The R&B trap songstress discusses connecting during quarantining, an upcoming film and colorism.
Nothing can stop a powerhouse like Neisha Neshae. Not even 2020, where a worldwide pandemic took hold, racial tensions seem to have reached a new high and the concert industry has completely fallen flat. Neisha remains committed to delivering new records to a devoted and constantly growing audience in and outside the Motor City.
Beginning with the release of the single “Never Know” in May, Neisha’s latest records perfectly align her signature R&B trap style with evolved life messages. “Never Know” finds Neisha motivating listeners to strengthen their relationships with loved ones.
She says, “I wrote ‘Never Know’ the day after Kobe passed away. I was in a space where I realized there’s a lot of things that I don’t say to people. I just wanted to remind people to tap in with the ones that they love.” July single “Be Yourself,” produced by Coal Cash Blac and Ced Louie, serves to promote self-love. The powerful lyricism that surges through “Be Yourself” proves why the R&B songstress remains a respected figure in Detroit’s music culture.
Throughout this pandemic and time of increased racial tension, Black women in the music industry like Neisha have been a major sector of the voices that steadily uplift our community. Being a true advocate for her people, Neisha continues to encourage her diverse fans to own who they are and to spread positivity. She wonders, “At what point do we all come together and realize that we are not each other’s opponents?”
Read our full in-depth interview with Neisha Neshae below:
What has this crazy experience been like for you, both as an artist and in your personal life? How has Neisha been taking advantage of quarantine?
This pandemic has definitely forced me to do other things like pour into my own business, selling my own lashes. I’m learning more about marketing and branding myself. It’s making me turn my other talents into monetary value. I’m not saying I’m not making any money as an artist anymore because of the pandemic, but I’m definitely not making show money. It is pretty frustrating as an artist, but I think as an individual, it’s been helping me grow and it’s been allowing me the opportunity to tap into other businesses.
I think in all honesty, some of the biggest artists we know have opened doors and made money other ways. They don’t depend simply on being an artist, which is what I always thought was important. I don’t think the pandemic should stop anybody. We all need money and steady streams of income. If this pandemic didn’t push anyone to get to working somehow … I don’t know. It must not be in them.
How was it working on the film Price of Love under the pandemic or were your scenes already shot?
We shot the Price of Love movie before the pandemic happened. We shot it in like a week and I believe they planned on releasing it in early 2020 or even in June. But this whole thing happened so I think that they’re trying to wait until it’s over with, really. We haven’t had any linkups to do interviews just yet or anything like that so there’s just a little hold up. Y’all ain’t ready for this movie! This movie is about my character Jasmine who ends up evolving into this boss ass woman. I can’t wait for people to see a different side of me with my acting and everything.
As someone who uplifts others with their platform, how have you encouraged your loved ones and supporters to persevere during this time?
I’m really a friendly kind of person. I love to have my friends around, and I love to hang out with them. I’m always trying to speak positive vibes, and we are in a group chat together. We all make sure we keep in touch and we link up outside of this social distancing. That’s really important. We’ll get out of the house, go eat or hangout, or just whatever. My friends know that if they need somebody, they can come talk to me and keep in touch. I don’t think this social distancing means anything. I’m not going to let that affect me or my relationships with people.
What would you say were the main messages you wanted to convey to listeners with your record “Never Know”?
I wrote ‘Never Know’ the day after Kobe passed away. I was in a space where I realized there’s a lot of things that I don’t say to people. I just wanted to remind people to tap in with the ones that they love, even if it’s a text or a call just reminding them of your love. I feel like we need to do that sometimes, especially in this busy world where everyone is trying to figure it out right now. A lot of people are passing away, and it can be traumatizing.
When my mom passed away, I never got to apologize to her for things I said to her. I never got to just let her know I loved her and I feel like that was something that I’ll never be able to fill a void for, but as long as you do better with the next relationship and with other people in your life. You can’t take back time, but you can do better yourself. That was the space I was in when I did that song.
You recently asked fans to name their favorite music visual of yours via social media. Personally, I love “Pressure,” from the song to the visual. What would you say was your favorite to film and then to share?
My favorite video so far has been ‘Things Change.’ I decided to go to where my mom is buried at to shoot one of the scenes, and I had my sister in that video. I think ‘Things Change’ is one of my most personal records I’ve wrote. I had come to the realization that something that I always had a hard time dealing with was change. People leaving or things not working out how I want them to, so I wanted to write about that and just show people that things are going to change regardless. It’s all about accepting things for what they are and where they’re at in that moment.
As an empowering and influential Black woman in both your industry and community, do you have any thoughts on the recent rise in racial tension against our people? What advice would you give to our Black men and women as we fight through these intense times of racial injustice?
I’ve been seeing our people battle each other over our skin tones with this whole ‘I’m not Black enough’ argument, even with the current issues that we deal with. I think that is what is causing such a big divide in us. We are all one as a Black unit. Every skin tone of Black matters. That’s something I might need to speak on at some point, but we all need to come together because the whole light skin against dark skin battle is one that we will never win. At what point do we all come together and realize that we are not each other’s opponents?
I was raised by my aunt who was white. My dad is white so this racist battle is hard for me to watch and see how people are treating other people because of the way they were acting. It’s just difficult, and I hope it gets better at some point, but it may not be any time soon. Right now, we need to just keep coming together and protecting our Black women and men. Everyone’s always like, ‘Oh, protect him because he’s this’ or, ‘Protect her because she’s that’ when we need to all protect each other regardless of position.
I feel super strongly about that. Watching the video of George Floyd and how no one did anything but yell and call people names – that’s the norm. At what point is someone going to physically step up and do something whether it be risking their life or whatever the case may be? I would never in my life stand by and watch someone struggling to breathe or die. I don’t care if I have to lose my life. That’s just the kind of person I am, so that’s the message I like to put out to people. I’m willing to go above and beyond for my kind.