Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Q&A: Neon Hitch
Most stars find it tough to deal with touring. The instability of waking up in a new city everyday and the inevitable feelings of homesickness can break down even the biggest rock gods. Luckily dance-pop diva in training Neon Hitch will be well-prepared for such scenarios. The London-born singer grew up as part of caravan of street peformers, traveling all over the English countryside and lived in India for a few years before deciding on a singing career.
Since then she's racked up collaborations with Ke$ha and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, opened for 50 Cent and created a Twitter sensation with her cover of Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot." Neon Hitch talks with Indies And The Underground about her favorite rappers, eating fire and swimming with crocodiles. And yes that is her real name.
How did growing up as a traveling street performer influence you as a person and as an artist/performer?
NH: It kind of taught me everything I need to know to be on stage now, so it just comes naturally.
Along with being a singer, you're also a trapeze artist, stilt walker and fire swinger. Will you be making use of these talents in live performances?
NH: Soon as I have the budget I will definitely be swinging off the roof and eating fire.
You also make your own clothes. Who and/or what influences your design ideas?
NH: My mum!
At 16 you ran off to India to "find your place in the world." How did your parents react?
NH: I was a rebel so it really didn't matter to me at the time what my parents thought. I'm sure they were worried and I'm very sorry now. But everything I've been through made me who I am.
What sorts of activities did you get involved in while you were in India?
NH: Making jewelry, riding elephants, [and] swimming with crocodiles. But the most fulfilling thing was getting to look after the young children out there.
How does living in New York stack up to your previous residences?
NH: It's the complete polar opposite of anything I've done before, but I finally feel at home so I can't complain.
Has living such a nomadic life put a damper on romantic relationships and friendships?
NH: Haha, yes. I like my freedom.
You've done covers of songs like "Cooler Than Me" and more surprisingly, "Drop It Like It's Hot. " What inspired you to remake Snoop's song?
NH: I'm a big fan of Snoop and I think when you do a cover, you should make it your own and not sound like the original artist. And although I'd love to, I don't sound so much like a west coast rapper.
You've also opened for 50 Cent a few years back. Do you have any other favorite rappers?
NH: Yeah that was amazing! I think Eminem is probably one of the best rappers alive. I like people who let you into their world instead of just rapping about cars and bitches.
What other artists have influenced you musically, visually etc.?
NH: Bjork, sia, micheal jackson, the beatles, madonna, erykah badu...
You've written songs for and worked with artists like Ke$ha, 3OH!3 and Bruno Mars. Is it hard letting other people sing your songs?
NH: I love it! it's so surreal.
What was it like to work with Rivers Cuomo?
NH: He's definitely a character! He's such a legend and he really knows what he's talking about.
What is your creative process like when it comes to songwriting and working with producers?
NH: It's always different, but mostly I'll hear a basic beat and then start coming up with melodies and build around that. If you have a good melody, lyrics come easy.
What can we expect from Beg, Borrow and Steal, musically and lyrically?
NH: A world where you're all welcome.