Black Neon discuss all things super collective around latest single ‘Midnight in LA’
Spanning continents, genres, race and gender, BLACK NEON is a blend of musical talents from the worlds of pop, electronic, hip-hop, R&B, gospel and jazz. The super collective combines the talents of Detroit producer Bishop 7, vocalist, writer and producer Sam Bruno, Dutch legend Sander Kleinenberg and EDM producer Thomas Helsloot.
With latest single ‘Midnight in LA’ just the beginning of their stratos-sonic adventure, BLACK NEON have sent a clear clarion call to music lovers everywhere, shining a light into the darkness, highlighting the possibilities, stepping fearlessly into the future. I House U sat down with the quartet to find out more…
Hi Black Neon, how are you all today?
Sam: Great! Just did a kick ass workout in my backyard and it’s 100 degrees in LA.
Bishop 7: Any day I’m breathin’ I’m winning.
Sander: Great! Just stepped off a jetski in St Tropez trying to wash away an eventful year.
Tell us about the group’s name – where did it come from?
Sander: The name Black Neon basically means “The New Black”, and it represents the beginning of a new standard. The standard is that everything goes and all worlds have collided in recent years. We want Black Neon to be the example of this new world.
You describe yourself as a ‘transatlantic-intergalactic’ force… that’s quite a claim! What exactly do you mean by that and how does your music convey the sentiment?
Sam: We all come from different spots on the planet, with different musical backgrounds, but we all share a vision. We all know that with our art and our music, we can reach every corner of the planet and literally bring light into people’s lives who are in the dark. That is some magical shit right there.
Bishop 7: We like a good gumbo. Put all the different flavors into the vibe and you get an explosion of goodness. Black Neon is the explosion of goodness. An infinite wave of goodness.
Sander: We wanna be some sort of truth.
You’re bringing a lot of different genres together into one overall sound. How did you ensure that it sounded smooth and not like a clash or jumble of different musical dynamics? Is there one genre that tends to dominate more than others?
Sam: As packaged art, this is cool, timeless pop music. But we all have mastered so many genres and styles, that we always create a cool-ass collage every time we come together.
Bishop 7: No because when it comes to good, good is just good. This level of professionalism is already lit and on fire. So all we gotta do is just cook.
Sander: The fact that it works out is the proof we want to represent.
Collectively you’ve written for and worked with an incredible bunch of artists – Kanye, Britney, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Zedd, Laidback Luke. When it came to writing your own music as a group, how did that work? Did one of you take a lead role?
Sam: We all literally have a hand in every area of the group, because we all are so multifaceted. It’s an extremely collaborative effort.
Bishop 7: It’s like a championship basketball team. After shootin’ around in the gym for a while, you learn to play together.
Sander: We are indeed a collective with individual qualities that all help push things forward.
Your new single is called ‘Midnight in LA’ – what is it about?
Sam: It’s a love letter to LA. Literally capturing the magic of that late summer night moment when the warm breeze hits you and the city lights are beaming and you’re just out, free.
How has it been launching the collective in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic? Did you have any plans that had to be shelved?
Sam: Touring and playing festivals definitely had to be put on hold. Thankfully we created so much content literally right before the lockdown and have been able to release it all during quarantine.
Sander: And it has given us a wonderful vehicle that we can continue to work on and believe in because it literally did not exist before this crisis. Its something to hold on as things will never be the same.
It’s not just the COVID situation, there’s also the Black Lives Matter movement exploding right now. As a mixed race band (please feel free to correct us if that’s not the right term) what are your views on the situation and how do you view what’s happening right now as individuals and also as a collective?
Bishop 7: It’s time for everybody who’s tone def to wake up or move over. It’s time for everyone to work together in harmony and everything that doesn’t support that has to be destroyed and attacked from every angle. So as the black member of Black Neon, I say power to the people who want a better world.
Sam: There is a major shift taking place right now and I am grateful to be here for it and be a part of it as an ally, sister, woman, friend, artist and human. What a time to be alive!
Sander: It interesting to see what matters when the world has a few moments to breath and think, these matters are and have been lingering for too long but the chase for the mighty dollar has blinded many for the reality of everyday life for many, it is good to see that the world is choosing to use this time wisely.
What’s next for Black Neon?
Sam: Grammys, several globally number one records, sold out tours all around the world. But first… a second EP, continuing to release creative content and building our fanbase!
Bishop 7: Music that makes the world feel like a better place.
Sander: The music that sounds better with you
Thanks for your time!
Sam: Thank you for yours!