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July 19, 2013

THE fastest rising Nottingham music star of recent times is Indiana, a 25-year-old from Long Eaton who only played her first gig just over a year ago.

That was in the Future Sound of Nottingham competition to open the main stage at Splendour. She didn’t even come close but tomorrow she’ll be lining up with Jake Bugg, Squeeze and KT Tunstall on her own merit.

In the past 12 months she’s been signed to the Epic label, played on Radio 1, appeared at Glastonbury and sang for the Queen.

The latter was in the Radio 1 Live Lounge with Irish band The Script for a version of David Bowie’s Heroes, with her singing to the line “I will be Queen” to the Queen sitting just six feet away.

“Buckingham Palace requested The Script and the guys at Radio 1 wanted to showcase BBC Introducing,” she says of the initiative that has seen a lot of new artists getting played on national radio.

“And I was their favourite,” she beams.

She rehearsed with the band for a couple of hours the night before.

“I was nervous going into their space but they were really welcoming and a laugh. I was elated after that and not nervous at all but just before the Queen walked in I thought I was going to faint.”

The performance was screened live on BBC News 24.

“My family and friends found it really bizarre. They were messaging me saying ‘Did I just see you on the news?’”

After the performance she spoke to the Queen.

“It was quite annoying because the papers said she only clapped once – ‘one was not impressed!’ – but afterwards she was all smiles and chatting away.

“She spoke to me about Glastonbury. A guy from Radio 1 explained to her what BBC Introducing was and how I’d gone from writing music in my bedroom to performing at Glastonbury. And she said ‘Is that where it gets ever so muddy?’

“But the papers said she spoke to Danny (O’Donoghue, The Script singer) about Glastonbury and they weren’t even performing there, so I was annoyed that my claim to fame was taken away from me,” she laughs.

“Afterward, I walked out of the BBC and they were replaying everything on the big screen outside. I was stood in the middle of this crowd wearing exactly the same clothes but no one noticed me,” she continues, giggling.

Although she signed an autograph.

“Yes, just one. A girl asked for it and I got a pen out of my bag and started practising it before doing one for her.”

It was while at Glastonbury that she revealed to the crowd in the BBC Introducing tent that she was pregnant.

Etta, named after jazz singer Etta James, is due on September 7.

Is she worried about the timing?

“No, I’m embracing it. My label said I couldn’t have picked a better time because that’s the quietest month.”

Her boyfriend, James, will be a stay-at-home dad while she returns to her music career, with her first official single, Mess Around, due out in October.

She laughs: “I’ll have hopefully worked the baby weight off by then.”

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