Neon Hitch 

Flagstaff Pride headliner emphasizes the importance of her fans

By Laura Latzko, July 2015 Issue.
Photo by Sequoia Emmanuelle

Photos by Sequoia Emmanuelle.

Everything about Neon Hitch is colorful: her music, her style, her lyrics, her stage presence, her personality and especially her fans.

Hitch, best-known for her collaboration with the Gym Class Heroes on the top-20 hit “Ass Back Home,” has been compared to Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper and Carmen Miranda because of her distinct sound and innovative style – both of which Flagstaff Pride attendees will be able to experience for themselves when she takes the Findlay Toyota Main Stage in Thorpe Park June 27.

“I am a true artist, inside and out, forever. I was born an artist,” the gypsy pop maven said. “I have to just let go of all inhibitions, and I have to just dive in, and I just have to feel it.”

Hitch, who describes herself as a “gay man in a woman’s body,” said her 2012 single “Love U Betta” appealed to a more diverse fan base, including the LGBT community. Later that year, Hitch came out as bisexual.

“I personally don’t believe in labels. I believe love is love, whether it be a man or woman,” she said. “The thing that is so beautiful about the gay community, and why I connect with that world, is it is just about freedom and expressing yourself and being colorful. And my name is Neon. I like being colorful.”

It’s no secret that collaborations have played a big role in the singer’s career. When her effort with Gym Class Heroes hit No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was only the beginning. Earlier in 2011, Hitch paired with with Sia on “Get Over U,” and the following year she featured Tyga on “Gold.”

The artist worked with Kinetics and One Love, a duo out of New York, on her 5-track EP, 301 to Paradise. The mixtape, which was released in May 2014, features a version of Marilyn Monroe’s “Some Like It Hot.”

On Sept. 11, Hitch will release her debut album Freedom. The release date has special meaning to Hitch, as it does for so many Americans. But in her case, it’s also the day she ran away from home and gained her own personal freedom.

“It’s a day for me to remember what everybody’s lost and what you can gain, and it’s about building yourself back up,” Hitch said.

According to Hitch, the album was originally set to be titled Eleutheromaniac. The new title, she said, better fits her as an artist.

“I’m all about the story. My whole existence is a story. I think that’s my whole reason for being on this earth is to create a story,” Hitch said. “There’s so many sides to me. I’m like a rainbow. I’m so many different colors, and each song represents a different side of me.”

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Photos by Sequoia Emmanuelle.

But before Freedom releases, the singer teased that she will be putting out new music around the time of Flagstaff Pride.

“I’m so excited about it. It’s like nothing I’ve done before,” Hitch said. “It’s still gypsy pop. It’s still Neon Hitch. It’s very random … hearing is believing.”

Hitch added that she hopes her new music will allow listeners to get to know her better. She aspires to have highly personal music like Eminem, an artist she really admires.

“My fans are my whole life. They are the air I breathe. They keep me going when I doubt myself, and I just hope I can be the same for them in return,” Hitch said. “We all lose hope sometimes, and when I feel down, sometimes I’ll check my email, and I read messages from these amazing, inspiring kids from all around the world. It just makes me feel complete.”

Fans have played a major role in Hitch’s career and, in order for them to continue to do so, she developed the #WeRNeon, a fan-driven record label with a social community component that serves as a way for her to connect with her fans and include them in her creative process.

“My core fans, the die-hard fans, sometimes they know me better than I know myself,” Hitch said. “Sometimes you need a person to see you in a way that you want to be seen … I’m very grateful for my fans, and I think they understand me.”

When Hitch takes the stage at Pride, she said attendees can expect to hear a mixture of her hit songs as well as her newer music. In the meantime, Hitch can be found at
@neonhitch on Twitter, Neon Hitch Music on Facebook, Neon Hitch on Instagram and at werneon.com.


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