You recently performed at a venue for Billboard ATL. What is it like to perform your music in front of a crowd? Does it come naturally for you or is it something you have to work at?
N Performing gives me a rush and a crazy high. It feels like pure energy running through my veins. I’m usually a little nervous right before I go on. When I’m on stage however, all the energy is released and then it’s over in the blink of an eye. Before I have a show I rehearse with my DJ and my band – sometimes I even go to my vocal coach. I like to rehearse beforehand so everything runs smoothly while I’m performing.
Where do you find your inspiration when creating music in the studio?
N Most of my inspiration comes from how I’m feeling. I’m pretty emotionally in tune with myself and the people around me. I often times pick up on other people’s emotions and I translate that into my own music. Music is about the feelings experienced when listening, so I use those feelings as my ultimate tool while creating my songs.
On your Instagram, you have an image of you standing in front of the Capitol Records star. If you could sign with any label which would it be and why?
N That day I was leaving a meeting at Capitol Records. I had just dropped my new single “No,” produced by Spree Wilson, and I was filled with so much happiness. I have some labels that I would like to sign to in mind, but I want to go where my value is recognized. As an artist you need a team that really believes in you, so whichever label can give me that is where I’ll call home.
Your name, Neila, is actually the word alien spelled backwards. What does this green persona mean to you?
N Yes it is, my green hair and my name all go together with my brand. My hair has been green for like five years and I can’t imagine it being any other color. Alien is more of a symbol for feeling different and not wanting to fit into society norms. I personally feel like standing out is more cool than fitting in.
When did you realize that writing and producing music was your passion?
N I’ve been writing and singing music my whole life. From the moment I could talk, I told my parents I wanted to be an artist and I’ve been working towards it ever since.
What kind of music do you listen to and how does that genre influence the music you create?
N I listen to a lot of R&B naturally. I love Frank Ocean, he’s one of my all-time favorite artists. Right now I’m listening to Lucky Daye and Ari Lennox on repeat. While I work on my project however, I won’t listen to anything new. I don’t want to be influenced by other people’s music and want to keep everything authentically me.
Dead or alive, what is one artist that you wish you could collaborate with on a track?
N Naturally, Frank Ocean being my favorite artist, I would love to collaborate with him. Kanye West is another dream to work with. An artist that is no longer with us that I would have been ecstatic to partner with is Aaliyah. If she was still alive I believe R&B music would be in such a different space.
Photos by Demetrius Washington