Shocking, glamorous, cheerful and cheerful, fiery-red beauty with an extraordinary voice-these were the thoughts on my mind when I first heard the heroine of this interview. Neon hitch is a British dance-pop singer and songwriter. And this is not a pseudonym: the name of the future singer was given by her father, a lighting specialist. The singer spent her childhood in a trailer with her parents, traveling the world with her own circus on wheels and selling homemade jewelry and clothes. The singer’s career began in New York, where Neon invited American producer benny Blanco, who opened her tracks on My Space. There Neon records her first hits «Get Over U», «Fuck U Betta», «Sparks», «Ass Back Home» with the group Gym Class Heroes and writes songs for other artists and films. In 2016, after 8 years of lingering problems with the former label, Neon hitch opens her own label WeRNeon and releases the long-awaited debut album «Anarchy». In January 2019, Neon releases a second record, «Reincarnation». At the moment, the singer is working on a completely new project. In an exclusive interview for Musecube, Neon hitch talks about his creative reincarnation, self-love, friendship with Amy Winehouse and much more
Musecube: You released your second album «Reincarnation» earlier this year. Tell us more about the process of working on the record and the main concept.
NH: Reincarnation, to me, is a meaning of my past self being reborn into my new skin. It’s also a collection of old songs I hadn’t had access to for a while – so although some may be an older style of mine, I’ve been able to bring them back to life. My new sound is something nobody has even heard yet because I’ve been wanting to reincarnate my old, unreleased music and bring them to life before my new sound is born.
Musecube: In 2016, after many difficulties with the label, your debut album «Anarchy» had been finally released. How did you feel at that moment? Was it like holding a newborn baby in your arms?
NH: It was very liberating releasing a full-length album on my own label, WeRNeon, with the power of my Neon Tribe. I’m all about freedom of the music and love having the ability to randomly put a track out when it’s something I’m resonating with at that moment.
Musecube: The new record feels like your «old style». In what genres would you like to try yourself?
NH: I can’t wait to show the more raw, gritty, been through some more shit kind of vibe. You can hear and feel the experience in my voice and I think that’s what’s people are going to really connect with on a deeper level.
Musecube: What are you working on now? New music? Clips? Collaborations with DJs?
NH: I’m moving into running my own business – it’s a massive learning experience with both mistakes and lessons I’ve learnt along the journey. So I’m playing lots of different roles which I don’t show on social media really…I wish I had 12 arms and more hours in the day!
Musecube: Now you’re a free artist with your own label. How does it feel to be free and to hold creativity in your hands?
NH: I still don’t have access to all of my music but every day I go, “Oh yeah, that song!” My catalogue is really quite something. I’m just working on the right strategy for the next chapter.
Musecube: What problems did you face at the beginning of a new way?
NH: There are pros and cons to everything. It’s a lot more work and can be extremely overwhelming at times but I have faith that as things evolve, the right team of trustworthy like-minded people will come into the picture. Sometimes the problem for me is that there is too much to handle just being one person — there is a lot to manage because I come up with new ideas non-stop! The right people will come when it’s the right time I believe.
Musecube: Many different conflicts between big artists and labels have surfaced recently. What would you advise your colleagues in such situation?
NH: I kind of learnt the hard way, but I would strongly advise that artists understand the inside of the business before entering contracts. The wool can very easily be pulled over the eyes of the artist and everything can be a bit smoke and mirrors. You can then very quickly find yourself on your ass if you’re not careful. Be wise! Think of the bigger picture and know what you’re signing!
Musecube: The story of Australian rap singer Iggy Azalea is similar to yours. She’s her own boss now. Can an artist and his work survive in our time without binding contracts and huge promos from labels?
NH: I think it’s just about taking different routes and setting new pathways. We don’t all have to be on rotation to be real, respected artists and that’s what I care about more – being true to myself.
Musecube: Don’t you miss your time spent on the road with the circus? You must have a lot of amazing stories.
NH: Honestly lol. My life every day is still a circus…I should have my own TV show. I do a lot of daily circus acts whatever I’m doing.
Musecube: How do you like to spend your time when you’re not recording in the studio? What do you like to do? Do you have any favorite hobbies?
NH: I LOVE doing yoga! Dressing up for the sake of it…about 5 times a day! Sewing new clothes, talking to my fans, walks in nature, making collages, going through all my music and thinking up video concepts and release plans, and journaling journaling, journaling!
Musecube: You moved to New York from Britain. How often do you visit your homeland? What’s your favorite place in New York?
NH: I’m back in the homeland now. I ended up spending a bit longer here on this trip to make up for lost time. It’s been very healing reconnecting with my roots and I think I’ll come back stronger than ever now. I loved living in New York. I had such a dope scene going on over there with wild, outgoing, forward thinking friends. Brooklyn is where I first moved and I just love it there…all the dope little restaurants and the community too.
Musecube: My favorite songs from «Anarchy» are «Please» and «Razorblade». What inspired you to write «Please»?
NH: I was on the US TV show Million Dollar Matchmaker and one of the tasks they gave me — after making me cry – was to write a song in 15 minutes and then perform it. So I ran to my room, grabbed my keyboard and sat on my bed and let the song just flow out of me. The camera crew captured the process which was really amazing because I’m sure I would have forgotten what I was doing lol. Then I went down and performed it on a grand piano…I had NEVER done that before but I just went for it. It felt really good, so I’m grateful for the pressure to kick me up the ass!
Musecube: Do you follow the charts and tops? Is it really worth focusing on?
NH: I really am quite out of touch but really focus hard on the new tunes coming out of the UK, so much good stuff. J HUS, MIST, new Skepta material is sick…I love the Afro beat vibes and also The Blaze – they are super unique.
Musecube: Are you going to return to concert activities?
NH: Absolutely, I just had to recharge a bit. Duracell bunny.
Musecube: It would be very nice to see you in Russia with concerts. What do you know about Russia? Have you heard of any our artists?
NH: I love Russia! I went and performed at a private event for Bacardi in Moscow. What an AMAZING trip that was. I would love to come back.
Musecube: What do you think are the main values of life?
NH: I think everyone has their own different values in life. All of our journeys are different, which involve different focuses so I can’t really generalize that. But as long as whatever you choose comes from the heart, you can’t be wrong.
Musecube: What artists can be found in your playlist? Who is your idol?
NH: I love listening to old Gypsy Spanish music, dancehall, jungle, London rap, and Bonobo when I’m trying to just vibe out.
Musecube: Amy Winehouse helped you get started in music years ago. What’s your favorite memory of her?
NH: I think one of the funniest memories I have of us is when she came in the Addison Lee at 5am to my house I was renting a room in, and said, “Grab your bed, you’re moving into my house.” I had this round bed and I woke up all confused with paparazzi at the door and next thing I know, we’re putting a round bed, all my clothes and whole life into the car and moving into her house with an audience
Musecube: You had been living together for a while. How did you get along despite completely different musical tastes?
NH: We like a lot of the same stuff. Old school jazz singers, how can you go wrong?
Musecube: What kind of person was she in real life? What could she be now?
NH: Amy is the strongest soul I’ve met. Beautiful inside and out. God bless her and I’m sure wherever she is now, she is happy because she only deserves the very best in the universe.
Musecube: Who would you like to work with in the music studio?
NH: I would really like to get a full-on live band together. More organic and authentic and bring the music to life with real instruments and band members and bring the circus to a town near you!
Musecube: Are you writing songs for other artists now?
NH: Not intentionally but I have so many songs in the bag that when a fitting artist is looking, the perfect song might pop into my head and I’ll send it over.
Musecube: If you were offered a role in a movie, what role would you prefer?
NH: I would first like to play myself in my own movie but if another opportunity arrives before that, I wouldn’t be mad. I’ve always wanted to do movies. I was actually an actress as a child before I ever became a singer.
Musecube: You are a real fighter! What inspires you to wake up in the morning and keep fighting being yourself?
NH: The JOURNEY! The story over the overall movie of my life. You choose your own story and can create all sorts of things using your imagination. I stay creative in all forms, at all times.
Musecube: What would you say to your fans right now?
NH: I would like to say thank you for being my family. We have all grown together and continue to do so. I love seeing people come out of their shells and being proud enough to know I can be of any inspiration for others to flourish.
By Vladislav Pruss for Musecube
Photo by Neon Hitch