The 29-year-old was unveiled as Dean Smith’s latest signing on Wednesday night, following a whirlwind 48 hours of talks between Villa and Southampton.
Unusually for a transfer in the social media age, no hint of Ings’ move leaked out before the official announcement and the England international has revealed so secret were the discussions, not even those closest to him were aware.
Ings told VillaTV: “I’ve been at a lot of places in my career but this was definitely the best-kept secret.
“It has been a crazy couple of days. I wasn’t able to tell my family until it was announced. Now I am just happy to be here and get started.
“It’s hard to explain (what moments like this) are like. I am very close with my dad. Not being able to tell him during the process was probably the toughest thing ever.
“I told him on the way up on Wednesday night and he is excited. He is looking forward to seeing me hopefully grow at this club.
“My family have always followed me. This is a new part of the country I will be living in but I am looking forward to it.”
Ings arrived at Villa Park for a fee which could eventually rise to £30m, depending on add-ons.
The former Burnley and Liverpool striker became Villa’s fourth signing of the transfer window after Ashley Young, Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia, the latter in a club-record deal.
Ings, who has left his boyhood club in order to move to the Midlands, admitted the challenge of helping Dean Smith’s team challenge in the top half of the Premier League was too good to turn down.
He explained: “The club itself is huge. You can see the direction the owners want to take it. It is a club with a big reputation and huge expectation from the fans. It is a challenge I could not shy away from and one I am looking forward to.
“A club like this should be competing in Europe, with its history. Hopefully I can play my part in achieving that. There is definitely a lot of good times to look forward to.
"It is a great stadium, with great fans. I am sure we can achieve great things."