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WPGM Commentary: Indira May Reflects On Becoming A Woman On Her New EP ‘Simpler Things’

My name is Indira May and I’m an artist who is currently living in London. I also co-own and run an independent music label and film production company called TRASH – “run by women. for everyone”.

My recent release is an EP titled Simpler Things, which touches on subjects such as climate change, politics and becoming a woman.

Most of the songs on the EP were actually written a few years ago. They’ve evolved over time, been played at gigs in different ways, and the way in which they relate to my life has also changed.

I’m happy with how they sound now though – I’m starting to find my style and voice as I grow into a more confident individual. I think if I released these songs a few years ago I wouldn’t have done them justice.

I moved to Brighton when I was 19 years old; I followed a guy there that I fancied at the time – classic. I went to a music university for about a year but it wasn’t an environment I felt comfortable in for various different reasons.

I decided to carry on living in Brighton, got a job as a pretzel baker (not as glamorous as it sounds… does it sound glamorous?) and started making music and gigging with people I’d become friends with.

At the time, I was obsessed with Jazz and Hip Hop – I still am – but nowadays I’m also exploring new sounds. I think you can probably hear the Jazz influences in the EP. I was listening to a lot of Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits and my favourite, Chet Baker.

Originally, I started writing a few of the songs with a duo who are now known as Dysfunktion. We never got round to finishing them or recording them properly but I was playing them at gigs around the UK quite a lot.

The EP reflects a sort of journey, I guess, related to becoming the woman I am today – it’s quite personal and introspective. I started writing these particular songs at 19 years old and I’m now 24, so I’ve grown quite a bit since then. My perspective on things and how I view myself is very different.

I moved to London last year in the middle of the pandemic to carry on pursuing music. I signed a deal which wasn’t smooth sailing. It left me feeling frustrated and misunderstood and I eventually left.

That experience was what pushed me to form my co-owned company TRASH, which promotes bridging inequality and creating opportunities for women within the creative industries.

I tried to channel as much frustration as I could into being creative, which pushed me to finally wrap up my EP. I ended up finishing it with a producer called Alfie Aukett. It was a great couple of months. I rented a studio and really came into my own.

I got comfortable using the equipment, working with other musicians and being able to take and give constructive criticism. It was definitely a crucial learning process which has got me to where I am today.

This release is special to me because it marks the beginning of my musical journey. It’s been a mixture of breakthroughs, all consuming anxiety, hating the songs, loving the songs, never wanting to hear them again, playing them obsessively.

I’ve shed old insecurities, old ways of thinking, people, places and now I’m ready to start a new process of learning and evolving.

I’m really excited to start experimenting more, finding out what other layers there are to my brain and also to start doing shows again. I want to sing the songs off my EP to people, in real life, I’ve missed that.

Words by Indira May // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

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