The ex circus performer, now singer and songwriter, Neon Hitch, is not your typical pop recording artist. Her (real) name alone hints at the direction of her destiny. Her story began in Kingston-Upon-Thames, England as her family’s home burned down the day of Neon’s birth, forcing them into a wanderlust lifestyle. Neon and family began their journey by traveling throughout Europe on a bus pulling a caravan bought with the cash Neon “earned” for appearing in a BBC documentary about her family. Neon soon honed circus skills everywhere from festivals to freak shows, where she learned to swing fire and do trapeze. It’s hard not to stop and take notice of this bold, British-born bohemian – both visually and sonically. In addition to sporting her signature strawberry pink hair, Neon makes her own clothes, sells her own jewelry and headscarves, and has many tattoos that highlight her life’s odyssey (including “Amy” inscribed on her finger as an homage to former flatmate Amy Winehouse). Neon now lives between Hollywood, CA, and New York City. “Home is where I lay my headscarf,” she says.
Her voice is full of whimsical defiance and beautiful rebellion, with lyrics and tone that make her sound all her own. This uniquely-Neon sound that she’s dubbed “gypsy pop” is a passionate instrumentation of live drums, strings and the occasional horn fused with contagious pop hooks and irresistible melodies. Lyrically, the theme of worldly wanderings weighs heavily on Neon’s songwriting.
At the age of 17 Neon caught the attention of Mike Skinner from The Streets, who signed her to his label, The Beats Recordings. In 2010, Warner Brothers Senior Vice President Kara DioGuardi signed Neon who began writing with Benny Blanco (Ke$ha, Wiz Khalifa, Katy Perry, Britney Spears) in New York for what was to be her debut album, Beg, Borrow and Steal. She toured across the US, performing in venues such as Madison Square Garden, and was the featured vocalist on Gym Class Heroes’ smash hit, “Ass Back Home,” all before her own singles, “Luv U Betta” and “Gold,” both went no. 1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart in 2012. During this time, she grew as a songwriter, as well, working with heavyweights like Bruno Mars, Imogen Heap, Sia, Ryan Tedder, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and others. She penned 3oh3!’s “Follow Me Down” for the Alice in Wonderland film, as well as Ke$ha’s no. 1 single, “Blah Blah Blah.”
ABOUT HAPPY NEON & 301 TO PARADISE
Frustrated by executive changeover at her label, causing the prolonged delay of her debut album, Neon launched the free download of her Happy Neon EP — a collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Happy Perez — in early 2013. The EP was acclaimed both in the press and amongst her fans who clamored for more. It was this point in her journey that proved to be most fortuitous, as Neon soon made the decision to make a brand new album – with a message. Still sidelined by her label in January 2014, Neon released a mixtape entitled 301 to Paradise – an audio-movie collaboration with Grammy-nominated production duo Kinetics & One Love (Eminem, Nicki Minaj, B.O.B) as she decidedly moved on from all the songs previously intended for her debut album Beg, Borrow and Steal. “I felt like that project didn’t have enough of my story and truth in it,” says Neon.
THE NEW PROJECT: ELEUTHEROMANIAC
Now taking back her freedom to make and release the music she believes in, the Queen of Gypsy Pop announced her triumphant separation from Warner Brothers Records and the release of her long-awaited debut album eleutheromaniac. eleutheromaniac is projected for a Fall 2014 release. Neon has co-written every song on the new project, working with hit-makers like Fred Ball (MIA, Little Mix), Billy Mann (Pink) and Norwegian super-producers DSign and Jon Bellion (Rihanna’s “Monster”) to bring her gypsy pop sound to life. The first single, “Yard Sale” makes this statement in a strong way. “I was in a low place prior to starting the album over, and I know that people will be able to relate to that. Like everyone else, I’m fighting to find my purpose. This journey has made me stronger and fearless.”
“I’m now making my Tribe of fans the label — they are the ones who listen, buy and come to shows.” Fans are clamoring to help with the #WeRNeon movement — a fan-based label that will utilize fans as her A&R, art department and marketing machine. True to this movement (#WeRNeon), Neon has already tapped her Tribe to help with video creation, artwork and even A&R. Neon affirms, “The music business is the wild west now. And I’ve got my boots on ready to gun-sling — with my band of gypsies behind me!”