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Interview: Neeko

Originally from England like some of the larger-than-life bands or Pop starts on television, 18-year-old singer-songwriter Neeko is a thriving young musician and teen label owner whose been creating music for a little less than three years. To date, he’s released a music video for his newest single “Born To Love You”, and it’s garnered over ten thousand views on VeVo. Needless to say, it’s been well-received. His name is a phonetic variation of how his real name is spelled, which is Nico and when he’s not working hard with rehearsals or recording, he’s the head of a teen label. Yes, a teen label. It’s kind of like the famous and most successful movements in today’s music: GOOD Music and Young Money.


Can you tell me a little bit about the single? What inspired you?

I just wanted to make a fun track that everyone could listen to, a track that makes people smile. That’s the mindset that I went in with. I think we did a great job with that.

Do you feel like you were born to love?

Laughing.

Yeah, of course.


What separates you from the other artists who want to be famous Pop artists as well?

I’m not just an artist. I’m involved in the business side of my music just so that I can be in control of my destiny because so many artists let the label control them, and what they produce and how they produce it, and make it. It seems a little forced. I’m just trying to control every single aspect. That’s how I’m separate.

As a new artist, do you deal with any discouragements or disappointments?

It’s very easy to get disappointed but you have to move on and don’t let it get to you. It doesn’t matter what you do, there’s always someone that disapproves with whatever you do. You just can’t please everyone. I just want to make great music that I can stand by and love, and basically the rest is up to my fans.

Who do you listen to?

One Direction, Drake, Kanye West. Just people who are kind of consistent and innovative.

How important is practice? I’ve talked to a lot of artists who are at different levels of their careers, and you can kind of see specifically like, within a live setting like, who practices on vocal coaching and who doesn’t, and who really takes heed to in their daily lives and daily activities, what they eat and even drug use. It separates the great artists from the others. So how important do you think is practice?

This is the way I look at it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a singer or an actor, we practice everything. Whatever you put in, you’re going to get out. I practice live rehearsals about four to five times a week. I’m in the studio most days. At the moment, I’m actually learning how to play the piano so I’m putting my best foot forward.

OK, very nice. I didn’t know you played instruments too. That’s cool. You said when you were talked about the start of your career. Who are some of the people involved? Do you have collaborations on the project?

At the moment, I don’t have any collaborations on songs but when I say we, I mean my team, which would be my producers, my publicist and my manager. That’s the team. That’s us.

Is there a follow-up record to “Born To Love You”?

There definitely is. I’ve actually been in the studio for a very long time and I have about enough material to make two albums. There’s quite a lot coming up next. I don’t want to talk too much about it but there’s definitely a follow-up record.

Tell me about your label.

The reason I created the label… I’m not bashing any record label or anything. I just want to kind of do it myself. I wanted to start a movement, get the youth involved. Instead of a 45-year-old man telling an 18-year-old guy what’s hip and what’s not, let’s make a young label. No one has a young label at the moment. Everyone is kind of an old — I don’t what’s the word I’m looking for — machine and it needs to be changed up a little bit, and that’s what we stand for. We stand for everybody, and giving everybody a chance. No matter how connected you are in the business, and giving everybody a chance. We’re just going to start from the ground up and make this a movement.

Do you think the old heads are going to say, “You guys are young and you don’t know what you’re really talking about? You don’t have the experiences.” Do you fret for anything like that? Any of those challenges?

I mean of course but this is our generation. That’s the best way I could put it. This is our generation. We’re going to make the new trends. We’re going to be experiencing these trends so that’s it really.

I totally understand. I agree. I think what you’re doing is really great actually. It’s innovative and amazing.

Thank you.

What do you like most about the music business?

What I love most about this industry is just the amount of creativity, and turning ideas in my head into a finished track or a finished video. or seeing a lightbulb concept coming all together. It’s what I do this for.

And when you first heard the name GrungeCake, what came to mind?

First thing that came to mind that it was a trendy name. It’s very, very trendy.

Thank you.

No problem.

Any thing else you want to share?

I have a bunch of music videos. I am going to be doing live performances. That’s it really.


For more Neeko, just click here.

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is part of the Complex Day Ones, an exclusive community to help make the Complex experiences even better.