The fertile Atlanta urban music scene led the formation of artist's collective called Groovement
and an independent label, Earthshare, which released a compilation CD featurin India.Arie's first songs.
In 1998, their independently-released compilation led directly to a call for a second stage spot at
Sarah McLachlan's Lillith Fair in St. Louis and Nashville. Just her tour appearance drawed the attention
of several talent scouts. Then she met Motown CEO, Kedar Massenburg, and signed in 1999 to record her debut album.
"He told me he'd never make me compromise my artistic integrity" says India.Arie.
But she tested very much Motown president's patience by taking almost two years in recording her first album.
In 2000, a Spike Lee's movie soundtrack, 'Bamboozled', previewed several tracks from the India's album.
At last, 'Acoustic Soul' was released on 27th March, 2001. The CD was a successful combination
of classic soul, blues and modern hip-hop syle productions. Track coproducer Blue Miller, Mark Batson,
Bob Powers and Carlos "Six July" Broady all co-wrote with her, trying to mix acoustic and hip-hop beats.
The album's first single, 'Video' (a sample of 'Fun'), received strong club and radio play but the whole album
didn't receive the heavy radio play that tipically pushes pop and rap albums.
In spite of that, 'Acoustic Soul' was certified gold within 6 weeks by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 units.
Nevertheless it held out 60 weeks in the Billboard Top 100 chart and after one year it had sold over 2.5 million units worldwide.
Almost immediately India.Arie was called to collaborate with artists like the veteran rocker
John Mellencamp (on 'Peaceful World'), the jazz-crossover talent Cassandra Wilson (on 'Just Another Parade') and many others.
Sade personally invited India to open her 2001 tour, expanding her initially scheduled 28 arena dates to 40.
In 2002 she also wrote 'Good Man' (with background arrangement by Musiq Soulchild) for the Mel Gibson movie
'We Were Soldiers'.
In January 2002 India.Arie got Grammy nominations in seven categories. Even though she took home
no awards on Grammy night, in June Black Entertainment Television (BET) named her best R&B female artist.
In September 2002 her sophomore album entitled 'Voyage To India' saw the light, led off by the first single
'Little Things' (an updating of Rufus' 'Hollywood'). India.Arie and her musical director,
Shannon Sanders, co-produced 90% of the CD together. A lot of songs were written at 6 o'clock
in the morning, after working in the studio and they often represent a voyage, a true representation of her last years.
In 2003 India.Arie toured with DJ Rogers Jr promoting his debut album 'Emosoul'.
A new album is on the horizon but one thing is sure: in the next years India.Arie will go on
to show her innumerable talents: singing, playing, arranging, writing and producing;
she will be able to do all that combining rich melody, natural instrumental textures and
a deeply powerful message: love yourself!