In these times of darkness, singer India Shawn shines like the sun coming out of her native Golden State. She shares the inspiration behind her two new tracks, how she’s keeping fit in the quarantine, and more.
A breath of fresh air arrived on Apr. 10, courtesy of India Shawn. Your new favorite singer — who has worked with some of hottest names in the game while on her journey to becoming one of the hottest names in the game — released a pair of invigorating tracks. With mesmerizing vocals that transport you away from your troubles and strife, India shines on her Epic Records debut, delivering a couple of R&B hits that glow brighter than the shores of Santa Monica. In fact, she pens a love letter to Southern California (while throwing a bit of shade when she wonders why Cali can’t find any love to give back.) If that wasn’t enough fire, she teamed up with 6LACK to get “Not Too Deep,” an introspective journey about living life without burden.
“One of my favorite Osho quotes says, ‘If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation,'” she tells HollywoodLife. “That’s where my head and heart were when I wrote “Not Too Deep”, in the admiration, appreciation, and simplicity of newfound love.”
Speaking of love, the title of India’s “Cali Love” might immediately 2pac and Dr. Dre’s monster 1996 hit. India’s 2002 track – a hypnotic, intoxicating and seductive jam — similarly celebrates the vast abundance of opulence within the Golden State. However, she also recognizes that sometimes, you can’t find everything in California. “L.A. has it all,” she tells HollywoodLife, “and as a So. Cal native, I couldn’t see myself calling anywhere else home; I just haven’t had great luck dating here. That’s the big question I’m asking in ‘Cali Love’ — where do you find true love in L.A.?”
After these songs, L.A. will have a lot of love for India. Raised on the edge of L.A., India’s talents for singing emerged early. “My mom told me that I was singing in my car seat,” she says in a statement. Her mother – also a singer and a Praise and Worship Leader – was a significant influence on India, and most of her youth was spent singing in a church choir. When the family relocated to Atlanta, her singing caught the eye (or, the ear) or a passing record producer. “I was sitting in a parking lot singing ‘Fallen’ by Mya,” says India “A guy came up to me and said, ‘Was that you singing? Wanna come to the studio?'”
That was not a ploy. She cut a few tracks, and she soon found herself involved in the Atlanta music scene. She and her sister formed the songwriting team Full Circle, and she would co-write tracks for Chris Brown, Solange, Ludacris, Monica, and more. But, her passion was singing, not songwriting, and she released her debut album Origin in 2012. The follow-up, Outer Limits, arrived in 2015. After a few professional bumps in the road, her career was back on track. By 2019, she had signed a deal with Epic Records, was singing backup for Anderson .Paak, and right before COVID-19 broke out, she was wrapping up a tour opening for the Free Nationals.
Speaking of which, how is she handling these social-distancing, self-isolation, home quarantine blues? “I’ve been catching up on all the rest I missed while on tour with the Free Nationals,” she tells HollywoodLife. “I’ve been in the kitchen a lot more and doing half-assed pilates and yoga workouts. (Why does working out feel so much more painful at home?) Been bumping TianaMajor9, Tame Impala’s new album, and Frank Ocean.” And now, everyone is going to be bumping India.