story / LOGAN BRENDT
photography / SANTIAGO FELIPE
photography assistant/ JOHN NICKSON
hair / ERIC ALT
makeup / COLBY SMITH
stylist /JASON LEBLOND
Dress, MAI TAI. Sunglasses, MERCURA NYC. All jewlery, BITA POURTAVOOSI
British singer-songwriter Neon Hitch is beaming, playful and loud during her photo shoot with LADYGUNN, easily grabbing everyone’s attention. This makes it clear that her vibrant hair isn’t the only reason why her birth-given name, Neon, suits her. “My friends also had the craziest names like Rainbow, Star, Hope, and Poppy,” she later remarks about her childhood in the gypsy community. By now, the traveling lifestyle is something that Hitch is more than used to. “It’s what I’m built for,” she says.
Hitch spent most of her life either on a bus with her mother or on a tour bus with her father who was a lighting technician for artists like David Bowie, Duran Duran, and Annie Lennox. This has worked to her benefit, preparing her for the touring lifestyle of a musician and teaching her about independence. “I’m very spontaneous and I’ll take any opportunity. I go with the flow,” she adds.
It’s this spontaneity that brought the former trapeze artist to New York years ago to work with esteemed music producer Benny Blanco. Having recently completed her debut album with Blanco, she reflects on the favorable recording experience and her time with him, saying, “We’ve really grown together. He has taught me about pop sensibility and I’ve taught him more about the magical side of things.”
Since Hitch has also co-written songs for many artists in the past, including Ke$ha and Sky Ferreira, she talks about one of her favorite writing sessions with Imogen Heap. “We recorded Benny taking a pee in the toilet and then turned it into part of the beat,” she says. “For the kick drum, we recorded me slamming the door and did other random shit.” She even mentions a time were she literally got cheeky. “Once for a snare sound, I pulled down my pants and Benny spanked my bum. That actually made a really good snare,”she laughs.
Having had some hiccups along the way when it comes to releasing her full length Beg, Borrow and Steal, Hitch instead decided to release an EP titled Happy Neon for the time being. Generously, it’s a free download. “I thought my fans deserved some music since they had been waiting so long and I didn’t want them to have to pay. It wasn’t about the money.” But while the EP admittedly isn’t as radio friendly as the album will be, she notes, “The mission was to make good feeling music.”
Hitch is all about the good vibes and also maintains this through a healthy lifestyle. Even though she’s used to the touring, she’s not always immune to her schedule. “Sleep is essential,” she says. “I also eat really healthy: lentils, brown rice, goji berries, ginger, and sometimes raw garlic… I won’t be making out with anyone that day.” Also taking care of her heart, she’s currently single and astutely declares, “I got my girls and I don’t need a man. Love will come when it’s the right time and the right person.”
All about powerful female presence, Hitch has been impacted by the best of them, including her former roommate and close friend Amy Winehouse. She says, “Amy helped me be who I am today.” Her voice growing beautifully sentimental, concludes, “She was the greatest inspiration ever as a person, as a musician, and as a soul sister. I’m so grateful to have ever known her.” Neon Hitch is a class act.