India Love the social media influencer, India Love the reality TV star, India Love the recording artist. Growing up with her three sisters in the public eye through BET’s The Westbrooks, India is determined to find her put her platform to good use. Now, she shifts her focus from Instagram to the microphone. Read more…
What she has on most of these up and coming singers/rappers is the support of Black Eyed Peas legend will.i.am. The mere fact that he believed in her was enough fuel for her to believe in herself. After releasing the visual for “Loco” earlier this year, she quickly discovered her creative eye and passion for art was directly in line with her artistry.
Fast forward 6 months, she’s returns to unleash another cinematic visual for “Trouble.” While the camera is nothing new to the 22-year-old, she seamlessly showcases her ability to not only perform, but bring her art to life.
For those who don’t know, who is India Love?
India Love is indescribable. I’m in a phase in my life where I’m going a lot of different directions. I’m being very experimental. I would say she’s just a developing artist who’s venturing off and trying different things.
Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
It’s not even hip-hop and it’s not even R&B. I feel like the genre is my own shit. New sounds, new waves. I’m trying to create different ways for my supporters to get to know me better because they only know me from pictures. I’m trying to give them different visuals of me. Different ways to hear what I have to say.
You’re from Compton, how does that play into your life and career?
Being from Compton is actually an upper hand for me. It helped me to know the process of, “I come from here, and I can get up to here.” I think a lot of people really respect that I’m from Compton. They really adore the fact that I’m this sweet girl on the outside, but I have this hood side to me. I love being in the hood. I love hanging with the homies on the block. That’s just how I was raised. I have these two different sides, and I love both.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
They say LA is the place to be as far as wanting to do something with your career in life, like on a Hollywood global scale. I would say that’s the answer for that. I personally have always lived in LA and believe wherever you’re at, you create different opportunities for yourself.
Talk about transitioning from reality TV star to being an artist.
It’s very, very scary. I have to put my guard down and really let the world see sides of me that I’ve never shown. At the same time, I do want it to be very inspirational to those people who feel like they’re in a shell or don’t know how to branch out and try new things. I want to help them speak up for themselves or whatever the case may be. Because I’m very, very shy. I have a very hard time speaking and things like that, but I push through all my hardships to let people know that if you practice it, and if you go for the stuff you really want to do and desire in your life, you can get through everything.
At one point did you realize this was for real?
Will and I were in the studio one day. He sat me down and basically said, “I see more in you than you probably see in yourself.” And “I want you to try to get into music and express yourself.” I was like, “Okay, I’ll try.” Because who would turn an opportunity like that down? A legend like him saying, “I want you to be an artist.” I was like, “Of course.”
Right after I said “of course,” he was like, “Okay, are you ready?” I was like “What?” He said, “We’re going to go in the booth right now.” I’m like, “Right now?” Mind you, I’ve had no experience in the studio. He threw me in there with the song, and he loved it. That was the first song I ever put out, was the first song I recorded with him in the studio. It’s called “Loco.” That’s when I knew it was for real. Like he’s serious. It’s game on.
He didn’t hear you sing before?
At all, nothing. I didn’t sing. I didn’t rap.
Was that something in the back of your mind at all that you were going to do eventually?
I mean, my family’s very musical. We all love music. But I never thought I’d be an artist for my life. But at the same time, I feel like it’s such a golden tool to reach out to numerous amounts of people. It’s dope. It’s a blessing, honestly.
Can you talk about your relationship with will.i.am?
Will is amazing. If you want to know what the future consists of, you come to him. If you have one simple conversation with him, you probably wouldn’t say a word, but your mind is filled with … you want to write it all down, but you can’t. He just goes on and on. All of it is just gems. He’s so smart. Everything he says you want to hold onto forever. He’s just an amazing person, and an awesome guide to my career and life. I’m blessed to have him.
What’s been the best piece of advice he’s given you?
To remain patient. In the music industry, it’s very here and there. Everybody’s moving stuff around. I’m used to doing stuff at my own pace — doing whatever the fuck I want, so to speak. So being patient and letting the process be the process. Just being cool and trusting him most importantly. Because I know he knows what he’s doing, and I don’t personally. [laughs] I just have to trust him and go with the flow.
How many songs to guys have together?
We’ve recorded numerous, but I want to make sure that I put out a visual with every song. I want to get more so into the visual artist-type thing.
What’s the dynamic in the studio like?
In the studio, Will is very insane. I’m back there and it takes me some time because I’m still new to this. I literally have to go bar for bar sometimes, like four words, four words, four words. He’s very, very patient. He’s back there going up, like he’s loving it. I’m not very confident, but he gives me the confidence I need. I’m looking at him and he tells me, “You’re doing so great!” He’s really good at gassing me up and giving me the confidence I need. He’s a dope person to have around.
Now that you’re in it, what are some goals for yourself in the music industry?
I just want to be global. I want to inspirational. I want to be different. I don’t want to be the artist that just puts out music just ‘cause it sounds good. I want it all to have a message. I want them to get into the visual part of me because I’m very artistic and creative. I want all that to play a huge part in my music so that people have a better way of getting to know me, rather than me just talking and doing an interview on YouTube. I want them to see the artistic, creative side of me and I felt like music is perfect for that. It can get me on a way global scale and open different opportunities, like maybe all these different things I want to do can all tie in together.
What’s the message you want to convey in your music?
There are so many messages. You can do any and everything. That’s really one of the best things. I just started on Tumblr. I didn’t have anything going except for taking pictures of myself. I didn’t even have a real goal to it either, I just wanted to be cute on Instagram and take cool pictures. I felt like God gave me that audience and that platform to put me up there in order for me to relay messages to the youth. I know young girls really love me. I work closely with a group home and these different types of opportunities like that. I want that all to tie in to them knowing me — I’m just this girl off Instagram, but then you work hard and get all these different opportunities. Even though it’s fearful and you’re scared to do it, just take on that shit. You can do it. It’s going to open different doors, different opportunities. God knows.
What’s the most fulfilling part of your journey so far?
The most fulfilling part is overcoming my fears. I think that’s helping me to get to know who I am really. I’m 22 and I really don’t know where I want to go. But I feel this music thing is really opening myself up and helping me to know who I really am, what I’m capable of doing, and just the golden people around me who are helping making it happen.
Talk about your friendship with Boosie Badazz. How did you meet?
He’s a good person. I love him.
That’s a legend!
I love his music, love, love, love. He’s really dope. I respect him so much. We actually met because he put me in his song. He said something about people hating on him because he’s like India Love or something. He reached out to me about it. I was like, “Aw, that’s so dope.” My mom prays for him all the time. He has a really creative relationship with my family. He did a song with my sister, Morgan. He’s a good family friend.
What about the relationship with your sisters, how are they supporting your music?
My sisters are my number one supporters. They all have different personalities, but they all support whatever we’re doing. They know I’m shy, so they love the fact I’m taking on this big task to present myself to the world in such a broad scale. My other sister does music. I’m sure we’re going to collaborate and do a song together. I’m going to have them in my videos. We’re all going to tie in and stick together.
Can you talk about balancing motherhood with your career?
Bronx? That’s my baby. Motherhood is my favorite thing. She has to go with my mom because I travel a lot. But at the same time, I always make sure I spend enough time with her. She’s not a good car person. She’s shaking in the car, so I don’t like to be out with her.
Sarah: You know it’s a dog right? Oh, you’re looking at those pictures she posted.
Someone told me you were a mother.
Well I am a mom, really. I have a miniature poodle, she’s my daughter. I could go on forever about her, trust me.
I’m dead. Isn’t it crazy the internet can just run with something?
Absolutely. But I don’t feel like any of that really has anything to do with what I have going.
What was your intention with that post?
Nothing. I just saw a doll and it was a creative thing to do, in the moment of a photoshoot. I just pulled my titty out and put the doll there.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I wake up. I thank God. I do a daily devotion. I take the time out to read because I want to be better with my speech and my words. I try to work out 2 to 3 times a week. My days vary. I try to come to the office every so often and get work done. He has different sound stages and shit for me to do, and photo shoots. I stay busy with work.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need wine, to loosen me up a little bit. I really need Will. Sometimes, he puts me in there with a different engineer. I can get the job done, but when I want to make a hit, I’m going to make sure he’s my engineer. So I’m going to say I need Will. And I’m going to need God’s “godfidence,” because sometimes I get discouraged and dont have the confidence to get out there and say it. I say a quick prayer before I get on the mic, and then I just do what I have to do.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
This girl said she liked my shirt, and I had a shirt on underneath. I gave it to her and she started crying. I have a lot of sweet moments with my fans. I don’t even call them fans, I call them supporters. They’re really people who have been supporting me since I’ve been just taking pictures, doing nothing. I try to comment back to them all the time. I DM some of them when they ask for advice. I try to get personal relationships. I call them “Ill-nation” because my nickname is Illy sometimes.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
I want to pull out my phone. [scrolls phone] I have gospel playing right now. Oh, I love YG’s new album he came out with.
Stay Dangerous is a slap. What’s your favorite song?
I love “Power.” That’s my favorite.
I love “Too Cocky.”
I love that song too! Any time it comes on, you can’t not dance.
Right now, I just want to focus on developing myself as an artist. I love a lot of artists, a lot of them, but I want to know what my real sound is in order for me to know what I clash with and can really make a hit with. I really fuck with all of them, but I want to make myself my dream artist. [winks]
Anything else you want to let us know?
Stay woke. That’s all I got to say.