From Robina to Nashville: India Dupriez takes US by storm
In just a few short years, Gold Coast pop sensation in the making, India Dupriez, has gone from performing at local open-mic nights to working with big-time producers who have recorded albums for Adele, Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber.
India, 15, a former Varsity College student, recently flew to Los Angeles to meet her manager and shoot a music film clip, before spending time at the world-famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, recording a single – adding to a growing list of songs on Spotify.
Some of the world’s most respected artists have recorded at Blackbird Studios – from musical royalty such as Neil Young, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, to modern-day rockers like REM, Kings of Leon and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
India says it was a ‘mind-blowing experience’ to record at Blackbird, following in the same footsteps as many of the idols she has grown up listening to.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was performing at an eisteddfod at Robina Community Centre and the Robina Diamond Theatre, so this experience was really surreal,” she says of her US trip with fellow young musicians from Vocal Adrenaline Performing Arts.
“Walking through those doors, I couldn’t stop thinking about the different artists who have recorded albums in the same room.
“Blackbird Studios was just this little house in the middle of nowhere that had been beautifully decked out in a Beatles theme.
“On the same day I was there, The Eagles were recording music.
“The trip really pushed me to continue with this whole music thing – I walked out of there so inspired and got a real musical spark out of it.”
A self-starter beyond her years, India pulled out all the stops to self-fund her trip to the States.
Remarkably, India’s legion of fans from around the world also donated to the teen’s GoFundMe page, supporting her to raise more than $10,000 for the trip.
It was, however, also important to the young musician that she pay her own way.
In just under a year, India busked in the street for as little as $30 a day, while also performing gigs at weddings, parties and live music venues across the Gold Coast.
She also works part-time at Baskin Robbins in Robina, while hosting garage sales and collecting recyclable bottles – anything she can trade for pocket money.
“A lot of people overseas follow my music as well, and many of them were so generous and contributed towards getting me over to the USA to fulfill my dreams,” she says.
“One amazing guy from the USA we have never even met before anonymously put $150 into my GoFundMe account every single week.
“We had a lot of friends and family who have helped out by pitching in as well.
“It blows me away and I am so grateful that all of these people believe in me – it’s been amazing.”
While India sees herself as lucky to be the recipient of her fans’ generosity, equally, she likes to give back to her local community.
“I like to give out food and sing at Christmas events – that kind of thing,” India says.
“There’s a homeless guy who doesn’t ever really eat much, but when I turn up to sing and hand out food, all of a sudden he eats and even dances on the stage.
“Even though music is really important to me, I think it’s just as important to keep my feet on the ground.”
India has been working on new music and will be releasing a film clip for her new single, Know Me, early this year.