Text by: Amber Ehler
Introduce yourself, who you are and what you're about.
India: My name is India Chambers. I just turned 21 and I’m from East London. I’ve recently finished a 3-year Undergraduate course and I make music.
Is music something you always wanted to do?
India: I’ve always loved music. When I was younger I was obsessed with Disney movies and fell in love with musical theatre (I was ready to whip out my rendition of ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King!‘ at any opportunity). My primary school encouraged me to learn piano, violin and the dreaded recorder! I went to a music specialist secondary school, Pimlico Academy, and continued taking voice and piano lessons. My parents have great taste in music so I’m sure that’s had a massive contribution to my obsession.
TTY is an independent network of artists, and an outlet to produce work, quote unquote. How did it manifest and what part do you play in it?
India: Daniel Duke is at the center of the network that is TTY, we’re all mutually connected through him. My best friend introduced me to Daniel, she sent him a voice note of me singing and he came round to her house to meet me. We recorded a song he’d written in her kitchen and then from there we’ve continued working together. The other artists Daniel either went to school with or connected with through mutual friends. He’s great at connecting naturally with like-minded artists and it’s built from there. My role switches depending on the time/location/vibe.
You were involved in both of TTY’s EPs. Tell us about the first one, its process, your involvement etc.
India: Back to School was the first EP TTY released and it materialised over a couple of months. Daniel asked me to come to his Grandma’s house to record one afternoon; I was in a bad mood and had to rush but we ended up recording ‘Cindy Wei’ and it came out pretty well in the end. The other songs were recorded in a number of different places
including Stoke Newington park and a flat in Amsterdam.
You are one of the few female individuals in TTY. Is that something that's ever become apparent or noticeable?
India: There are a number of different amazing women who contribute to TTY. There are more males involved but that’s just coincidence. It only becomes apparent when people mention it (haha), or assume that the female voice they hear is me! I listened to an interview with TTY conducted by Topsafe and one thing that really stuck with me was was that, in the collective, ”there's no pressure to make and create... you're human beings at the end of the day".
Do you feel any pressure, from others or yourself, to make music?
India: The only pressure I feel to express myself musically comes from myself. Social media is so integrated into our generation - we are able to discover, create and share so quickly but then it's almost as if we don’t have enough time to savour what we've come across.
Does it have an affect on you or your music?
India: Social media has made sharing and exploring music so easy, which is great for artists that want to create a following. Unfortunately, this means that it’s easy for music to get lost within the rapid flow of output. To an artist this should just be motivation, right? I’m more interested in making music that I love and putting it out regardless of what’s popping on social media. If people like it, they like it. If they don’t then, oh well!
You were studying English Literature up until very recently and during your degree, you were sharing a lot of great reads via Insta story about gender equality, race, and society. Have those topics ever fed into your creative endeavours?
India: Yes, absolutely! I was introduced to a number of thought provoking books and my dissertation was about the convergences between Post-colonial literature and African American literature and a lot of this was focused on race and equality. The reading I have
done has ingrained the importance of refusing to be silenced in a world that wants to suppress voices that don’t belong to a particular demographic.
Following that, what are your influences/inspirations?
India: Ashanti, Frank Ocean, James Blake, Jah Cure, Fela Kuti, Kanye, 50 Cent, Peyton,Willow Smith, Spooky Black, Gucci Mane, Haitus Kaiyote, Jai Paul...
My boyfriend, my parents, my best friend.
What's next for you?
India: I’ve graduated so now is the time for me to really take my music seriously and focus all my energy on it. It’s been a hobby until now and I feel like now is the time to invest the hard work I know I’m capable of and create something beautiful. No more slacking!