IF there was a Nottingham Sound of 2013, Indiana would be the name at the top of it. The 25-year-old from Long Eaton recently signed to Sony and has already had her debut single, Blind As I Am, played on Radio 1. Added to that her producer and co-songwriter is a Grammy nominee. And yet her first gig was just eight months ago.
But Indiana didn’t start her journey with a handful of music industry connections. Nor did she have much experience as a musician.
When her sister dumped her piano at her house for storage, she decided to have a play and teach herself.
She then stumbled across the remix by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard of a song called Gabriel and loved it so much that she filmed a video of her own version.
“I don’t even like it,” she now says. “It’s rubbish.”
But it was good enough to attract the song’s composer John Beck (a Grammy nominee who wrote Tasmin Archer’s No. 1 Sleeping Satellite and Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Record On) who saw it on YouTube and got in touch, asking to work with her.
“We’ve written 13 songs together so far and they’re all recorded and produced,” she says, describing the sound as “quite dark” with a touch of “retro 80s synth”.
Most of them will be aired for the first time tomorrow at Nottingham Contemporary, with her debut headline show.
She admits: “The most I’ve ever done is half-an-hour. It was meant to be an hour but I’m doing 45 minutes because I’m still a newbie. An hour... I think I’d lose my voice.”
Her first gig was in the Old Market Square in April as part of the Future Sound of Nottingham, the annual Nusic competition to win the opening slot on the main stage at Splendour.
Although there was a buzz about her brief performance, she hadn’t the fan base to get enough votes to win through to the final at Rock City. But she played anyway, invited as a special guest. And she appeared at Splendour - such was the belief by organisers that she needed to be heard.
The hype about this new Nottingham talent even spread to the capital.
“Just the other day, John was talking to a publisher in London and he asked ‘how is it going with Indiana?’. John said ‘Oh, you know Indiana then?’ and the publisher said: ‘everybody knows Indiana.’”
Her first single for Sony was Blind As I Am, released as a download. She filmed a video for that and has another finished for her next single, Smoking Gun.
Next week she’ll be doing a fashion shoot for fashion magazine, Drama
“It’s like a taste of things to come. My label said I can expect next year to be full of stuff like that.”
With the advance for her three album deal with the label she has bought a Mini Cooper and will soon be setting up a home recording studio.
And she recently re-launched herself on Twitter, changing from @I_Am_Indiana to @raiderofarks, continuing the tongue-in-cheek Indiana Jones theme.
“To be honest I forgot my password and email,” she laughs.
“It was all part of an accidental masterplan.”
Indiana will be at Nottingham Contemporary tomorrow supported by Saint Raymond and her sister Joella (“she’s a lot more Taylor Swifty”), starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 from reception, call 0115 948 9750 or book online at www.alt-tickets.co.uk.