If you were on the internet at the height of the Tumblr age, you’ve seen pictures of India Love on your dashboard. The Tumblr sensation is on Instagram today boasting 3.7 million followers on Instagram, has made multiple television appearances including a show with her family and can claim Will.i.am (who needs no introduction) as a mentor. The 22-year-old, California-based personality and now artist is about to go on tour with the Black Eyed Peas in Europe soon, and will be featured on the group’s next album.
Love has been making music for a year now and is interested in getting in, and staying in her bag. She recently released “Talk Yo Shit,” her debut single, a cutesy, fun, trap-y track about self-love, paired with a video that was shot on an iPhone by Shadae Lamar Smith. She parades around, flirting with the camera, checking herself out in the mirror and talking her shit with a pink towel on her head as she gets ready to go out.
Love is all about love, self-love and maintains an optimistic attitude about her life and future. She is a child of the internet, and much of her life has been very public from a young age, she makes the deliberate choice to ignore the comments and focus on what she wants to create. Love is quick and thorough with her responses and excited about what is to come. “You highlight what you want people to see” she says. “Give it to God, pray about it and let it go, you got bigger and better things to worry about,” and that she does.
As Love embarks on this tour, she is ending the year with plans of also getting into fashion and opening herself up to all the opportunities she can. Highsnobiety recently hopped on the phone with Love to learn more about what she’s got in the works. Scroll down for the full conversation.
Before Will.i.am approached you, did you ever consider making music?
To be honest, no. It never crossed my mind. That’s why I thank God for the opportunity to explore that because it was very random, it wasn’t something that I dreamed about as a little girl. But I know that I have a star quality and the ability to do this.
How did you feel when Will.i.am encouraged you to get into making music?
He’s one of the most legendary, iconic people in the music industry and his moves are very strategic, he’s futuristic, so it was an honor for him to consider me. I’m his only artist right now, so it’s a blessing and I was excited and ready to roll.
How would you describe your sound?
I’m experimenting right now, I haven’t got on to what I think is “me”, I kind of just want to make different types of music, whether it’s R&B or rapping. I want to give the people that are supporting me all the sides of me, it’s a struggle trying to describe it but I’m just experimenting right now.
Is there a type of music you really want to make?
I want to make the most authentic music to me, I’m a very chill person and I’ve never been very loud and outgoing. I would picture myself making more chill music, or vibe-y music. At the same time, like I said I have different sides to my personality. Sometimes I just want to go up and I want to do different things.
This would be your first time going on tour, are you excited? Nervous?
I’m so nervous, but I’m very very excited at the same time. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, any artist—especially a much developing artist at that, it’s heartwarming to know that Will feels strongly about me as an artist to where he wants me to jump right in. I’ve never performed, ever. To be going on tour with the Black Eyed Peas? To open up their shows? It’s mind blowing to me.
Do you ever think about the transition from growing up in Compton, to where you are now?
Growing up in Compton, and moving to Corona because Compton got a little too rough for my family. Maybe God put me in those positions so that I could share my story, and maybe it is through music and even though I am a musical artist, I feel like being a musical artist is only one form of art I have to offer. I am art, period. That is why I won’t put out a song without a visual because I’m more of visual artist. I never thought that it would be like this but at the same time I do feel like God had me go through certain situations and different trials for a reason.
Tell me about the projects you worked on to support foster homes?
I’ve been bullied when I was younger, throughout high school. More so, on social media. It was a struggle to be someone who was liked at school, everyone left me out and no one wanted to be around me for no reason, I just never knew what their reason was but it was really hard for me as a kid, so I know when I look at young girls, foster youth in group homes, who have been struggling in school and fighting ––I can relate on many different levels. I’ve got jumped before at school, I’ve had switched schools before because of girls. I want girls to know that I’ve been through this, I overcame all of this. I want to encourage them, I always want to uplift them.
Who are your favorite designers?
I would say Greg Loren, because I like how he pieces together different types of denim, and like fur. I love Virgil, Virgil is killing the game right now. Laquan Smith is really really dope, up and coming. Briana Wilson is killing it right now. I love dope, up and coming designers, those are just a few.
Where do you find your style inspiration? Are there any people you look up to, style icons?
Style inspiration is everywhere for me. I love Kelis, in her prime she has an amazing style from her hair to her wardrobe to her shoes. Everything was so on point with her. Rihanna, of course! She’s had an amazing, gradual process of turning into a fashion icon.
You’ve worked on a lot cool campaigns, are there any brands that you dream of working with in the future?
One of my favorite brands is Anti-Social Social Club, I buy a lot of their stuff, I love their name I relate to it a lot. I also love BAPE, and I also love Opening Ceremony. I want to have my own pieces in Opening Ceremony. That’s one of my dreams.
Do you have plans to get into fashion yourself?
Yeah, actually right now I’m working closely with my friends Anthony Steven. He has his own brand called We Are Confederacy, and him and I are coming up with a capsule collection. I’m designing the pieces for his line, I’m calling my collection “A Series of Unfortunate Events” I go downtown, pick the fabric myself and put in the work. I want to make dope pieces that I know my supporters will love. They’ve been waiting for me so long to make some pieces so that is definitely in the process, I do have some things I know will be out no later than December for my collection with him. I’m pretty excited about that, that’s really the start of it all.
For more interviews, check out our recent profile on Empress Of right here.
- Words: Najma Sharif
- Photographer: Rupert LaMontage
- Assistant: Peter Byun
- Clothing: c/o SSENSE
- Location: The Valley Capri