A YouTube sensation thanks to racy videos for songs such as “Fuck You Betta,” sexy singer Neon Hitch got her start as a street performer. Now, she's on a self-funded tour intended to build up some anticipation for a forthcoming self-released full-length album. Given her DIY approach, it’s as if things have come full circle.
“Honestly, the early days were not far from my current days,” she says via phone from a New Orleans tour stop. “I was traveling in a bus, wearing crazy clothes, meeting crazy characters and making a living doing something I love. It’s kind of the same but I’ve learned a lot. It definitely prepared me for what I’m doing. As far as performance goes, I’ve always been a performer. Back then, I was doing trapeze and then I transitioned into singing. It’s evolved.”
Neon Hitch says she published her first poem when she was only 8 and has always kept journals. After moving from the UK to the States a few years ago, she “met the right people” and quickly inked a deal with Warner Bros., which intended to release her debut, Beg, Borrow and Steal.
Despite the success of some of videos for the album’s singles, the album won’t be coming out. Instead, Neon Hitch will self-release her debut, Eleutheromaniac.
“I don’t like to use the term scrapped,” she says when asked about Beg, Borrow and Steal. “That sounds so harsh. I’m selling some of the songs to other artists. They’re not as personal as I want them to be. Songs that don’t fit me and only me as an artist can go to somebody else. I want to define myself as an artist and tell my story because my story is crazy. I want my songs to be the kind of songs that it would make sense only I sing. It’s not scrapped. Some of it I’ve reworked and some of it I’ll keep. Some of the songs are just going to different homes.”
Her new single, “Yard Sale,” is a catchy pop song that features a colorful video in which Neon Hitch hosts a yard sale in a trailer park. The song serves as a metaphor for “emotional cleansing.”
“I have so much shit weighing me down,” she says. “What is the best way to get rid of old shit? Have a yard sale. The theme of the tour is a yard sale. The stage is full of random junk. People can come up and buy the random junk or they can bring yard sale items to the show. You can come to my show and make money too. I think it’s an interactive theme. It’s a way to interact with my fans.”
It’s accurate to say Madonna is a clear antecedent for what Neon Hitch. Like Madonna, Neon Hitch constantly changes her look. And like Madonna, she's found a following with the LGBT crowd.
“Madonna is definitely one of my inspirations,” she says. “A woman who’s not afraid to own who they are and what they stand for — you have to respect that.”
Neon Hitch, Carmen & Camille, Jared Evan, 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583. Tickets: $10 ADV, $12 DOS, houseofblues.com.