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Neon Hitch is a music machine made in marketing heaven. She has it all—an unbelievable background as a street performer and trapeze artist, support of major producers Kara DioGuardi and Benny Blanco (Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Britney Spears), a name that record execs couldn't dream up if they tried (Neon is actually her birth name, given to her by her hippie electrician father and mother) and a self-described "woman of the world" style that rivals the recent outrageous outfits of today's big names in pop.
We stopped her on the hot streets of New York City to pick her brain about style, growing up to stand out, and girl power for all.
Racked: What are you wearing right now?
Neon: It's hot. I usually don't wear a lot, but I'm wearing some shorts I made myself. They are sort of white denim with some gold studs I added. I'm wearing my mom's jewelry. A lot of my outfits are usually handmade. I don't do brand new stuff really. I like to be creative and make my own outfits.
Racked: What inspired you to first start making your own outfits?
Neon: Growing up traveling Europe in a bus, we never had a lot of money. I had always been into fashion and being outrageous with clothes. We would get material and turn it into everything we want to wear. I learned from young age to be creative. Plus, when I go out, I can't find the exact thing I want in store, so I'll just make it.
Racked: Describe your personal style.
Neon: Woman of the world—my fashion follows that. It's gypsy-esque, sort of tribal warrior. I love headdresses.
Racked: From growing up traveling and street performing to running away to India in your teens, what has inspired your personal style to date?
Neon: Fashion came from everywhere that I lived. A lot of it is Indian inspired. There are circus elements. I grew up street performing, so it's completely inspired everything that I wear day to day.
Racked: With the recent popularity of artists becoming more and more outrageous, do you feel having an eclectic style helps you in the music industry?
Neon: It's who I am and my personality and the way I dress. As a child, I hated it. I wanted to fit in. But now, I've finally found a place in the world where I'm free to be who I want to be. I think it's amazing that in music you are not restricted by having to wear a certain uniform.
Racked: Did growing up with a birth name like Neon name give you confidence to embrace your individuality?
Neon: When I was a kid, I was very wild. You can see on a BBC documentary I ended up being in when I was 11. I was wearing flower leggings and tiger print tops back then. I had such wild outfits. People called me a "weirdo." They would say, "She's from the circus. She's a freak show." I just want to be normal. When I left home, I kind of found my place in the world. I grew to find who I was and embraced it. Everyone should be free to be who they are, and never pretend, and not be restricted. It's not cool to fit in! I'm glad that I have the name Neon now. I'm proud.
Racked: You've worked with artists from 50 cent to Ke$ha and are currently recording with the producer for Britney Spears and Katy Perry. How do you hold your own in contrast to their distinct styles?
Neon: I'm so blessed with the amazing people I've been able to work with. We have pop music in common but we're all individuals. I can't completely compare myself to anyone partly because of the lifestyle I've had. I never fit in any group and I don't fit in now either. We all have individual character.
Racked: What was it like growing up with access to iconic artists like David Bowie and Duran Duran through your father's gigs on their tours? And how did it give you ideas about performance and being a musician?
Neon: I never had electricity in the bus I grew up in. My dad would visit and bring a personal cassette player, back in the day. He gave me Madonna and Michael Jackson, and said, "That's all you need to know." I studied them. I was obsessed. Of course, I was in the Spice Girls era, too. So, I was a huge fan. They taught me about girl power and fighting for whatever you want to be. I'm really inspired by legendary musicians. I am so grateful to them for everything that I am now.
Racked: What is your response to getting a lot of press about your individuality and "breakout" music?
Neon: I am so grateful for anyone supporting me. I just continue to do the music that I love and I hope that the world is enjoying it as much as I am.
Racked: What are some themes we can look forward to in your upcoming full length?
Neon: It's really all about girl power. Even if you're a boy you need girl power. Freedom and fun. Lots of dancing. You've got to have fun!
Neon Hitch will be on tour with 3OH!3 this fall. Her most recent single, Bad Dog, and remixes are available on her website. —Payton Wang
· Neon Hitch [Official Site]
· Neon Hitch [WBR]
· All Frockstars Posts [Racked]