We got the chance to catch up with R&B soulstress NEIKA SIMONE to get to know her better. We quickly learned why she’s the Queen of the current independent R&B scene.
Q&A WITH NEIKA SIMONE
How Did You Come Up With your Stage Name? Please tell us where you’re from and what first got you interested in the entertainment industry?
I’m from Kings Mountain, NC but currently live outside of the Richmond, VA area. My stage name Neika Simone came from trying to figure out if I should use my full first name (Toneika) or shorten it. I always knew I’d use Simone. I’m named after Nina Simone and thought about how Neika was similar to Nina and decided to go with that. I think I’ve always been interested in the music industry, but life didn’t align enough for me to move in that direction until a few years ago.
Who and/or what inspires you to create?
My life experiences have inspired what and how I create.
How would you describe your sound?
I think I have a unique sound. My voice is smooth with a quiet strength and full of range.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
What is your creative process like?
I write by either listening to music and allowing lyrics to come to me or either I hear music in my mind, and build the entire song from there. Sometimes I journal to fully explore where I want the song lyrics to go.
What artist(s) would you like to collaborate with?
That’s a great question! I love Lalah Hathaway! She would be my hands down first choice! I also love Maysa, Moonchild, Sade, and Kem. I could go on and on. There’s so many great artists out there!
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’d love to open for Lalah Hathaway or Kem!! That would be amazing!!!
Keep Going. Life throws all kinds of curveballs our way. Keep Going! Things won’t happen when or how you’d like but you’ll get thereNeika Simone’s message to her fans
What is the most useless talent you have?
I guess I would say watching movies multiple times. I notice something different each time I watch the movie.
What would you be doing right now, if you weren’t doing music?
I have absolutely no idea! When I was younger I had a strong interest in medicine. I guess I’d probably be a nurse or nurse practitioner.
Who are some artists you admire and why?
The artist who made me fall in love with jazz is Ella Fitzgerald. Her story has always inspired me. One of her famous quotes says “It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts!”
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I’ve been told to be true to myself. That can be a challenge in this industry. People will try to pull you in different directions. That can be scary because you don’t want to do something that could jeopardize success. Ultimately, remember who you are and be true to that. Being genuine will always shine through.
Remember who you are and be true to that. Being genuine will always shine throughNeika Simone on the best advice that she’s received
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I dislike how people will try to take advantage of you. You really have to protect yourself and understand the business of it all. You need people around you who will be honest and will help point you in the right direction.
Congratulations on your latest project this year! Tell Us About It.
Yes, you’re correct! I released music for the first time and it’s been a fun ride! In February, I released an EP titled Beautiful Moments. The project has smooth jazz and R&B soul songs. In addition, I did two songs Picture Perfect and Tell Me that are R&B soul songs.
What’s next for you? Where would you like to see yourself in the next year?
In March I will release a new album called Point of View. I also have performances scheduled throughout the year. I’m looking forward to performing, making music and connections with fans.
What is your social media? How can people get in contact with you?
You can find me on my website at www.neikasimone.com, Instagram @Neika_Simone, Facebook @Neika Simone, TikTok @Neika Simone1, Twitter @Neika Simone
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