He is posted quietly in his bedroom with an oversized gold chain wrapped around his neck. As we weave between intimate conversations about his music tastes and small talk surrounding our early first experiences at Vassar, I think about how my talks with Jason—or Marc Indigo, as he is known to the music world—are always unique.
Few people can strike a balance between vulnerable musical storytelling and privacy in their personal lives, but for Indigo, this seems to come naturally. During one of our first conversations at International Orientation, Jason (as I knew him back then), with his soft spoken and often reserved nature, casually asked me if I had Spotify. When he subsequently took my phone, I anticipated a few simple music recommendations that could get me through another homework slog. What came instead was shocking.
With nearly 100,000 monthly listeners and a discography that has amassed closeto a million plays, Indigo wasn’t some simple high-school musician: He was famous. A star with none of the egotistical and garish attitudes that have come to define upcoming musicians. He was an anomaly.
I was fascinated.
Indigo describes his own music as “alternative,” but I don’t think that label does it justice. Both his production and his vocality seem to call on the growing Lo-fi genre, a kind of vulnerable, imperfect music style that has amassed a significant following on streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify.
Indigo’s smooth, spacey delivery is often accompanied by production that gives his voice a pedestal. Perhaps it is as a byproduct of my own relationship with Indigo, but his music often feels very honest; it’s a deeply human, bass-heavy lullaby that touches on the peaks and valleys of intimacy and love.
Take his song “Accountable”: backed simply by a chorus of chords and finger snaps, the production gives room for Indigo’s voice to fill the room. Shifting both in timbre and pace, Indigo has the ability to use his music to open up about himself in ways that we typically associate with timeless art, with legends.
Becoming legendary, or even simply recognizable, however, was never his goal. Indigo made clear, “I only make music because I enjoy it. Getting better has always been the goal. Fame and fortune were never on my mind.” This sentiment is reflected in how Indigo crafts and releases music. Often releasing new tracks sporadically and with little regard for building momentum, Indigo has produced a discography that feels more like a diary, a chance for him to share his emotions and bear his soul. It’s thus a privilege for us as listeners to enter his mind.
The juggle between intimacy and privacy extends far into Indigo’s musical process. Using what he describes as “not any kind of fancy equipment,” Indigo often has one-on-one conversations with his friends, who double as his producers, working tirelessly from the confines of his own bedroom in an effort to build each and every single. This very intimate, very personal process means that Indigo’s music is not littered with collaborators, offering him almost full control. This is a kind of power move that comes with a notable risk: Often, few people hear his songs until they are finally released. This process, while not surprising considering Indigo’s personality, stands out in the often heavily collaborative world of making music. But that’s Indigo, both musically enthralling and intensely private.
So what’s next for the quiet, reluctant star-to-be?
“Well I’ve joined Axies, and that’s been awesome so far, so hopefully I can really be a part of music on this campus,” Jason said, sounding still hesitant to disclose his entire plan. But whatever that plan may eventually be, I think one thing is clear: Indigo has a chance to define—both in personality and in style—what music on this campus may look like for the next four years. But I’m sure that’s not on his mind.