|Neeko (formerly known as "Yung-Flex") is next up in the "6ix"|
With so much hype surrounding the blossoming music scene in Canada, one young artist is beginning to emerge. Neeko, known to many as Yung-Flex, looks to tell his story coming from an area that has gained a recent spotlight. With artists such as Drake, The Weeknd, PartyNextDoor and more paving the way, Neeko is ready to hit the road in full stride:
(Neeko releases "6ix" Music Video)
We caught up with Neeko to discuss recent changes, struggles, his grind as well as his maturation as an artist.
SBYZ Q&A: Neeko
Q: Most SBYZ fans know you as Yung-Flex.. Why the name change to "Neeko" and what is the meaning behind the name?
A: I've had the name [Yung-Flex] since I was about 14. As far as this music thing goes, it's the only name I've had so it grew with me as I progressed as an artist and as I grew as a person. With that being said, I'm almost 21 now and I feel like I've out grown the name. I feel like I needed something new for the next stage of my career so I decided to make a name change. It could have been anything to be honest, but I chose to make it subtle. Neeko is a name that will reflect where I am currently as a musician.
Q: Being from Toronto, what are your views on Drake, the Weeknd, PartyNextDoor and others putting Canada on the map musically?
A: I think it's amazing because until like 5 years ago, no one in America (the mecca of the music industry) really knew about Canada or the fact that Canadians had talent like this. I just think now people are finally seeing that there are talents in Canada because there really is.. we just don't get the same exposure as America. I definitely listen to all of their music and in the future I would love to connect with them if possible because I know we would be able to make something dope.
Q: You've seen artists come and go in your Indie Label, Swiperboy Entertainment (SBYZ).. What have you observed from that, and why are you committed?
A: They're quitters. Their minds aren't right. They're not focused enough to make this long journey. No one knows better than me these last five years I've been out here struggling. Moms still gotta pay bills.. sometimes it feels like I've been crossing the dessert with no water, no shade no anything but I still grind. I haven't collapsed or given up like others because I'm focused. I know what I have with SBYZ, I know the strides I have made, and I know what we want. Music is all I have and I refuse to waste my talent and go grab a desk job because I'm more than that. Me and Swipe have a vision and as long as swipe keeps his vision, I'll always have hope.
Q: What have you learned from Swiperboy on this journey so far?
A: I've learned that persistence is key. It's one thing to have someone recap their life and tell you about all the struggles and obstacles they had to overcome to achieve success.. but it's a whole other thing when you're living all those moments with someone and I really feel like I've been with Swipe on this journey all along. Even though I haven't been through it all in person, I've seen all thats happened. All he's accomplished, the highs and the lows and I'm learning that you just gotta keep pushing no matter what because you get in what you put out...plain and simple.
Q: How has SBYZ matured you in these past 5 years?
A: I feel like SBYZ has allowed me to see things for what they really are and to see that the grind to get into the music industry is hard and its way more than just the music. It's very political. It's almost a game that you have to play, whether it be perception or knowing when to drop on a remix of a hot record to get your views up even if it only last a couple days. SBYZ has also allowed me to see that this is real life. There's no guarantees you can get promised 100 things in a row but if something else comes up, things change. Everything in life doesn't always go according to plan, and all you can control is your effort and attitude. SBYZ has definitely made me stronger, and shaped me in terms of how I view things and people.
Q: You produced SB's "Brick By Brick" (Tennessee Football Anthem) which was played in Football Stadiums across the US. How was it to be a part of the project?
A: It was exciting for sure. I got to showcase what I can do even if the majority of the poeple didn't know that it was me that made the beat to begin with. I got an opportunity to put my talents out there for all to hear even if it was in the form of a three minute track. As far as I know, the record was well received by the fans so that's all I could have asked for to be honest. I just hope there's a lot more of those opportunities down the road because I'm ready for them.
Q: If you could work with one artist in the industry, who would it be and why?
A: I would work with Kanye West 100%. Kanye is the reason I even started making beats to begin with so to finally be able to work with him I think it would almost feel like my life has come full circle. Finally getting to meet the man that sparked the flame in my music way back when.. it would be the most significant moment in my career no doubt. I know we would be able to make something dope and honestly I would like to take it back to his Graduation days maybe even the College Drop Out because those albums are why I really took to sampling and creating sounds from nothing. He's who I would pick no doubt.
Q: Why should people listen to your music?
A: Because I'm dope number 1, not sound arrogant or cocky but I've been working on this sound.. this type of feel for years and it hasn't gotten the kind of recognition it deserves yet. I have many sounds I can never just pick one and stick with it because that would be stifling as an artist. It wouldn't do anything good for me. I feel like I'm bringing a fresh sound, not to say my sound is way out there and unlike anyone else's, but to say I might sound like your favorite artist but you'll always know that I'm different. You might not be able to put your finger on it as to why I'm different but I'll always give you that feel.
Q: What do you bring to the music industry?
|Neeko performing at a recent show in Toronto, Canada|
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A: I see myself at all the award shows, living in a nice little house making music and taking care of my people. I see my team on top finally getting to show the world we've been working with this whole time. Hopefully it's a lot sooner that in the next 5 years, but I think that 5 year mark is undeniable and I'll get the credit and recognition that I deserve.. that we all deserve, no doubt.
Follow Neeko on twitter: @Neeko_SBYZ
Follow Neeko on soundcloud: Neeko