accidental jokes between songs and securing me with a pint for after. I always feel a sense of release when I sing, especially with other musicians. It’s a shared zone that cannot be replicated. 

What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?

As a society I feel we have become slightly detached, subconsciously or not. It would be cool to know that my music resonates and makes people feel more connected and encourages self-expression in some way. It’s a dream that my music one day might offer a sense of home or healing to a stranger in times of struggle or happiness.

What can we expect from you in 2024?

2024 is locked and loaded. This whole project has snowballed my inspiration. I have an EP coming out early next year, followed by part 2 of the Corps project, including another live performance one-shot video which will be released in Spring. There will be painting, songwriting, music releases and live performances which include more multimedia elements.