Prepare for impact! Rising synth pop princess and ethereal dreamer Eriel Indigo is beaming down from the heavens and landing on the music scene with her dreamy releases!
The Los Angeles based hitmaker first appeared in the scene in 2014 releasing her single "Innocence" alongside a mission statement that proudly declared her ambition of spreading joy and positive energy with her creativity. With her dreamy sound that incorporates elements of pop, electronica, dance, and a healthy serving of mysticism she's doing just that, and she's doing it without the backing of a major label in an effort to preserve her creative vision this time around.
Eriel Indigo kicked things into high gear this year with the release of her new single "Every Little Thing," an electro-kissed release straight off her Elevate EP. With the EP set for a release within the next few weeks and plans for an album to follow shortly thereafter fans should prepare to hear quite a bit about Eriel Indigo in the coming months![soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/240731665" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
We at PopWrapped had the opportunity to chat with Eriel Indigo about the process recording both Elevate and Galactivate, her creative inspirations, dream collaborations, experiences crowd-funding, and so much more! Check out our exclusive interview below!
PopWrapped: How does it feel to be so close to the release of your EP Elevate after working on it for more than a year?
Eriel Indigo: Honestly, it feels totally epic and simultaneously a bit terrifying hahaha! Of course as an artist, I want my art to be received well, but even more than that, I just want it to be received. Whether people love it or hate it is of little consequence to me as long as it makes them feel something, but further at the forefront of my mind is being able to get it heard by as large an audience as possible, which can be a feat in itself in this flooded market.
I’m not a competitive person but when it comes to getting your music heard these days, you are competing with A LOT of content, just to be visible: self made content, indie content, major label funded content, etc. In a way it’s awesome and amazing that the internet has given everyone and their granny a voice. On the other hand, you have to really work your you know what off and spend a lot of money to have any visibility at all. So that’s the battle now. I’ve got an EP. How the F are people going to know it exists without a multimillion dollar budget behind the thing? I guess we’ll see.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/172288358" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
PW: Would you say that your sound has evolved at all between the release of “Innocence” in 2014 and the release of “Every Little Thing” this January?
EI: Oh for sure. I mean, I’m constantly trying to develop and evolve the sound and present it in a way that’s accessible but still allows me to speak my message from a genuine place. I love this EP and the record. It feels to me like a cohesive project that tells the story of one side of me. It’s a little weird, definitely left of center but still very pop based and that was intentional to make it accessible to a wider audience.
I look forward to a time when I get to be even more my authentic self in my music; way weirder, probably a lot harder, more hip hop and dance based, stronger, more raw and revolutionary.
PW: You’ve slowly been sharing music from Elevate since the beginning of 2016, but it seems like things will kick into high gear with the release of “Wonderland.” Can you give us an idea of what to expect?
EI: Yes, I am insanely excited to drop this video. I co-directed it with my dear friend who I truly respect, Thor Wixom and this thing was a full year in the making. Let’s just say I’m VERY ready to drop it like it’s hot hahaha
I was actually pretty annoyed to be dropping any music without visuals since the videos are such a huge part of how I share my art, but alas, I was assured by my team that I had to drop some tracks and just let the music carry them so I attempted to listen despite my rebel instincts. ;)
There are eight tracks on the EP and we have dropped four already, so I didn’t want to let too many kittens out the bag before the drop. I know we’re living in a single dominated industry these days but I still believe in the magic of listening to a full album. The "Wonderland" video is pretty insane. I can’t wait to share it with the world. It’s premiering on Nerdist.com on the 28th. I’m VERY excited. After that I have some more crazy videos to drop, one featuring world famous underwater model Hannah Fraser. That will be a killer as well.
PW: You’re currently crowd-funding with a campaign on Go Fund Me to raise funds for a second visual and for promotional purposes. As someone who has eschewed the backing of labels in an effort to maintain full creative control of your project, can you talk a bit about the benefit of crowd-funding?
EI: I love the idea of crowd funding and it’s really necessary to have this new model in place to support artists now that music is pretty much free. For emerging artists, not having tons of great opportunities for paid performance before you’ve built a large following, but to be totally honest this is the first time I have ever given crowd funding a go. It’s very vulnerable to ask for financial assistance from your community, even if you offer them free music. I probably should have launched one long ago but I’ve always just kind of tried to hustle as hard as I can to support my own music habit.
I believe that every artist desires a bigger team around them for both financial, artistic and business management reasons, but it’s true that as an artist who plans to share a lot of shall we say, not so bubblegum content, you have to be careful what kind of marriages you enter into. So if you want to give me your money, now you can! Feel free (HERE). Hahaha
PW: What is your favorite thing about doing things on your own without the backing of a major label? Have you encountered any unexpected difficulties along the way?
EI: As we have talked about here, there are major pros and major cons of working with major labels hahaha I am not completely against aligning with a bigger outfit in the industry and it’s not as if everyone who works on the business side of the mainstream machine are evil or something, but there are certainly a lot of things to be cautious of.
You want your music to be heard by as big an audience as possible. You don’t want to just preach to the choir, but the masses. That’s how change is affected. At the same time, you want to be able to say whatever you want to say, freely. You don’t want to be over packaged to the point of losing what you intended to share in the first place and you certainly don’t want to get inadvertently pocketed or controlled.
Another thing about the industry these days and linking with majors is that you have to play the game i.e. since music is free, where does the money come from? Mostly brand placements, and can I get behind most brands and rep them with a clean conscience? Hells no. Labels are banks. Billboard and the radio are controlled by money, not algorithms or true popularity in the masses, until the masses are told what to like. That’s what people have to understand. Because of Labels’ mass connections and ability to bank roll singles, marketing and large scale performance, they still hold the key to the radio and the radio is the filter for the masses in a flooded market, so do I want a record deal? Well, my love, that’s a very complicated question! Hahahah
Does anyone out there know how to hack mainstream radio yet?! If so, please call me.
PW: As it stands your Elevate EP is set to lead into the release of a debut LP Galactivate later this year. How will the two projects differ, if at all?
EI: ELEVATE has eight tracks. The album has about twenty two that I’m still trying to narrow down to a palatable fifteen or so. You could say I’m music rich hahaha.
What I may end up doing is leaving all of the songs on the EP off of the album so that I can have the freedom to release all the other material, without the album being obnoxiously long. I’m still working out the kinks. I have a lot of music and I’m constantly making new music so I want to get the stuff that’s already finished out there and keep sharing new content. At the same time, I have to be careful not to waste content because putting out too much at once can leave things passed over and unheard. Let’s just say that there is a lot of strategy behind the scenes of putting out a real release.
There are definitely some bangers as well as more vulnerable personal material on the album that I am really eager to share.
PW: Speaking of your music, where do you pull inspiration for a song?
EI: Oh, man. The twelve year old boy inside of me wants so badly to answer that in some crude way involving a your mom joke, but alas! I must refrain hahaha
It really depends. Sometimes I feel as if I’m channeling important information that needs to be shared, other times it’s more intentional or wrapped up in processing my own emotion; My frustration with the world, my empathy for her and her children, my love and anger around it all, or more personal places, my own old wounds, my wishes and wants, my travel from darkness into light and back again, the roller coaster of living as a human in a human body. Some Earthly inspiration and some more Galactic or sentient, if you will.
PW: Once you have an idea in mind, what is the creation process like? How do you like to work in the studio?
EI: Man, you guys are thorough! ;) I like recording alone a lot. I love being by myself in my room and just vibing until the sun comes up and I have to force myself into bed. I write a lot like that. In the studio, sometimes it’s great to write to an instrumental that already exists and equally awesome to create something from scratch with a producer. I hope someday I get my ish together and learn how to produce myself… So I can be an unbridled monster of sound!!! Muahahaha
PW: Once you have completed a song do you usually have an idea on how you’d like to proceed with a visual representation? Does that next step come easily, or do you like to take some time to come up with a totally new idea from what inspired the music itself?
EI: I have a very colorful, visual mind. My dreams are something to be seen. I wish I could share them as music videos. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for a visual out of nowhere, having nothing to do with a song. Other times I will sit and listen to a song and see the visual story rolling out in my mind as each sound goes by. Sometimes it’s very concept based, other times very connected to the lyrics.
I started directing for other artists this year. Keep an eye out for an awesome new artist by the name of Justin Michael Williams. Thor Wixom and I directed a couple really artsy videos for him that should be coming out sometime soon. I really hope I get to do more directing in the coming years.
PW: Is there any other musical artist that you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
EI: Ugh. Don’t tempt me! So many. There are a ridiculous amount of epic artists out there that I would love to work with. Diplo, Switch/Major Lazer and The Mad Decent crew. There are A LOT of talented producers murdering it in that scene and I can’t wait to get my voice all up in that sh*t, not to mention Skrillex’s label Owsla. Good God, man!!! Would somebody loan me these mad geniuses for a month, please?!
SO MANY GOOD PRODUCERS and artists these days, it’s unreal. Flume? Are you f*ing kidding me? Wolfgang Gartner, Griz, Dillon Francis, Robert DeLong, The Glitch Mob, too many producers in the west coast festival culture scene to even name, too many insane hard ass space crunk trap producers that I can’t even name hahaha
Also, the wordsmiths who actually have something real to say in the hip hop scene. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kid Cudi, Kendrick, J Cole, Macklemore, Lupe Fiasco, Schoolboy Q, Wiz Khalifa and a good handful more. Hip hop is what I listen to most and I pray someday I get to actually use my skills in that arena a lot more than I get to now. I just wanna rap, maaaaan! Is that so much to ask?! Just let me rhyme. Eesh.
Not to mention all the amazing female artists out there. Humbling.
P.S. M83, I WORSHIP YOU like the music God that you are!!!
PW: When you first emerged on the scene with “Innocence” you released a mission statement that explained exactly what you’d like to accomplish with your music. Since then you’ve also spoken about the power of sharing art, and in a way, baring your soul to those who listen and view your work. Everything that you have released thus far truly vibrates with life and light, and fans are clearly connecting with it. Is it ever daunting to realize how much you’re sharing with the world at large?
EI: Wow. Well I hope that vibration is actually carrying through. It’s literally my mission to share light, love and revolution with the world, so the more people who hear it, the better. That’s not the vulnerable part for me. Performance is pretty vulnerable, but making the music and letting others hear it is a joy. I have some very personal content coming out on the album that’s more biographical, but even that feels fine to share and is really just a tool so that I can connect with people who are still in a dark place and haven’t quite tapped the light yet. I’m not rainbow bright all the time either. I wish I could be 24/7 but life is a whirlwind and there are a lot of beautiful as well as upsetting things in this world.
Mostly I just want people to know that they are not alone, that we are completely connected and that humanity and all nature has the capacity to be good, if only we intend it. I believe that the sickness in this world stems from duality; A faulty belief structure based on the idea that we are separate, rather than One. Now, if we can just get the rest of the world on board and elect some leaders who are wise and compassionate, rather than greedy, corrupt and tyrannous hahaha That, or get our telepathy skills going already so we can all feel each others’ emotions.
You think someone wants to give me a record deal if I say that shit all the time? Hahaha! When I meet THAT record exec, I’ll give him a hug and buy him a ticket to burning man.
PW: As an artist, you’re passion clearly extends beyond music into the accompanying visuals. What can we expect from the “Wonderland” music video?
EI: Ummm basically a 5-MeO-DMT trip? Babes, Goddess worship, technicolor inter-dimensional travel, spiritual reintegration, high fashion on LSD, insane headdresses, sacred geometry, five white girls bowing to the divine African Earth Goddess mother and her baby and a five minute long spiritual revolution epilogue accompanied by tripadelic after effects from space hahaha
Are You Ready To Take Your Medicine?;;)
PW: Any plans for performing or touring after the EP or your album comes out later this year?
EI: I certainly hope so! I would like nothing more. I am mostly focused on getting the content out first and as that project becomes more complete, I would like to get my butt on the road… or preferably in The INDIGO Jet… That doesn’t exist yet.
PW: Once you do hit the road to tour, how do you come up with staging that fully embodies the music and image that you have created?
EI: That is one reason that I have only been performing at events that already embody a lot of the vibe and visual madness that I feel connected to. I really don’t want to perform unless what I am offering is a dialed, hyper-reality, dynamic, immersive experience. So, hopefully I’ll get some more funding soon from somewhere so that I can actualize the magic that’s having a party in my mind.
PW: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
EI: I would have to say making the music and then enjoying listening and dancing to it. I think in the future it will be performing and connecting with the world that turns me on, but for now it’s the creative process that gets me off.
PW: And finally, do you have any parting messages for your fans
EI: Love yourself more. Fly your freak flag higher. Find the thing that excites you most, throw yourself into it with reckless abandon and then share your gift with the world. Try not to think constantly; surrender to the divine present moment. Question everything; do your own research. Try to trust, even if you have been broken. Be kind and be grateful. Don’t drink the tap water!!!
Huge thanks to Eriel Indigo for taking the time to answer our questions! Keep an eye out for all of the releases we discussed by following her at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Soundcloud!