16-year-old child star turned burgeoning pop star Indi Star’s musical inclinations have a unique origin–the “Kidz Bop” group. The family-friendly sung-by-kids-for-kids CDs lined the cars of Gen Z’s parents throughout their childhoods. Now, she is back with an original track titled “Hurt A Little.”
The young voices immortalized in the recordings naturally all grow up and go their separate ways, some departing music completely. Star, however, knew that the entertainment industry was her true calling. The Boston-born actress-singer moved to Los Angeles with her family to first pursue “Kidz Bop” and later a role on Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger”. Star first felt inclined towards the arts when she was three years old and joined a dance class. She credits her older sister for inspiring her to take singing lessons.
“Hurt A Little” lyrically references the pain of seeing a seemingly unbothered ex completely unphased over a breakup, in the era of false nonchalance on social media platforms.
From “Henry Danger” To “Hurt A Little”
Despite writing about more mature subject matter, Star still has no qualms about her child star beginnings. Numerous former child stars go on to have successful music careers, most notably Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. While some grow to resent the roles that got them to their destination, Star is open to talking about her experiences in the spotlight at a young age. Star, who has a TikTok following of 1.2 million, is no stranger to the endless questioning of the internet.
On TikTok, the singer-actress frequently shares glimpses into her everyday life, and teasers into what she is working on currently.
“A lot of my friends were on reality shows when they were 11 and now they’re 16 or however old and everybody still thinks that they’re 11, so they treat them like that. And that’s very difficult,” said Star.
“I mean, everybody just grows in their own way and I feel like everybody has the right to grow up and people online don’t feel like they do, or they still see them as this young person, and that’s very difficult to try to go against.”
In the years that followed her child stardom, the multi hyphenate booked appearances on Netflix’s “Dead To Me”, Brat TV’s “Charmers”, and more. Now 16 years old, Star bears a striking resemblance to the teenaged past of one of her idols–Taylor Swift. Amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the union represented actress is leaning into her musical roots.
Despite her career pivot, Star continues to stand among her fellow SAG-AFTRA performers, and even paid a visit to the picket line recently.
“I got to meet so many different people who were in SAG. We were all protesting, and I even saw a couple of dogs there. They had a bunch of food trucks that we all got to get food from, and it was really fun to find that community. I’m excited for the strike to be over, but I’m also happy that it’s happening, obviously, because it’s for our benefit, for everybody who’s in SAG,” recalled Star of her recent experience.
The Makings Of An (Indi) Star
The singer relates to the many female voices of a generation, and cites them as inspiration when writing “Hurt A Little”. These include Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lizzy McAlpine. Listening to these women singer-songwriters helped Star find her own unique voice, and find comfort in crafting her own music after singing covers earlier in her career.
Star reflected on the transition. “With Kidz Bop, you’re not making your own music. It’s all covers and it’s with a team, so it was super fun to go into the recording studio with everybody. We all took turns recording and then we would do all of our music videos together. I was 11, so I was very young, and it was nice to have all those people that I could relate to,” said Star.
“Doing music by myself, it’s still fun because I get to meet so many different writers and work on different types of music. It’s really great because I get to put my own stories into it instead of just doing covers for other people. So I mean, Kidz Bop taught me a lot of stuff, but recording on my own is teaching me a lot as well.”
Contrary to critics of women musicians, Star knows that heartbreak resonates, but that these songs are not all that makes a true singer-songwriter.
“I would love to expand into different topics. I have so many ideas for songwriting right now. I don’t want to always talk about heartbreak; though I feel like it’s one of the most relatable topics that everybody can relate to because everybody has a heartbreak in their life. Whether it’s friendship, family, or a relationship,” said Star.
“I definitely want to go into different topics that are more meaningful to me, I guess. And I’ll be working on that with new writers, which is super exciting.”
“Hurt A Little” is out now on all streaming platforms. You can follow along with Indi Star’s journey to stardom on TikTok and Instagram @indistar.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.