2014 is primed to be a great year as YoHipster predicts breakout years for a number of musical acts. One of those acts is Neonfaith – made up of Fef, Lay, and Megan Faye – and they’re our latest feature in our On The Rise series!
Rising out of Jamaica, Queens – better known for producing some of the illest emcees – Neonfaith is fusing their love of hip-hop, indie, and electronic music to captivate and transfix listeners. The trio has steadily gained positive review after positive review and seen their fan base rise as they took on 2013 with the release of their self-titled EP Neonfaith. The six track EP has already received plenty of love from a number of blogs; including YoHipster and Earmilk.
Neonfaith is an EP that cleverly blends hip-hop drums, indie melodies, and electronic synths into a sound that grabs listeners and gets them go from bobbing their heads to doing a little dance in their chair (in my case, even while sitting in the middle of Starbucks). While we at YoHipster have been fans of Neonfaith, it’s time you all got to know this trio a little better! Read our Q&A with the group below and if you haven’t already downloaded the Neonfaith EP check it out below and don’t waste another minute!
YoHipster: How did the three of you meet and come about creating Neonfaith?
Neonfaith: Lay had the idea for the name when he was in high school, it was just a word that captured his attention for the essence of what it could be and so he held onto it, waiting for the right project to apply it to. Lay and Fef are from the same neighborhood but didn’t come together until after high school when they linked up as a part of the music collective Audio Never Dies (A.N.D.), working together to produce tracks for other A.N.D. artists like Bobby Generic. While they have strong roots in hip-hop, they both also have a love for indie music and wanted to fuse their skills into an indie electronic project. Neonfaith was founded with this intent and I was recruited to round out the group on vocals and lyrics.
YH: Neonfaith is such a great name, any meaning behind it?
NF: The initial idea that Lay had was just the imagery and feeling captured by the word, which has evolved into this idea of so easily being caught up in the lure of bright lights, being drawn to all that glitters and the promise that it offers, which is not always a good thing. There’s a darkness underneath the beauty, which I think sums up our sound as well.
YH: What has been the response to your self-titled EP Neonfaith?
NF: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve been releasing tracks from the EP for the past year, testing the waters a bit and trying to build an audience, and the demand was always there for more so we’re happy with finally getting our full release out there for free download. We work tirelessly to craft our music and we’re excited that the response to it matches our own. We’re already deep into the next EP so we’re always moving forward, pushing towards the next endeavor.
YH: What was the creative process like for the EP? It seems as though every aspect, from production to songwriting to the visuals, was thought out.
NF: The creative process is very collaborative, we all play off of each other, sharing music from other artists that we like, visuals that we’re interested in, and we spend a lot of time talking about who we want to be as artists and what kind of message we’re trying to convey with our sound. We are a completely independent project so we are involved in every aspect of what we put out there and we put a lot of thought into everything we release to the public. Our song writing process is very collaborative as well, with each of us feeding off of the sounds and melodies we create until an initial idea is fully evolved into something that reflects all three of our inputs.
YH: All of your songs seem to encompass multiple genres, but are there any predominant ones that you find yourselves creating from?
NF: The main genre is definitely indie electronic, but we try to fuse it with a wide array of influences because we were all raised on very different music. If indie electronic is the overriding genre, I would say the foundation supporting the indie electronic sound is absolutely hip-hop. But we each come from musical tastes that range from R&B to ‘70s funk to punk rock, so those elements all get fused in there both consciously and on an unconscious level. I think that’s what contributes to our unique sound that simultaneously sounds familiar and fresh, and seems to appeal to a very diverse audience.
YH: From where do you, as a group and individually, draw inspiration?
NF: We like to listen to what’s currently happening out there across different genres, because genre fusing is a big part of what is taking place in pop music and pop culture at large right now. We want to hear what the best and brightest are doing and take it back to our roots and see how we can take the theme of what’s out there but put a different spin on it, shake it up a bit. Sometimes as a group we’ll sit down and focus on an artist in particular that we feel has done something special and try to study the elements that came together to create what they’ve done, such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
YH: Any plans to take Neonfaith on the road?
NF: We’ve been playing around the New York City area but we have definite desires to hit the road nationally and internationally. We’ve had a few offers to take our show abroad, so we’re feeling things out. We don’t have anything official to put out there, but we’re hoping to get outside of NYC in the near future.
YH: What can we expect from Neonfaith come 2014?
NF: We’re hard at work on our next musical project so expect new releases in 2014. The music we’ve been crafting has evolved our established sound to a whole new level; definitely expect a few twists. Keep watching, we’ve got some exciting things in the works.