Neijah Lanae

Beautiful, talented, and confident... Neijah Lanae proves to be the whole package.  Neijah Lanae is a R&B artist who was born and raised in Oakland, CA.  She comes from a big family who she loves to go visit.  Her mom encouraged her to attend Oakland School for the Arts where she studied music and learned how to play piano.  Neijah Lanae moved to Los Angeles as soon as she graduated high school to attend Loyola Marymount.  Now she’s singing along side Raven Sorvino and working with The Formula which you can hear on her album Trouble in Paradise.  Her songs are filled with heartbreak and soul with an unexpected dark edge.  


What truly impressed me about miss Neijah Lanae was her professionalism and drive.  Just with the couple encounters I had with her, at the photoshoot and in completing this interview, those qualities were apparent.  The way she conducts herself is extremely professional; punctual, polite, and respectful.  Her drive is admirable, she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it.  Find out more about Neijah Lanae in our interview and check out her music on soundcloud.


LA RAW: If you weren't doing music what do you think you would be doing instead?

NL: That could be a number of things, but I was super into styling right before I got serious with my music. So I'll go with that.


LA RAW: What was your major in college?

NL: I studied Elementary Education in college with a minor in History. I love children and I am sometimes too vocal about people following their passions and living up to their full potential. I think history is super cool, I could sit up and talk for hours about history and other social topics.


LA RAW: What age did you start playing piano/singing/songwriting?

NL: I've been singing since I can remember. My mom was a singer and dancer, so I always tried to emulate her. I began training and studying music theory at 13 when I got into Oakland School for the Arts. My theory teacher was a pianist and that made me want to teach myself piano. I think I wrote my first song in middle school with two of my homegirls haha. But the songwriting really picked up once I learned piano.


LA RAW: I heard you say that your mom and aunt are musicians; Are you influenced by any of their music while creating your own?  

NL: Here and there, some of there songs I still want to remake. But most of all, I take from their experience. They always have the best advice for me. They are my biggest supporters.


LA RAW: Who else influences/inspires you right now in music and in fashion?

NL: PRINCE has always been one of my inspirations, No Doubt, Ben Folds, Elton John, Queen among others as far as the music. As far as fashion, I try to dress how I feel. I always check out runway looks and random lookbooks but overall I just try to keep it comfy and fabulous. But if I had to choose someone, I'd say Kanye West cs6 master collection download. I've always looked up to his level of taste....can't go without acknowledging his overall iciness.


LA RAW: How did you get connected with The Formula?

NL: I met both J Hyphen and Chi-kotiq at LMU (Loyola Marymount University). It wasn't until after we all graduated that we started working on music together. I love working with them, their sound is limitless and they don't discriminate against my girly ideas and Clueless references.


LA RAW: I love the “mind heart soul” video. It was creepy but sultry at the same time.  Raven Sorvino also added a throwback 90s vibe that I dig.  What was your inspiration behind this video concept and aesthetic?

NL: I'm really into horror movies, I drew inspiration from my favorite 90's horror films for that video. The track has an eerie vibe to it and I wanted that to come alive in the video. I'm singing about this "love" obsession which can get kind of dark. It just all fell and in place and felt right. And Raven is always fun to work with, I love how she fit into that track and the video.


LA RAW: I also love that you said that putting yourself out there can get people used to different types of beauty, which is so important, especially in the black community.  Do you have any other words to the wise on embracing the skin you're in?

NL: It can be so hard, but at the end of the day if you don't love what you have and rock it to the fullest no one else will love it or even notice. You have to have enough confidence to put yourself out there for happiness, for positivity, for recognition. That goes for loving the skin you're in and moving forward with any goal you have. Believe it, own it. The world will make room.


LA RAW: What's your favorite track on "Trouble in Paradise"?

NL: I'd have to say "The Aahs". Its a short one but I love the energy that we captured on that track. It was such a collaborative effort from having my vocal harmony as the foundation, the subtle yet piercing bass line that Hyphen laid, and that amazing guitar solo that Chikotiq did. I love that track.


LA RAW: Where do you get inspiration for your lyrics?

NL: All of the my lyrics are about past or current experiences and things that I have gone through. 


LA RAW: Have you been working on any new projects?

NL: I've been performing a lot lately, but I'm starting to buckle down and record a lot more. I'll be releasing new material very very soon.


LA RAW: What are you looking forward to in 2014?  Any resolutions?

NL: No new years resolutions but I am excited to see what the new year will bring for myself and my loved ones. Everyone has been going pretty hard in their prospective areas. I'm excited to see those seeds grow.


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