(Editor’s Note: This interview with former porn star and still current singer and author, India Morel, was conducted by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website Eyestrane.com, where it was originally published in August of 2012. It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom.)
Since the age of 10, India Morel has always dreamed about being a musician. In her junior year of high school she got her break. She started a girls singing group, Harmony Innocent, with some high school friends. They practiced every day after school, weekends, and every free moment they had. After becoming a local favorite, the group met a producer, who had worked with many R&B heavyweights. He took the girls and polished their craft. After a lot of hard work, they received a record contract and released the single “That’s What I Like,” which quickly climbed to Billboard’s Top 100. India was balancing her freshman year in college when the group started to fall apart and Harmony Innocent broke up two years later.
EYESTRANE: India, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you were like as a child?
INDIA MOREL: I was born and raised in Compton, California. I was raised by my single mother. I often dreamed about being in the entertainment business.
EYESTRANE: You were interested in music at an early age. What did you listen to back then?
INDIA: Back in the day, I listened to many artists because I think the music was great in the 80s. Some of my favorites were Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Pat Benatar.
EYESTRANE: Your group, Harmony Innocent, did quite well, especially with “That’s What I Like.” What was your sound like and why did the group fall apart?
INDIA: In the early 90s, I started that all-girl singing group. We were young teenagers who just wanted to sing. We practiced every day after school and gave up many weekends to accomplish our biggest dream. In 1994, we were signed by Russ Regan at Quality Records/Warlock, but even with the success of a hit single, we quickly broke up two years later after personal issues arose in the group.
EYESTRANE: Your career took a turn and you began a successful career in porn. How did you get started?
INDIA: I never planned on becoming a porn star, that just kind of happened. I met a guy on Venice Beach on a hot summer day in Los Angeles. I got the guy’s number and called him six months later and decided I wanted to find out more about the adult industry and the rest is history. To be honest with you, I had a lot of fun while in the porn business and , yes, I had many of ups and downs, but that’s life. I came into the adult industry with a plan, executed my plan, and made my exit. I do miss the adult business, but it was time for me to move on to other goals I wanted to accomplish.
EYESTRANE: You are one of the most well-known and respected porn actresses. What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
INDIA: What I’m most proud of is me just having fun and living my life and never caring what people thought of me. I can’t lie to you; I didn’t feel this way when I first started out, but later on, I just realized that I did not care what other people thought! I made a risky career choice that will indeed follow me my whole life, but I wouldn’t change any of my decisions. No regrets!
EYESTRANE: Also on Eyestrane, there is an interview with Mariah Milano, who I understand is a close friend of yours.
INDIA: I met Mariah way back when we both just started (in the porn industry) and we have been friends ever since. I love that girl. We may go months or longer without seeing or talking to each other, but as soon as she enters the room, it’s like we pick right up where we left off and that is the sign of a true friend!
EYESTRANE: Mariah says you are known for having a perfect, all-natural body, especially your boobs, and when you were on the The Howard Stern Show, Howard complimented you on them and even questioned if they were real or not?
INDIA: When I went on The Howard Stern Show for the first time, I was so scared I think I was shaking! (laughs) But once we came into the studio he was so nice and I warmed up really quick! I had a great time and it was a crazy experience! He did say I was a pretty girl (laughs). Maybe one year later, I was invited back on the show again. We had a lot of fun!
EYESTRANE: You have done quite a number of appearances in more mainstream projects as well. What are some of these?
INDIA: I had music in the movie Walking Tall and I have a few cameo appearances in movies such as Bossing Up with Snoop Dog and Love and a Bullet with Treach, and I have appeared in many music videos. I started off by linking up with the famous director David Meyers and he just put me in most of his vids! Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy doing the videos because I’m an artist myself and I wanted to be in my own music video (laughs), but at that particular time, I wasn’t really doing a lot of music. The videos I did were DJ Quick’s “Trouble,” Madonna’s “Music,” Juvenile’s “Set It Off,” Ja Rule’s “Living It Up,” Jay Z’s “H to the Izzo,” 50 Cent’s “Shake Your Ass” aka “Disco Inferno,” and lots more. I have also appeared in many magazines, from porn covers to mainstream magazine cover stories and write-ups, including Source, Black Mens, XXL, Complex, and more.
EYESTRANE: Even during your porn career, your heart has always been in music. Your most recent music is a combination of R&B, soul, pop, rock, and hip hop. How would you best describe your sound?
INDIA: If you mixed pop with R&B, trance, and rock, you would get India Morel. I LOVE mixing a lot of genres because I’m an 80s baby and I appreciate rock ‘n’ roll, along with pop and soul, so it’s all me just being creative.
EYESTRANE: One of my favorite tracks is “Strip.” Is there a story behind this song?
INDIA: I made “Strip” just sitting at my computer in my home studio and I just started to freestyle the lyrics. I put on my earphones and began to record! “Strip” is about people being free to just let go and have fun for the moment and, of course, me seducing some random cute guy! (laughs)
EYESTRANE: Do you write your own music and lyrics?
INDIA: I do write all my own music. I know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it, so writing comes easy for me. What inspires me is my love for music. Music is my love!
EYESTRANE: What are some of your favorite tracks?
INDIA: My favorite song is probably “Dear Daddy.” I wrote that song to my father, who has been absent for most of my life due to drug abuse. I wanted him to know that, even though I had my mom, I still needed him as well. “Daddy can you help me wipe all me tears away? Maybe I would have been a different woman than I am today if you were here.”
EYESTRANE: I understand you also have a radio show called “Dollhouse Radio.” Tell us a little about your show.
INDIA: I created Dollhouse Radio in ’09 and since then, we have had over 100,000 listeners tune in. I really appreciate the love my fans give me and it’s a great experience! My show, “The Dollhouse,” is on every Saturday at 11:00 PM EST on BlogTalkRadio.com/DollhouseRadio.
EYESTRANE: You are also an author and released a fiction book last year called Seductive Company. The heroine in the novel leads a double life: Corporate professional by day, insatiable sex-starved woman by night. Is the character in the book, also named India, based on you?
INDIA: Yes, I released a novel last year called Seductive Company. The character in the book was named India as well, but her life wasn’t mine! We have many things in common, but I think she was off the chain (laughs). This book is a great read. Not only you get great sex stories, but also a fantastic storyline to match!
EYESTRANE: I am excited to learn you are currently working on your memoir, Infamous. Can you tell us what we can expect when it is released?
INDIA: I have been working on my memoir Infamous: Memories of an XXX Star, for a while, but this book is my baby and I want to make sure it’s up to my liking. The book isn’t a fiction novel like my last book. This is my life story and it’s way more pressure because this is real life! I’m writing about things regarding my personal life, but I’m ready t share my personal side with the world! I’ve been through a lot and maybe my story can help someone or motivate them. I’m looking at an October release date, so I’m really excited! (Editor’s Note: India’s book, Infamous: Memories of an XXX Star, was released in 2013 and it’s available here.)
EYESTRANE: What do you think of the porn industry in the present?
INDIA: I think the porn industry is way different than before, but everything has changed. Even in the music industry. That’s just life. In this business, you have to be able to roll with the punches and keep up! (laughs)
EYESTRANE: What are your hopes for the future?
INDIA: My plans in the future are to release more books and I’m thinking next a self help book! I also want to really focus on building my radio show, The Dollhouse, and of course, music will always be in my life. Maybe one day, in a few few years, I will have a kid. Maybe! (laughs)
EYESTRANE: Where can we find out more about you?
INDIA: ReverbNation. All my music is there. Also IndiaMorel.com, which is still under construction, but keep your eye on it (Editor’s Note: IndiaMorel.com is now defunct. The link is to the archived page), and Dollhouse Radio!