Originally posted on 2nd September 2016 here is a Q & A with singer-songwriter Indi Forde. We talked about his experiences writing songs & performing live.
Where did it all start for you getting into music?
My Dad was a guitarist and my uncle played the bass in reggae bands, so there was a lot of reggae for me growing up. My great grandfather was a trumpeter who won national awards and played in black and white minstrel bands, ironically, before everyone realised how not OK they were lol. So it’s in the blood, as they say. I got my first crappy guitar from Argos for Christmas around the age of 11 and I haven’t stopped playing since. Who are your influences? The reason I asked for a guitar that Christmas was my uncle showed me this band, Queen, and I thought it was just otherworldly. One song in particular, Innuendo, had this Spanish style solo on an acoustic guitar that ended up hitting this shreaking electric solo that blew me away. There was nothing in the charts like it at the time and that’s where most kids hear their new music, so it just got me. I wanted to be able to do that! But prior to that it has to be Michael Jackson, every song, every album, every dance move. He made you believe that magic was real, the embodiment of music! With songwriting where do you tend to get your inspiration from e.g how do you start your songs & what's your process? I usually start messing around on the guitar and then put a melody over it, and the lyrics come last. Or I’ll be driving and hear a hook in my head, and record that on my phone and put the rest down when I get home. The entire song Find You, from our debut album, was written in the car, the bass parts, drums, counters, harmonies, everything. So there’s no set structure to the process. I never sit down and say I’m going to write so and so… it never happens that way, things flow out when they’re ready to come.
Indi performing his song Pheromones filmed by LimeLight TV
How important is it do you feel it is to listen to current music as well as music from the past?
If you’re intending your music to appeal to a certain audience then you kind of have to see what’s popular at the moment, music is a business after all so it relies on supply and demand like any other. But it’s important to keep an open mind and take ideas from everywhere. I happen to prefer the older decades as I feel there’s more musicality to it, and prefer an artist to have a more hands on role with production and song writing and playing, like Prince for example, But there are still great songs being made obviously, and it’s all about enjoyment at the end of the day, and I do enjoy hearing something totally fresh!
Do you feel it is important to watch other acts perform and to watch other live music?
Very important. I always go to a gig and feel like I want to get up there on stage, it’s inspiring and keeps the drive alive. There are artists like Adele who will talk to you in the middle of the concert for ages like you’re a mate, and there are artists like MJ who would say like 5 words throughout a whole 2hr gig and still make you feel part of it. There’s so many styles of performance and stage presence, and emulating and taking notes of people at the top of their game can help you discover your own path, what suits you and what doesn’t!
Finally what tips do you have for anyone starting out when it comes to songwriting & performing?
Keep writing, there’s no such thing as a bad song from a songwriters perspective. You don’t have to show anyone these bad songs, it’ll just get the crap out of your system and pave the way to better work. The more you do anything the better you get at it, so do more and you’ll be more. I’m quite a shy personality, so getting on stage at the beginning was horrific. I still get a bit nervous now but I know I’ve put in the work, so I know I won’t mess things up too badly lol. So the top tip is practise before you get up there, practise getting up there... and just enjoy yourself!!!
To find out more about Indi and his band Indi And The Vegas go to indiandthevegas.com
Photo by CPG Photography
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