Son of the popular singer and clown Eduardo das Neves, Indio learned the violão (acoustic guitar) by heart after listening to his father many times. He wrote dozens of beautiful songs which remained in the classical repertory of Brazilian popular music, like "Cinzas," "Para Sempre Adeus," "Noite Cheia de Estrelas," "Jura de Cabocla," "Última Estrofe," "E Nada Mais," "Lágrimas" (recorded by Orlando Silva in 1935), "Apoteose do Amor," (recorded in 1936 by Orlando Silva), "Página de Dor" (with Pixinguinha, recorded by Orlando Silva in 1938), "Cabocla Serrana," "Nênias," "Íntima Lágrima," "Tudo Acabado," "Luar da Minha Terra," "Funerais do Amor," "Rasguei o Teu Retrato," "Cabocla Teresa," "Primavera," "Noite de S. Pedro," "Em Delírio," and "Rancho Abandonado." He was recorded by the likes of Orlando Silva and Vicente Celestino, but was a good violonista and singer on his own. The genres explored in his compositions were the modinha, the valse, the seresta, and the tango.
In 1917, he became a member of the rancho Heróis da Piedade. He had several partners, among them Vinícius de Moraes' uncle, Henrique de Melo Morais, and Uriel Lourival. In 1922, he recorded his compositions "Saudades do Sertão" and the fox trot "Quadra de Amor" as a singer. His first hit was "Noite Cheia de Estrelas," recorded by Vicente Celestino in 1932. Around 1930, he appeared in Gastão Lamounier's show at the Rádio Educadora with Melo Morais. In a duet with Melo Morais, he recorded his sertanejo songs, "Rosa Morena" and "Luar de Minha Terra," in 1932. He wrote "Versos de Longe," which was recorded by Melo Morais. With "Perdi o Meu Pandeiro," he won the O Malho contest of carnival music in 1934. His songs had great success after his death by tuberculosis, receiving several re-recordings. "Última Estrofe," for example, was recorded in 1932 by Castro Barbosa; in 1935 by Orlando Silva; and later by Vicente Celestino, Nelson Gonçalves, and Sílvio Caldas.