East London chanteuse and songwriter Neech finds inspiration flows from all directions.
Growing up with the sounds of reggae, hi-life and soul divas at home, heavily influenced by the indie scene of her peers, and a personal love for hip hop, all combined with an abstract blend of old-school soul and blues to create her own style. She began her musical career touring Europe as a singer for electronic band, Euphonic, before going solo and working with various producers on her own material. This led to her forming a band, also called Neech, and releasing her debut album, “Thinkin’ Bout You” in 2007.
She has performed guest vocals for many including Profit, the Dancefloor Outlaws, and Netherlands producer, Gumnaam.
Currently Neech is focusing on her own solo projects and collaborations with like minded musicians and producers.
1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.
1. Be honest and true to your art. Maybe you won’t be as big as Madge or Jay Z, maybe you will, but you’ll know you did it your way. At the very least, you’ll have great tales for the grandkids, and will have created something you can be proud of.
2. Work as hard as you can, because nothing comes to those who sit around doing nothing, even “overnight sensations” have a history of hard work.
3. Develop a thick skin, and be prepared to blow your own trumpet, literally.
4. Be on time.
5. Don’t badmouth other artists. Its not nice and it’s a very small world.
2. What has been one of the toughest music related experiences you’ve faced?
When a drummer quit the band before a potentially important show – on the same day as the show. She was an amazing drummer, had been with us while and we were devastated.
3. How did you get through or deal with it?
We had no choice but to pull out of the gig. This was very bad for the morale of the rest of the band, and I struggled to keep positive. But we didn’t have a back up plan at the time. I still went along to support the night, meet with the promoters and keep the network going. It meant that we were still in touch when we were in a position to perform again.
4. What did you learn?
Things happen, pick up and move on. But in future, be even more prepared.
I often carry a spare microphone to gigs – just in case. I also carry backing tracks as a last resort and have an acoustic set worked out with my guitarist and bassist so that we can offer an alternative performance. This began as a way to continue performing while looking for a new drummer but actually I love playing the stripped down sets too so I often do shows like this now anyway.
Working with others you have to rely on them to a certain extent, but I still try to maintain a level of independence… Be the master of your own destiny, etc.
Also, EVERY show is “potentially important”. Enjoy and put equal effort into everything, people have made the effort to come and see/hear you. Make it worth their while, and yours.