Eriel Indigo is a multi-talented indie-electro artist and creative activist who utilizes her unique brand of audiovisual expression and performance to deliver a counter-cultural voice of genre-bending anthems. The Los Angeles based artist blasted onto the scene with her debut single and accompanying video “Innocence,” which was premiered on Revolt TV and immediately received high praise from influential outlets and platforms such as Buzzfeed, The Line of Best Fit and Hype Machine. A slew of music, art and culture publications also followed suit, fawning coverage domestically and abroad. With elements of Electropop, EDM, and Hip Hop present in her musical DNA, Eriel brings an unparalleled sound and style in her high-energy anthems that are full of layered production and inspiring lyrical content.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I began making my way into this incarnation in a small town called Nevada City, Ca. The community is a rich vortex of creativity, home to many who took the road less traveled. A lot of radical art and artists have come out of that little mountain town and it continues to be a growing haven for creatives and counterculture. Now I’ve made my home in Hollywood, where so many freaks and fairies flee to the ocean of creative collaboration and big dreams that the City of Angels beckons us to deep dive into. CLICK ON INSTAGRAM
When did you start experimenting with your music and how did it all come together of you?
I was born into a very creative family and community. My father is a spiritual and leftist political writer and my mother a healer, artist, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. My extended family, as well are involved with the arts in one form or another. I have expressed and processed through many artistic mediums, visual, textual and musical since I was a child. The time I’ve spent creating has always felt my most whole and free. When I was six years old I sang a song on my mother’s first album, which she wrote about the questions I would ask as a little girl. “Oh mommy, oh daddy, tell me why the sky is blue, as far as my eyes can see there is no end too it’s view… Oh mommy oh daddy, if I wish upon a star, will then my wish come true? I wish an end to war. Oh mommy, oh daddy, is there an answer to my quest? If and when I do know, will my mind be at rest…” I explored all of the arts before deciding to focus on music for many reasons, an important one being that I felt I could play in and incorporate all the creative fields within the realm of being a music artist. Towards the end of 2014 I completed my first album and dropped my debut single with accompanying music video “Innocence,” and I’ve been writing up a storm and creating wild visuals to complement the music ever since.
Galactic conscious electro-pop, EDM, hip hop, angelic anthem and modern trip hop, you mix all these elements in a perfect musical collage. As a creative explorer, what else do you wish to discover musically?
Why thank you kindly! Well, as a total music junky, I’ve listened to, loved and had my soul rocked by music in every genre from every era, so when I write, sing and produce, the influence is pretty vast and as a result, my sound is naturally pretty diverse. This is a great time for me as an artist and artists in general because none of us are one dimensional and genre-bending and blending has become a welcome sonic adventure; one that I think was inevitable with the evolution of electronic music, as well as the technological ability of artists all over the world to communicate and collaborate instantaneously, as if there was no distance between us at all, and that is a truly magical happening. What I wish to discover musically on a personal level I suppose is to continue delving into the raw, wild weirdness of my own essence; one unique piece of the whole that is all of us, while continuing to open my ears, heart, spirit and mind to all of the overwhelmingly epic artists in all mediums and allowing their expressions to wash over and through me, moving, shifting and evolving my own being and music.
“Geronimo” is the first single off of Eriel Indigo’s upcoming album ‘Galactivate,’ the follow-up to her debut EP, ‘Elevate,’ which made noise in the blogosphere, garnering praise from a host of music media outlets and a nomination for best international EP by the Independent Music Awards.
Who are some creative artists you’ve been collaborating with?
I’m lucky to be part of an incredible community of creators who I am blessed to be friends with as well as collaborate with. If you haven’t heard some of these names, definitely check them out. I’m super hyped to be working on a crazy new project called WHYT RBBT with bass legend An-Ten-Nae, who is straight up one of the dopest humans (more like alien brethren) that I’ve had the pleasure to dream up musical magic with. We’ve been doing a few secret performances but we’re keeping the project under wraps for a bit longer. He’ll probably scold me for lettin’ da rabbit out da hat ;) So shhhhh. His other duo project Dimond Saints is also killing it. Working on my new Hip Hop album (finally) with a number of dope producers, but mainly Kevn Blvk and Ronnie Los of Audio Snobs, because I love those boys with all my heart and we all carry the true, revolutionary spirit of Hip Hop in the depths of our souls. Atla of Light the Sky, a sick up and coming producer. We dropped two future bass anthems together and are working on a genre-bending banger with emerging trap star Jose Guapo that’ll be on its way shortly. The visionary Sequoia Emmanuelle, my favorite photographer and only creative director besides myself that I trust to play with my image. If you’re an artist and haven’t shot with her, I suggest getting on it. The fearless and amazing Hannah Fraser, better known as Hannah Mermaid, unbelievable underwater performer, ocean rights activist and the only real life mermaid I know. The visionary Chris Saunders, a super dope visual artist who I’ve worked with over the years on some next level, galactic visual branding. I could honestly go on forever but I know you don’t gots all day.
You add spiritual vocal messages at the start and end of your music videos. Is this a manifesting chant to better the world?
That’s definitely a big part of the intention. Music is as much a spiritual journey and mission for me as it is my career and passion. At times people have tried to discourage me from doing it because Goddess knows we are plagued with short attention spans these days. If I can’t speak from the deeper parts of myself and hopefully communicate with deeper parts of at least some of the audience, then what’s the point? I try to put them at the end of videos until I reach a level where people pay enough attention to stick around and listen to whatever I have to say. I figure if people don’t want to go down the rabbit hole with me then they don’t have to. If they do, I’m here, heart open, ready to connect on a soul level and take the dive. Isn’t that the purpose of music anyhow? We all do it in our own way. Sometimes I like to delve into multi-dimensional levels that connect us all and sometimes I’ll just explore more generally relatable subjects. You never know what’s going to strike a chord. We are all on the cyclical journey between love and fear. Artists work with the unseen, the ether, muses, passion, pain, reckless abandon, and divine intervention. I say hop up on the rollercoaster that exists in the core of every artist, strap in and take the fuckin’ ride.
What are the other layers to you we may not know of?
I guess the first thing that comes to mind is that I moved to L.A. to make Hip Hop music. In one way it makes me sad because that was my intention and I may have gotten distracted and encouraged to go in other directions, but as with all things, there is a positive side. Through pop structure I’ve learned so much about songwriting, taking counterculture subjects and making them accessible to the mainstream listener, developed my craft and embraced not having to stay in one lane, which is liberating. Still, for me, Hip Hop is the genre that feels most genuine because it’s more than a genre, it’s a movement, or at least in that the way I and many artists regard it. As you’ve probably gathered from this interview I’m a wordy individual. With Hip Hop I feel like I have the freedom to write as elaborately as I want and explore themes that I consider most important like revolution, equality, real love, pain, breakdowns, and breakthroughs beyond that of relationship, substances, and fun, but all those are fair game too. It’s a musical movement that I feel allows me to express with the most freedom and truth. It embraces being real and challenging the status quo. That vibration is the most empowering for my spirit personally. Plus, I seem to be a slave to the rhyme hahaha, and rappers are the emissaries of rhyme. Even though I took a detour into electropop, my heart is still with Hip Hop and all my music has that influence in its blood and bones. Other than that I’m also really excited to share more powerful iterations of my own singing voice that I feel were kind of stifled or put into a sexy little girl box in the music I’ve released in the past.
Eriel’s inner light shines brightly and your lyrics are that of a poet, yet with light, darkness can linger near. Do you find inner pain helps with your creativity?
I’ve never met an artist or a human for that matter who doesn’t have contrast within them. I’m trying to get away from calling it dark and light. I think fear and love is a more accurate description, or low and high vibration perhaps. I have definitely had an intense life with the full range of emotion and experience. I am hypersensitive, as many artists are and with that comes ecstatic highs and soul-shattering lows. More than pain helping my creativity I would say creativity helps me process my pain in a powerful, cathartic way. It’s all there in the music; terror, trauma, bliss, passion, rage, love, epiphany, upliftment, rebirth and so on. The sharing of our experience with our peers and audience is what we do as artists, whether it comes from a state of elation, anger or love, it’s always some form of a leap into vulnerability when we offer the product of our process to the communal consciousness. I think the hope is that it’s a gift of connection; the acknowledgment that at the core we are all the same.
If you could pick 3 things to achieve with your music, could you list them for us?
1) Drop all the unreleased music I’ve been hiding away and get into the habit of just letting songs go out into the world when I make them because I’m pretty prolific and I would hate to end this lifetime without dropping at least an album a year for the rest of my days in this body. Just get it out there, man. Let everyone share the journey. That’s the point, right?
2) Get to the level where I can use my music as a platform to speak about important issues that might heal and bring us together as a global community, open hearts and raise the vibrational frequency of this beautiful, living planet that we are all a part of.
3) Travel the world connecting with all forms of life, healing our wounds together through music and all art forms, having fun, being wild and free together; live to see a world guided respectfully by the wise, compassionate and tolerant rather than one ruled over by the greedy, corrupt and tyrannous. It’s already begun. Despite what may seem horrifying and hateful, I have so much hope for radical love and change and I see it all around me every day.
CLICK ON PIC BELOW TO HEAR REMIX:
My unconscious, gluttonous side says fried chicken and sushi but I’ve been hard at work moving towards veganism because ending the torture and enslavement of other sentient beings is one of the most important shifts that we can all make both morally and environmentally… so in the spirit of that, lemons.
What are some personal special items you treasure?
A beautiful crystal staff that my mother gave me and has been around me since childhood, a large Egyptian painting and Indian wall hanging she gave me as well, old printed photos of friends and family, the dope art I’ve collected over the years by one of my lifelong soulmates, Soell Silent Hawk, a piece of found art from Debbie Dean, a dear friend who is no longer with us and mother of my other lifelong soulmate and talented artist, Belle Star, a painting of me by my sister and soulmate, Sara Zahn, underlined spiritual books from my dad, the most loving, supportive letters from my mother, my computer and music equipment because I need dis shit, man but possessions are only mementos of my family and friends who are my family. Our connections are what I treasure most.
Finish my Hip Hop album and drop it, release a ton of music and crazy new visuals I’ve been hoarding, create more, develop an inspiring, immersive show, go on tour, collaborate with more epic artists, slay, hustle, evolve, do it all again and again and again, ascend at some point and go fly around in my light body on my home planet, Arcturus.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Exploring and embracing the depths of the individual’s perception of beauty, however different it might seem to another’s view so that we can all move towards releasing judgment and become curious about each other’s experience rather than falling into the trap of becoming a reflection of our own resentment and pointing fingers at what we’ve been programmed to feel uncomfortable with. Balance and integration of the masculine and feminine and first-hand experience of divinity through surrender and unconditional love.