I’ve been delving more into the world music genre recently, with Neo & Neo’s track Labuan Bajo غافل being a particular favourite of mine! They’re actually a Swiss group, and their music is fairly diverse – if you like your music a bit different to the norm, you should definitely check Neo & Neo out!
By Jane Howkins
You released a single titled Labuan Bajo غافل. What can you tell us about the track?
The song came to life on an island at the other end of the world. The evening is hot and tropical, there is one of the most beautiful sunsets happening you’ve ever seen, and in the background you can hear the prayer chantings of a minaret. Despite this magical atmosphere, Labuan Bajo غافل embodies a claustrophobic anxiety, and a heartbreaking epiphany. Labuan Bajo غافل might be one of the darkest songs I’ve ever written and I remember it really started with the first two lines that came to me watching the sun go down. Suddenly I felt this pain: “Love is in the air / suffocating me / The sun sets over town / Were you ever truly mine?”.
How has the reception to the song been so far, and where can the track be purchased?
The reception of the song has been very good, many blogs picked it up and wrote about the song, specifically about the mixture of musical styles. When it comes to streaming, well, it could be better…
Here, people can stream and buy the song: lnk.site/labuanbajo
Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?
A song called Stone In my Heart will be released soon, with yet another live session with the whole band, and also a radio version of the song.
Are there any plans to release a full-length album or an EP?
Yes, we recorded three songs live at Hardstudios Switzerland. The first two are now released and the third (Stone In My Heart) will follow at the end of June. The three songs will then form a mini EP (release: August 2023).
Why did you decide to create your music under the name Neo & Neo, instead of as a solo artist?
I didn’t want to use my own name and was looking for a artist name. Neo & Neo stands for new beginnings obviously, but also reflects the balance in life we are all searching for. Let’s say Neo symbolises something you want and is good for you. Whereas the other Neo might be something different, something that inevitably will hurt you, but attracts you like crazy. So how can one keep the balance?
Your music has a world music vibe, mixed in with elements of rock. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?
This song is a bit of an exception and – musically – stands out of what we did before. Recently, indeed, I got fascinated by middle eastern sound elements, beats and melodies, so it can be expected that this will continue in the future. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of music, from famous to not so famous bands, from international to very local artists. I also go to many live concerts to get influenced by live moods and atmosphere.
Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?
In cooperation with Putzi Production, our label, we will follow up our tour in Lebanon in 2017. I will be playing a concert in Beirut in July 2023.
Where are you based? How is the local music scene faring at the moment where you are?
We are based in the German speaking part of Switzerland. The music scene is very diverse, with a high quality, I would say. Recently, you can observe more trends emerging, especially female artists and LGBT+ bands and content.
Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?
Unfortunately, not. But if anyone sees this and wants us to play at their garden, living room, bar or venue, please don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any last words for the fans?
Say hello to us!