Interview: "BE" - Indyana
"BE" is a magically hypnotic track - what was your inspiration for this song, and what does it mean to you?
Indyana: I’ve always been drawn to the galaxy and to finding ways of linking it back to myself. The vision for this song was birthed when, one day, I looked into the mirror and came to the realisation that I wasn’t merely looking at ‘me.’ I was looking at the entire universe, at the stars. After all, that’s what we are made of. Star stuff. In my opinion, the natural world provides a much truer reflection of ourselves than a mirror does, and ‘BE’ is a song to help remind people of this, hence the lyrics ‘you’re amazing, I’m stargazing’. I incorporated the mirror theme in the bridge section of the song in the music video, too; I acknowledge the mirror, reject the mirror and return to my true purpose; to be, live, go and give.
What nudged you in the direction of music, and when did you decide it was something you wanted to pursue?
Indyana: As with most musicians, it started from a very young age. I always loved to sing, and I was raised listening to a wide variety of genres, all the way from heavy metal to sleep music, which opened my mind to loving many forms of music. I was also inspired by my mother and her sisters’ band ‘Rezzalp.’ I heard them song-write and rehearse throughout a large portion of my childhood. However, on a completely different level, I believe that my passion for music truly began at age 9 when I was given the ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ soundtrack. For the first time, I understood just how impactful sound could be on a person’s life. It seems almost absurd to me that my 9-year-old self was so enthralled with a film score…but I was. Then and there, my heart knew what it wanted in life; emotional oscillation and lots of it.
Of your live performance experiences, which ones stick with you most and why?
Indyana: As you know from my track ‘BE’, I am a singer. However, I was raised as a classical musician on the violin and viola. This might not be the answer you were expecting, but my favourite live performances to date have been with orchestras at venues such as MRC, Hamer Hall, and Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The complexity of orchestral pieces (particularly from the Romantic and 20th Century eras) is so representative of what drives me to create at all. I have cried during almost every orchestral performance I’ve ever been a part of. My biggest dream is to ignite these same intense emotions and feelings of connectedness with my own musical storytelling someday.
How many instruments do you currently play, and do you have your eye on learning any others in the near future?
Indyana: I play violin, viola, piano, guitar and I sing! I also recently added a steel tongue drum to my collection, which is a really grounding instrument to play. An instrument that I have always wanted to learn is the harp. Whenever I envision my future, a small part of it takes place in a sun-lit room with gold dancing on the walls, reflecting off of my ornate pedal harp. I’m excited for that desire to come to fruition.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Indyana: My favourite part about being an artist is having ideas. The first idea for a new song, the seventeenth idea when trialing it at an instrument, the fiftieth idea when recording it, and the thousandth idea when bringing the song to a live performance venue. The light-bulb moments; they’re endless. It’s the most childlike, pure, and thrilling experience; to imagine. My imagination goes in all directions. To every extreme of joy and darkness. It has led me to deep sorrow, to panic attacks, and to existentialism. But it has also led me to ecstasy. Unparalleled ecstasy. Nothing makes me feel more alive or more human.
If you had to explain yourself through an album, which would you choose and why?
Indyana: My debut album, which is currently in the works, is unquestionably what best represents me. However, seeing as that’s not out in the world just yet, I have no other answer than, again, the ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ soundtrack by Nicholas Hooper. I know it doesn’t make much sense to define myself through a soundtrack that is so obviously about a certain set of characters in a certain world. But it’s the only answer that makes sense to me. This film score lies at the core of who I am and of why I create. Perhaps it doesn’t necessarily represent ‘me,’ but, in a sense, it does, and it always will because it never fails to remind me of who I am
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass