Updated: Aug 29, 2019
In life, there’s a difference between knowing and understanding; you can know a lot about something but not truly understand it. It's safe to say this next artist understands music! She's traveling down her journey with not only her angelic unique sound, knowledge of music theory, but a divergent way of thinking. Inspired by mainstream greats, including SZA, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, and Chris Brown. The Neo Elite presents to you, the beautiful R&b/Soul artist, Indira Imani.
Indira was born and raised in Northeast D.C. and has been in the area for much of her life. As a kid, Indira grew up in the church, which soon led to her introduction to music. “A lot of my family members, uncles, aunties, cousins, all were talented singers,” she stated.
Indira began to take music seriously when she ended up winning a talent show in middle school. "I didn’t think I could win, but I did.” She also experienced an “aha” moment in high school as well, “During that time, everyone was asking me what I wanted to be, after thinking on that, I knew what I wanted and started to pave my path and perfect my craft,” she stated.This passion shortly led her to attend and graduate from Berklee College of Music located in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2015.
As a native from D.C, Howard University was one of her top choices, but she was eager to experience a new culture and a mixed environment outside of D.C. “Attending Berklee taught me professionalism and a better understanding of music itself,” she stated. “The people that I went to school with are still folks I collaborate with now; It was the best thing I’ve ever done!”
When it comes to her musical style, Indira differentiates from others because of her lyrical play and the instrumentation of her music. “It’s like a full package, I feel as though you can’t have one without the other to create a story,” she stated. She also tends to create a sound that’s familiar with her audience and hopes to create a feeling that was produced back in the day with past artists like Aretha Franklin. In all, she stated, “I want to create timeless bodies of work and write songs that can be interpreted in several ways to pull in a wide audience.”
Regarding the DMV music scene, Indira feels as though the DC community should band together and support each other more often. She would also cherish if accomplished/seasoned artists can take new upcoming artists under their wings and give them opportunities. "At the end of the day, someone gave them one before,” Indira stated.
One conflict she has encountered so far is that she finds bigger gigs outside of the city. Indira believes the problem with people supporting others is the mindset that if someone else is eating, then others can’t. “However, there are so many opportunities, we all don’t have to be on the same level.”
Her favorite venues/performances so far has been SofarDC and the Howard Theatre, “It was so iconic and very exciting!” Lastly, she stated, "In the future, DC can definitely be a hub for great music,”
A year from now, Indira has goals to work on visual aesthetics, new music, and form a solid team. She has a goal to build a team because as she curates new ideas, she realizes it may be harder moving forward alone. “As an artist, I really need a team to help me execute these ideas in the best possible way,” Indira stated. While working on a song, she tends to envision the music video and how it should be executed, as well as how the story should be portrayed. With a team, execution and efficiency would be a great help for her. Since her newfound goal, Indira has found a guy and has begun working on a short film for her recent project Lone Wolf.
Aside from music, Indira is a total fashionista, “I love clothes!” she stated in excitement. She explained that having fashion never felt weird or extra. It’s quite natural for her, and it's just her thing. Fashion is her second hobby, and although it may cost a pretty penny, she enjoys using fashion to express who she is. Also, “A lot of the time people paint a picture of you, but with fashion/clothing, I’m able to control my narrative.”
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Indira would tell them to study and hone in on their craft. "At the end of the day, there are so many talented people in the world, but the difference from being talented and a success story is hard work and effort,” Indira stated. One example she references is Beyoncé’s story and the hard work she put in during her younger days and now. Overall, Indira concluded with “Know who you are as an artist, and put out the best representation of you!”
Read more about Indira with a closer look below.
What song do you currently have on replay?
“Reason” by Samoht and “Real Friends” from my project Lone Wolf.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
The Devil Wears Prada; that’s my movie! It’s so hilarious, and Meryl Streep is my girl!
If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would be writing more songs.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is being late. I hate when others are late, and I hate when I’m late. Why I’m usually 10-30 minutes early to everything.
As of now, what is one thing you wish you had known before pursuing music?
I wish I would’ve known how to read music from the beginning.
I’ve learned how to read music before while attending theater classes, but as you get older, your brain sort of cut off. If I had learned it at a younger age, reading music would’ve been second nature by now.
However, I’m pushing through and making it happen now!
Would you rather Win $50,000 or let your best friend win $500,000?
I would rather win the $50,000 and split it with my best friend.
The first thing I would purchase is a brownstone home and design a creative space for both my friends and me.
Magnified Topic of the Week: Indira Imani’s “Lone Wolf” EP
Lone Wolf consists of five outstanding songs that are strategically placed to tell a story of the highs and lows of being in a relationship. She also conveys the meaning of being a “Lone Wolf” throughout the EP, and the significance of being alone to further contribute to a group.
This EP was produced solely by Indira Imani herself, and Indira’s secret artist makes several appearances as well! Listen to her favorites “Real Friends” and “Feels” on all streaming platforms today!
Written by Dejah Moné