Indigo Face: why we love the London music scene

Meet Indigo Face, a four-piece electro-pop band from Europe who relocated to London eight years ago to immerse themselves in the capital’s thriving music scene.

Hailing from Italy, France and Switzerland, Ray Tognola, Maxime Raguideau-Obadia, Andrea Rapisarda and Mary Terragin, also known as Indigo Face, now proudly call London home. They spoke to iSing about moving to the UK, establishing themselves in the industry and their new single The Seed.

Where are you from and who are your musical influences?

Max: I come from France and grew up listening to classic French and Belgian singers such as Charles Aznavour, Claude Nougaro, Jacques Brel, Claude François. In the 1990s Daft Punk and Ed Banger Records emerged and France became one of the centres of electronic music. A new alternative scene emerged too with bands like AIR and Phoenix. The French scene has always been fairly traditional but with a sparkle on top that constantly takes things to the next level. 

Andrea: I come from a small town in Sicily, Italy. Artists like Pino Daniele, Carmen Consoli, PFM and Fabrizio de André were always part of my daily mix, although I although I also developed a passion for progressive rock and fusion. When I moved to London, electronic and alternative pop really started to grow in me. 

Mary: I come from a small town near Venice in the north of Italy and grew up listening to pop and electro-pop. Before moving to London, I sang in a couple of choirs and gigged with bands locally. The music scene was vibrant, although quite traditional. It was (and still is) very hard to turn music into your main job there. 

Ray: I come from Switzerland and grew up listening to the pop of Whitney Houston, Phil Collins and Tina Turner and the rock of Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden. The 1990s was and still is my favourite music era. Artists like Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down, Ska-P are the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in music. 

Why did you move to London and how did you establish yourself on the music scene? 

We moved to London eight years ago to study music at BIMM London. We’ve since graduated and become professional musicians. During our time at BIMM London, we gigged quite a lot and got to know many music venues. Most of the time the gigs were either organised by the college or the teachers gave us contact details of promoters. 

The biggest challenge back then was getting people to come and see us as we all came from different countries and didn’t know anyone in London. Looking back, playing in front of very few people, sometimes empty rooms, was a very good lesson and made us stronger as a band. After graduating we all moved from West London to East London as we felt this part of town was more stimulating for us. 

What are your favourite music venues?

London is a fantastic place for gigs and jams, if not the best. Music is constantly happening here! Everyone should play at pubs like The Troubadour, the 229 or The Dublin Castle at least once in their lifetime. Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs, the 606 and the Troy Bar are great for jam sessions and meeting new people. We also really love playing at Cargo in Shoreditch, The Islington and the O2 Islington in Angel. 

When it comes to watching a gig, there are three venues in East London that are known for new emerging music: The Village Underground, The Cargo and 93 feet East, all in Shoreditch. The Proud and Koko in Camden are very good places as well, and we’ve seen many good bands at the Garage in Islington and the Scala in King’s Cross. 

How else have you made music connections in London? 

We met each other, and many other musicians who are now dear friends, at college. We also made first contact with synch agencies, promoters, record labels through our school. Once we graduated, we figured that the best way to meet people was to get out there as often as possible, shake hands, and have a drink and a chat. We also never underestimate the power of social media and try to be consistent in posting about our next releases and gigs. 

How do you get your gigs? 

We’re independent and don’t have a manager so we do the legwork ourselves. The good thing is that if you gig somewhere and the promoter is happy, he or she will contact you again. Most of the time these days it’s the promoter who asks us if we’re interested in playing at their venue. 

What other places in London inspire you? 

We often wander around Notting Hill and Soho to find great vinyl, CDs and live concert DVDs. We mostly buy second-hand clothes in Brick Lane, Shoreditch (the yellow jacket that Ray is wearing on The Seed artwork comes from one of those vintage shops). If you’re in East London, we recommend stopping at Muxima Cafe in Bow. We hold all our band meetings there and enjoy eating the delicious cakes! They have live music on weekends and jam sessions on Thursdays. 

Facebook: indigofacemusic