Nights In

Interview: indiana

British singer-songwriter Lauren Henson, known more familiarly as Indiana, is gearing up for her inaugural visit to Ireland on Sunday 17th May to the Workman’s Club here in Dublin. She was on her way to rehearsals as we spoke and explained that she is really excited for her first visit.
Having signed to Sony Records in 2013, February 2015 saw the release of her new album No Romeo, which can boast possession of thirteen tracks in its entirety. She defines and articulates her sound as, “80s inspired electro pop with haunting vocals and intelligent lyrics.”
She also names Gary Newman as a profound musical influence and explained that she is listening to 80’s retro rave at the moment, calling it “really cinematic music”. Her songs include a lot of themes including empowerment and the strength of women and she explained that these are important personal issues to her.
“The process of writing songs is different all the time,” she explained. “At the moment I am sat at my piano a lot, working on songs and then I go into the studio. For the best part of the album I wrote a lot of the songs within a studio environment with production and working on melodies and stuff. And now I’m just getting back to basics so I am enjoying just sitting at my piano.”
Inspiration wise, I asked if there are specific triggers to entice and stimulate creativity and the process of writing lyrics. “Yeah definitely, like emotionally,” she responded, outlining that, “if something happens to me the first thing I want to do is write about it.” However she does admit that she can get “inspiration from everything really”. 
On that note of writing songs, I inquired how she came to work with fellow songwriter John Beck and co-write the song Blind as I am. “I put a song online on YouTube and it was a dance track I really liked called Gabriel and he got in touch because he originally wrote the song and he was just checking his hits on the main video and he saw my little cover and he watched it for a laugh really,” she explained.

“He wanted to laugh at whoever did a silly cover of it and he said he wasn’t laughing when he saw mine and asked if we wanted to work together. He preferred my version to his. I couldn’t believe it.. I thought it was a weirdo at first.. it took about four days before I Googled him and emailed him and I finally said yeah I will come down,” she laughed. 

Indiana also cites the 2011 noir art-house film Drive as being a major influence on her work. On this she said that the screenplay and the cinematography are “just perfect” and added that it really made her appreciate cinematography and made her want to get more into video direction. It also influenced a lot of the sound from her album. “It’s an amazing film and Ryan Gosling is beautiful,” she gushed; a statement which and was met with a resounding agreement on my part.
On that note, I asked if acting would be something that she would consider in the future. “You know, I wanted to be an actor before I wanted to be a singer. I think it would be too much for me at the moment. I would love a little cameo in Coronation Street,” she continued. “On a serious note I really would love to act in a proper film.”
As she is soon coming to Ireland, it was impossible not to ask about her connection with Irish band The Script. “I was invited to sing for the Queen with them, we did a David Bowie song in BBC Radio 1 live lounge for the Queen. It was quite surreal. I was about seven or eight months pregnant at the time. Kate [Middleton] happened to be pregnant at the same time and I really wanted to say to the Queen, I have a baby in my tummy too. It was a surreal moment in my life.”
In addition to a music career, she runs a fashion label and has two young children. On asking about the challenges of jugging a career and motherhood, she said that there is a “solid momentum”.

“I have my mum and their dad at home to help out and look after them and make sure they are fed and watered,” she said. “I miss them terribly, but then when I am home I am able to work from home. I have a recording studio at home and me and James, their dad, can write music together, so to be able to do that in a home environment is great. There are times when I am probably home far too much, and they must get sick of the sight of me,” she joked.

After this tour, Indiana has many festival performances lined up. She shared that she loves festivals and she thinks that they might be her favourite thing. “You get the buzz of playing for people and then you get to go party with them,” she laughed. “And I will have some time off from being mummy and I can have a few beers and watch different bands play and think ‘wow I am working right now,'” she said with a laugh.
I asked if either or both of her kids are showing any inclination towards music. “Etta, my youngest, is twenty months old and she sings and dances. I think that because I was singing and recording with her in the womb, she would have heard music and felt it and now she is calmed by it. I put it on if she is feeling a bit upset,” she explains.
“Harvey is very creative, he loves drawing. I like to do drawing every now and then and I think he has picked that up from me,” she said. “He loves scanning through radio stations and if I am on, he will skip past me and put on some rock show. I think he will be a little rocker when he is older.”
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