Henson began writing songs in 2010, after she taught herself piano-playing with a piano that she was storing temporarily for her sister. She was approached by musician John Beck after she uploaded a cover of one of his compositions, “Gabriel”, to the video sharing website YouTube. They wrote their first song together, “Blind as I Am”, which she performed at her first gig in April 2012, at the semi-finals of the live music competition Future Sound of Nottingham. Henson took her stage name, Indiana, in memory of her late father, who was a fan of the Indiana Jones film series.
“Blind as I Am” was released as Indiana’s debut single in November 2012, followed by “Bound” in February 2013, “Smoking Gun” in June 2013, and “Mess Around” in October 2013. Also in 2013, Indiana signed a record deal with Sony Music and played at the Splendour in Nottingham and Glastonbury music festivals, the latter on the BBC Introducing stage. She performed for Queen Elizabeth II during the monarch’s visit to BBC Radio 1, singing a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” with Irish band The Script.
Indiana’s fifth single, “Solo Dancing”, became her breakthrough release, amassing substantial attention from music blogs and inclusion on Time magazine’s mid-year “Singles of 2014” list. Released commercially in April 2014, it reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart. “Heart on Fire”, its follow-up (in August 2014), was less successful, peaked at number 89 in the UK. Indiana’s debut album, No Romeo, was released in February 2015 and reached number 17 on the UK Albums Chart. John Beck co-wrote and produced the majority of No Romeo, which also features contributions from Joel Pott and Jesse Shatkin.
Indiana describes her music as “menacing and emotional electronica with 80s-inspired synths and haunting vocals”. She cites James Blake, Gary Numan, Frank Ocean, Portishead, The Weeknd, and the xx as her biggest musical influences. She has mentioned the soundtrack of the 2011 film Drive as being a major inspiration for her work.
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