Eriel Indigo makes EDM and “concious pop” for queer women

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Bursting onto the scene last month, California native Eriel Indigo is a blaze of light. Her infectious first single/video release for “Innocence” introduced her unique blend of EDM and, in her words, “conscious pop.” All the while it sets the tone for what will be a blistering year of music for the burgeoning pop chanteuse. She has dedicated herself to releasing a new video every month for the next year that will ultimately comprise her LP, GALACTIVATE. I grabbed a few minutes of her time to talk to her about her life in music, bringing darkness into light and being an outlaw.

AfterEllen.com: How did you find your way to music?

Eriel Indigo: I’ve always done music. My mother was a musician and I grew up in a very musical/artistic family. Really I made all of the arts since I was a child, I was just creating in a lot of different mediums and I started writing songs and singing at a young age. Then making songs to completion in pop format when I was a teenager. Writing these unrequited love songs on the piano before I started making only hip hop music, before I started making conscious pop. I explored in all the different mediums and then after many years of assessing which was really the most fulfilling to me and realizing I needed to focus in on one and really make a decision in order to get some real work done. It came to be music, because you know with music I get to put all the others together. I get to make films, I get to act in a way, I get to choreograph and dance and sing and write.

AE: Can you describe your creative process?
EI: Sometimes whole songs will just kind of channel down into me and I’ll write them down. Then I’ll discuss them with my producer, Johnny What, and he’ll create an instrumental for it. And then sometimes Johnny What will create a beat and send it to me. I go from there with creating melodies and then putting words with those melodies. So it’s kind of just a crapshoot. Just recently we started working with the kids from Dragonette up in Seattle, and they’re really awesome. We’re doing more collaboration on the instrumentals with them. Once I have a song I’ll break it down, lyric by lyric, and start writing a treatment for a video. Then I get with my director, Ryan Gregory Phillips, and his team at The Paradise Collective, and start putting together the realities about creating that video.

e1photos by David Zayas Jr.

AE: Tell us about your sound.
EI: I call my genre conscious pop, because I want to start creating something new in the mainstream realm. But for the sound, it’s a bit all over the place. It ranges from island-y, kind of dance hall, bouncy, calls to action and poking fun at the music industry to really dreamy, spacey, angelic anthems to some really more hip-hop based, rowdy anthem type of feels. A lot of it is EDM influenced, and it’s all electronic at this point, so I would call it electro-pop if I wasn’t going to call it conscious pop.

AE: How does this consciousness factor into your music and art?
EI: Mostly I just want everyone to just let go and let love and start coming into the awareness of our connection with each other and all things. How we affect the Earth is going to affect our ability to live here, and how we treat each other is affecting our communal consciousness. Just the same as there is so much beautiful stuff going on in the world and just as fear and anger emit low frequency vibrations, love and hope and inspirations communicate high frequency vibrations. So in the end I’m really just wanting to create kind of a massive traveling stage show get hundreds of thousands of people into a space and blast them full of light and beautiful imagery and scent even and just kind of overwhelm their senses and try to bring their heart to an open place where they can then take that spark and then bring it out into the world and share it with other people and they’ll share it with other people and we can all lighten up a bit in here.

AE: Why is it important for you to have a queer audience?
EI: It’s important for me to have everyone as an audience. I want as big of an audience as is possible, but also I’m queer. I’ve always found that would be probably a big part of my career, and I’ll be excited to get into some more gender bending type of things. But it’s important because those are my people, I mean everyone is my people, but they are part of my people. I also think it’s really important for us queer folk to act as teachers to the community about compassion, tolerance, acceptance, understanding and also about the balance of divine masculine and feminine, because we all have masculine and feminine within us.

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AE: What is the story that GALACTIVATE tells?
EI: It’s not really a continuous narrative in that it’s not telling a concrete story. It is a vibrational story, and these are the feelings I’m trying to bring forth through the imagery. It’s not my purpose to preach to the choir, my purpose is to preach to everybody and call everybody in as this community. The album goes kind of all over the place. There’s some stuff that’s about my darkness and my childhood and when I was in a time that I wasn’t in a light place yet and I was very lost. I think it’s important to connect to people in that way because most people are still in this place where there are very confused and angry about their lives and what’s going on in the world and don’t really understand how to manifest better situations for themselves yet, so I thought it was best to not come out with some Rainbow Brite shit.

It’s important to tell the story of coming from the darkness into light. And there’s anger in this album as well, it’s not all just peace, love and letting go. Because processing all of the different emotions is important, if I wasn’t angry then I wouldn’t be on this mission, but I’ve gotten less angry and more just kind of accepting what’s happening and still wanting to believe my light into and hope to change. But of course I’m angry, all people who have the revolutionary spark are angry because that’s what makes you want to change things.

AE: What’s your spirit animal?
EI: The lion. Eriel means “Lion of God” and that is my real name. I am definitely carrying a kind of “rawr” and a fire energy. That’s what I connect most with.

AE: Tell me one thing I can’t find out about you online.
EI: I’m an outlaw.

Find out more about Eriel Indigo on Facebook. Her new video for single “Epilogue to Innocence” drops in a couple of weeks, which you can can find on her YouTube channel.

 

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