At the end of the Zoom call, India Yelich’s eyes widen. Her mouth is slightly open, she raises her finger. It really has something, Really important to say. “I’m not Carrie and I’m nobody, I don’t think,” he says of her Sex and the city character alignment. “But I may have some Carrie tendencies and it’s very important to include that.”
As someone so enamored with the show that “the fifth main character is New York,” Yelich, who goes by the stage name Indy, wants to return to the city. The 23-year-old singer and poet hails from New Zealand, where she sits in front of a window that boasts a blue sky and palm trees. “It’s spring now, so you can be in your bikini until about 6 p.m.,” she says. It says a lot that Indy is willing to leave behind a balmy Southern Hemisphere for a frozen New York – in its second winter of the year.
But for Indy, New York hides that junk je ne sais quoi which has attracted generations of young artists before her. She moved to the city from the New Zealand suburbs at 18 and credits uprooting with helping her find her writing voice. Since her move, she has published two books of poetry-sticky notes and Dudette— that delve into the complexities of the young woman. “I fell into poetry and it felt like it was really natural for me, and obviously, the next step is songwriting,” he says. “I think, as a young person, it takes a while to forge your own voice anyway.” Apparently, though, he has found it. Just last month, she released her first single “Threads” and her chat with her W coincides with the release of ‘Killer’, a sad, sexy, poppy-bop emblematic of the Scorpio season (both her sun and rising are in Scorpio, with a moon in Leo, a stormy mix almost made for songwriting ). In true Scorpionic fashion, Indy is staying mum on the details of her EP, but it can be expected in early 2023.
Although she may be new to the music industry, Indy has a very familiar face: she is the spitting image of her older sister, Ella, who is popularly known as Lorde. While the two share everything from physical characteristics to a knack for poetic lyricism, Indy is intent on making her own name. Having an older sister leading the way is a boon in every capacity, but it’s especially helpful to have such a guest in the music industry. “The main message we talked about is forging my own path, especially with my EP, but also [write] things you believe in. If you’re writing things that you think other people like, you don’t feel like you’re inauthentic,” he says. “I can only really write about the experiences I’ve had. I owe it to myself as a creative to be honest.”
Like most other early twenty-somethings, Indy is trying to figure out this whole grown-up thing. She still understands cooking, thanks to the intervention of her older sister and mother. “I mean, he’s teaching me to cook!” he says of Lorde. “She makes these beautiful vegan slices for me and once made matcha yogurt bars with frozen coconut. She cooks it and I eat it.” She can regularly be found haphazardly doing her makeup on her white couch—much to the dismay of her roommate—while gossip Girl is playing in the background. (“I liked the new one, but I’m an OG girl,” she insists. “I’m a Blair man.”)
It’s kind of a strange thought, to imagine someone who has been around fame for a long time living such a normal life. But Indy insists her upbringing demands it, singing careers and poetry collections be damned. “I have three brothers. You always have to wash the dishes,” she says. Many evenings, she can be found sitting on the couch with her friends as they peruse the Hinge accounts of New York’s most (or, often, least) eligible, with a glass of cheap white wine from Trader Joe’s. “In New York nobody cares. Literally, no one,” he says. “I have a three-block radius where I can walk around looking grotesque in my hoodie and pimple cream.” For someone who has seen fame strip away the cloak of anonymity, maybe two chokes and pimple cream is heaven after all.