Lola Indigo on Witchcraft, Britney Spears and Going Incognito Off Stage
“I am kind of a witch,” Lola Indigo says with a playful smile in her first-ever English language interview. It’s late June and we’re sitting backstage before her hourlong set at Barcelona’s Share Festival. It’s unprecedentedly hot in the city, but the Madrid-born singer is ready to turn up the heat even more with the hook-heavy hits off her debut album, Akelarre (“Sabbath”).
The record, which was released earlier this year, features a song called “Mujer Bruja,” or in English, “A Witch.” “I don’t do tricks, but I believe in energy,” she singer specifies about the track. “I was born in the south of Spain and people there really believe that you can go to a certain woman who can cure or curse somebody."
Indigo had her first taste of show business as a backup dancer for numerous big name acts, including Chris Brown and Enrique Iglesias. Realization that she should pick up the microphone herself came not via a magic globe or a fortune cookie, but during a conversation she had in China, where she was working as a professional dancer.
“One Chinese singer heard me sing and told me, 'You can make more money if you sing. And you look like Britney, so you should imitate her.' That’s how I started in China: copying Britney Spears and singing her songs for the local public that loves that kind of entertainment," Indigo reveals. "We’d copy the costumes, the performances, everything. I was doing 'I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,' which I know is not Britney’s song originally, and 'Toxic.' It was so much fun.”
But performing in Chinese wasn’t really a viable long-term option: “I only know one song in Chinese and can order a taxi or food. So I came back to Spain, started taking singing lessons and got into a Spanish talent TV show. Everything was so unreal and fast.” After appearing on Operacion Triunfo in 2017, she released her first single, “Ya No Quiero Na,” in 2018. She quickly became a strong presence on the local music scene, a process that the singer compares to — you guessed it — “magic.”
“I believe everything is magic. Because what has happened to me is not happening to everyone. It’s a hard thing to happen. You only have one life to be whoever you want to be and do all the things that you want to do. It’s like, I’m thinking of creating something and it’s happening. It’s magic! Of course I’m a hard-working person but seeing that I have this energy, I know that I also have to be good to other people: collaborating, helping other artists, growing, learning.”
It’s only (super) natural that the main theme of her debut record is witchcraft. But don’t worry: it’s a far cry from a wistful, folksy ordeal. Indigo’s sound is a hyper-energetic blend of pop and trap: “This record is my introduction to the music industry. This is my sound. I want people to hear the songs and go, 'Yes, this is Lola Indigo.' The whole album is different but at the same time it has unifying elements ... I use a lot of spiritual things to explain what I feel.”
And she’s got the visuals to match the spirituality: Indigo’s music videos are filled with tightly choreographed golden age Britney-esque dance moves and brave fashion choices, while her stage persona swings two very long braids left and right.
“My hairdresser used to do drag in the past,” the singer comments. “He knows exactly what to do with long hair, weaves and hair extensions. When I was younger, I read that Marilyn Manson was wearing all these wild costumes on stage, but in real life he would go out without any makeup. Same with Lady Gaga. I liked that. In real life I have the bangs and shorter hair and I don’t wear any makeup and feel more like a village girl. But my stage look is crazy.” Do people recognize her on the streets when she goes out braids-free? “Not that much. Mostly when I walk [out] after the interview and have the long hair. But when I have shorter hair, people don’t realize it’s me.”
Indigo’s got a busy summer ahead of her with a bunch of live shows all around Spain. “The whole tour is very exciting,” she gushes. “I’m playing the best festivals like this one. My whole team is family to me. When I became a singer, I was scared that I would feel alone and feel like nobody cares. I used to be a dancer and was always in a group. Luckily, now I’m working with the people who are equally happy about my project and enjoy my music. This collective happiness is amazing.”
Is an English song in the cards? “Maybe in the future. But I feel like I should start with a feature. Like if David Guetta invites me for a song. Can you imagine?!”
Maybe there's a spell for that — but something tells us she really doesn't need one.