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India Shawn brings the sunshine to warm Studio Milwaukee Session

Three women pose for a selfie, one holding a phone with her arm extended and the other two embracing.
Jen Ellis

From the start of 2023, Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) has been dabbling with additional presentations from their monthly music industry guests. Just ahead of their evening endeavors with the teen attendees of GWML, musicians have added a lunchtime serenade for Radio Milwaukee members during one of our Studio Milwaukee Sessions.

January saw the first iteration of this with a breathtaking performance from singer-musician Peter Collins, and the same was offered in February via a beautiful session from L.A.-based singer-songwriter India Shawn — a session that almost didn’t happen due to Mother Nature’s chokehold on the Midwest.

In the thick of a tiresome travel day full of perpetual flight delays and calamity, it looked as though her visit would fall victim to the slew of weather-related cancellations that week. Yet with perseverance, she managed to make her way to the Cream City by way of a late night/early morning flight to O’Hare and a two-hour Uber drive from Chicago.

One would think that an experience of this nature would have a negative impact on an artist’s mood for the day. Surprisingly, upon arrival, India’s bright smile, energy and positive attitude shone through, filling the space with the much-needed warmth of music amid the bitter cold outside.

The audience was vibrant and receptive as India began to sing, delving into myriad singles from her latest album, Before We Go, Deeper. The resonance of her voice and the lush R&B arrangements seemingly dripped in L.A. sun came through beautifully, with instrumental accompaniment from show tracks and additional support on electric guitar from talented Milwaukee musician Aram Feriants.

As session host and GWML program director, I was thrilled to join India on stage and couldn’t hold back my excitement and praise for her performance. Eventually, I managed to move on to the interview portion — a conversation that carried the same cool nature of India’s vibe.

We discussed her early start in mainstream music as a songwriter, navigating her transition to a leading artist in the forefront, musical inspirations and highlights from her recent project. She then closed out the session by showcasing the project one more time, closing things out with a high-energy performance of “Movin’ On.”

You can experience the session by hitting that “Listen” button above, then use the “Donate” button at the very top of the website to become a Radio Milwaukee Member so you can be there in person for our next one.

Also, check out the video below to see how inviting artists like India Shawn helps Grace Weber's Music Lab inspire and encourage music-minded high-school students. If you know a student like that — or you are one — you can learn more about our next Lab on March 31 right here.

Set list

  1. “Too Sweet”
  2. “Don’t Play With My Heart”
  3. “Movin’ On”

Grace Weber's Music Lab Music Education Coordinator | Radio Milwaukee