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Emerging singer-songwriter Indira May has been a staple head in the local music scene of Brighton for some time. Now, with her latest single ‘When I Hear The Music’, she’s on the verge of breaking out nationwide. However, it’s not only her music that’s garnered the attention of many, the artist has also launched her own label and production company called ‘TRASH’. Its key aim is one of inclusivity, run by an all-female team that’s open to music from everyone. From emerging creative to industry professionals, the aim is to bring voice and visions together and celebrate it collectively. We caught up with Indira to learn all about these exciting projects.

What was the main influence behind your latest single ‘When I Hear The Music’?

The main influence behind this single was capturing the feeling of liberation that people experience when dancing with friends, family, and those they feel connected to. It’s that moment most of us have experienced at some point, when the music takes over, allowing people to let go and fully express and be themselves. I guess in a wider sense, it echoes the way I want to feel throughout life, immersed in the moment and not feeling caged in by people or things. 

Have you always created a form of jazz music? If not, how did you get to this point?

Not always but I’ve always loved Jazz. I’m kind of obsessed with Jazz music, so there’s probably underlying influences in my music that are unintentional. I don’t think I’ve ever really set out to write under a specific genre. I first started writing songs when I was about seven or eight years old, they were always quite haunting, folky songs. My first song was called ‘Evil’s Coming’ – make of that what you will. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve met more musicians and producers who are into Jazz, and genres like Hip Hop and Soul, so I’ve been able to experiment a lot. That’s what I love about making music, there’s always room to experiment. 

You recently co-founded a label and production company called TRASH, what inspired you to create this?

I think the main thing that fuelled starting TRASH was partly my own personal experience of being a woman in the music industry and also hearing other women’s stories and experiences. It’s not glamorous. Most of my friends work within creative industries and it became the norm to come home after a day of work, pour a glass of wine and complain about the inequalities we were facing. It became apparent that if I wanted to carry on pursuing what I love, I needed to be able to do it on my own terms and not keep sacrificing the most important parts of myself for somebody else’s gain. TRASH has allowed me to build a team I trust and create environments that are inclusive and safe to be in.

What’s your long term ambition for the label?

Myself and my business partner, Hattie Jackson, actually drew up our two year plan the other day. It’s stuck to our wall in our kitchen to remind us what the hell we’re doing. One of our main goals is putting on creative youth workshops around the UK, mentoring people and creating self-sufficient individuals who can then safely enter these creative industries. We’re also interested in more accessible sex education for young people. Ultimately, we’re looking to build our team and network and just keep creating things we love and projects that are thought provoking. For us, creativity is heavily linked to community. We have so many ideas, hence why we have to stick things on our kitchen wall.

With people like yourself trying to push for change in regards to equality and visibility; do you feel like the tide is beginning to change?

Yes and no. I feel in general, people’s attitudes are slowly changing – we’re still very far off where we need to be though. The generation below me are a lot more aware and informed about things – I feel social media plays a big part in that. But I also think social media provokes a lot of unnecessary judgement, and also ‘cancel culture’, which I think is actually really damaging. I think at the moment, we have a big propensity to take sides, creating a further divide between people, especially with the pandemic going on at the moment and how the government is catastrophically failing us. There’s a lot of opinions to be heard, people experiencing things differently to one another – it’s definitely stirred things up. 

Was it always your ambition to create something like TRASH?

Not really.. I’ve always had visions of running some sort of label or building some sort of creative community but not necessarily with the ethos that TRASH has now. As I’ve grown into a woman, I kind of feel like I don’t really have a choice. If I want to have creative control, this seems like the best option. I think if I wasn’t doing music though, I’d be a patisserie chef.. 

How open has the industry been to what you’re trying to achieve?

It’s very early days, but we’re so grateful for the response we’ve had to TRASH – we’ve received so many lovely messages and some unexpected support from a few industry heads. We’ve been able to work with people who share the same perspective and want to see the change that we’re striving for which has been really liberating. I’m sure we’ll be faced with hurdles and difficult characters throughout our career, but as we build our community, I feel more confident about tackling it all.

What can we expect from you during the rest of the year?

A podcast series called ‘Trash Talk’ where we interview industry professionals, more music, more music videos, a short film and maybe our first ever TRASH event – you heard it here first.