The singer-songwriter Indica Campbell tells Shelley Carter how she relished being chucked in at the deep end in Spain and why she’s fiercely independent
Indica Campbell might be the daughter of Brummie legend and UB40 frontman Ali Campbell, but cries of nepotism would be misguided here. The 21-year-old has funded her own music projects and is doing the rounds on the circuit like any other gigging musician as well as earning a crust working at venues when she’s not performing in them. “I’m really proud of the fact I’ve got this far by myself. Dad is naturally supportive, but I’ve done this.” This year looks set to be a pivotal one for Indica with her first official gigs in the pipeline including top venues like the Barclaycard Arena and Brixton Academy as well as performing at the Livestock Festival in the summer. But she hasn’t always hankered after a career in music and spent much of her late teenage years ensconced in Spain studying art which is still a major passion.
Indica moved to Spain with her mother when she was 10, so dad Ali wasn’t a daily influence when she was growing up. She didn’t speak any Spanish at the time of the move and everything was a bit alien at her new school. “I was definitely thrown in at the deep end, but it forced me to pick up the language pretty quickly. I’d like to do it again actually – maybe France. It challenges you.” Indica is fluent and stayed in Spain beyond her school days studying at prestigious art college, Escuela de Artee, San Telmo in Malaga, so she’s no slouch behind an easel as well as a microphone. “It was at college when I started singing really. My flatmate and I used to play a bit and it was like a break from our studies. I enjoyed it.” Now living in Brum and gigging with her regular band of five, Indica’s pleased with how things are going but I wonder if she’s ever been tempted to go down the fast track X Factor route? The answer is an emphatic no. “I like being in control. That wouldn’t be a route I would consider.” Indica’s influences are an eclectic mix of artists such as The Gorillas, Amy Winehouse and Kate Bush. “I don’t have a particular favourite genre. Some of my tracks sound bluesy and others are jazz inspired, so it’s quite varied.” The sweet simplicity of her latest track Never Imagined is understated and refreshing. There are no tricks – just a pure voice and a pleasing melody and well worth a listen.
So what’s next? At the time of going to press, Indica’s EP is about to be released and available to download from iTunes which is “pretty exciting” and refreshingly she isn’t talking about world domination or selling out the O2. She might be part of a generation that it’s easy to assume has little patience, but Indica prefers to build slowly, enjoying gigging and getting better. As you’d expect social media is a tool Indica’s harnessing to build her following, but she’s keen to point out that it’s all her and there isn’t a PR person pulling the strings behind the scenes. While fiercely independent, she is about to support her dad along with two other members of UB40, Astro and Michael at the Barclaycard Arena and Brixton Academy, but ultimately she’ll be up on stage with her band singing her material doing it her way. The commitment to her craft is admirable and we’ll be following Indica’s career with interest.