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(This article originally appeared in the BottomLine Magazine, a content-sharing partner of SDGLN.)
I got the chance to email Neon a quick Q&A over the pond before she invades the sands of Palm Springs this weekend.
First off, Neon – that’s an unusual first name. Was that a birth name or a nickname, and there’s got to be a story behind it!
It’s my real name, my dad is a lighting technician so neon was very fitting. The other options were brown rice and zizigeratzanibarzandos…. Thanks dad.
Even in the BBC clip [catch it on her website] – you seem poised for greatness – have you always had that belief in yourself?
I’ve always been very ambitious and felt I have a lot to say because I’ve been exposed to a lot from a young age.. So what better way to talk to the world than through the radio!
Growing up in a caravan, what was a hard, early life lesson for you?
Living a lifestyle that was seriously frowned upon wasn’t easy and only now do I embrace it and am proud to represent for my community. As a child all you wanna do is fit in, but that’s not what makes us special.
Did your Bohemian upbringing prepare you for the crazy lifestlye of being in the music industry?
Absolutely! I literally have gone from one circus to another (the music industry) I love it though; it’s where I belong.
How did you get hooked up with Gym Class Heroes?
My boy Benny Blanco was doing the record and he called me up and asked if I’d be down to feature. Obviously my answer was yes! I love Gym Class so much they have been so wonderfully supportive, and are just real nice down to earth boys.
Who would you love to collaborate with next?
You seem to gravitate musically to hip-hop in some of your music. What do you find so inspiring about that musical genre?
I love the swagga.
How do you psyche yourself up for a live performance – do you have an unusual routine you follow before you get on stage?
I always meditate before a show – it gets me in a trance – an I don’t think about anything else when I’m on stage. I just try and have fun with any given situation.
How is the UK music scene so different from the American – or are the lines beginning to blur between the two countries musically?
I think a lot of amazing UK artists are now making it over the pond, but there is still quite a big difference in radio play.
What do you think is the biggest misconception fans might have about you?
To some people I may come off as a cold tough bitch, but I actually have a HUGE heart and am very sensitive.
I love the video of your hot single “F U Betta”! It packs heat some serious heat! Can the girls at Dinah look forward to you performing the same moves when you’re on stage here?
Oh yeah totally! I think whatever your sexuality is, it should be embraced! I go all out on stage, the circus animal becomes unleashed! Me and the Neon Tribe are bringing the party.
So when can fans look forward to getting their hands on your new album, Beg, Borrow & Steal?
I’m hoping for a late summer release, but right now the focus is “F U Betta.”
Is this your first time in Palm Springs?
Yes, I’m so excited!
Will you have any time while you’re in town to chillax by a pool?
There is ALWAYS time for the pool, maybe I’ll change my flight.
Any last shout outs to our readers?
Follow me on Twitter to see what I’m up to @neonhitch! Love you guys!
Neon Hitch's Biography, courtesy of neonhitch.net.
British singer and songwriter Neon Hitch’s story is just getting started. She is done recording her debut album, Beg, Borrow and Steal, due out later this summer. The Benny Blanco (Ke$ha, Wiz Khalifa, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, Britney Spears) produced album is shaping up to be a collection of striking songs that deploy Neon’s soulful, jazz-inflected vocals atop an organic backdrop of eclectic pop melodies and hip-hop tinged beats.
2011 was the year Neon Hitch began to take off. Her online profile blew up thanks to a series of well received new songs like “Bad Dog” and “Poisoned With Love” and a series of hip hop cover videos where she put her unique spin to hit songs from Kreayshawn, Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka Flame and Mac Miller.
2012 will be the year Neon Hitch explodes. Neon is featured on the Gym Class Heroes smash single “Ass Back Home,” one of the hottest songs in the country. She’s already performed the song on The Today Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, VH1’s Superbowl Fan Jam and Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve.
On the heels of this success, Neon is ready to unleash her debut single – “Fuck U Betta.” The electric Benny Blanco produced track is the first official single off Neon’s debut album Beg, Borrow and Steal, which will be out this summer.
In addition to being a great talent, Neon has an amazing back story. As a kid, she grew up on a bus, travelling the world as a trapeze artist and street performer. BBC even did a documentary on her life. At age 10, Neon began writing poetry, which led to her writing lyrics. Over the next handful of years, Neon found herself traveling with friends all over Europe, and living in squats in London while trying to pursue a singing career.