A few weeks back the squad got a taste of Neijah Lanae’s music at the Gold Mind Gallery. She instantly grabbed our attention, with her smooth sound and sweet personality. I wanted to learn more about the Oakland songstress, what makes her tick, and what she is inspired by.
Neijah Lanae is an Oakland native, who has always seen music as her passion. She comes from a family who expressed their selves through song and dance, so being some sort of entertainer was her goal at an early age.
I remember wanting to sing as a kid, wanting to be an entertainer. My mother was a singer and a dancer so she definitely influenced me and encouraged me when she found out I wanted to sing.
She started to write songs in middle school and started to truly develop her voice and study music after being accepted into the Oakland School for the Arts in the 9th grade.
She draws her inspirations from the things closest to her including her daily experiences and her environment. She always has her phone on deck so that when a moment of creative inspiration occurs, she is able to write it down or record a quick memo. She doesn’t have a process or road to get to her creative space, she just lets it happen, creating whenever it comes.
Her musical inspirations include Prince, Kanye and the late but great Aaliyah.
“I loved Aaliyah growing up because her voice was on the softer side and you didn’t here that from a lot of R&B artists before her.”
Although she is from Oakland, she currently lives in LA but her family and the bay’s creative community is what keeps her coming home. It gives her a peace of mind.
“I love the Bay. A lot of people in LA call the bay slow or too chill or say there is nothing to do. They just don’t know where to go [chuckles]”
Being a Bay Area artist, her opinion on the Bay’s music scene is definitely important. Her three favorite artists right now are Rayana Jay, Kehlani, and Ezale.
She is currently working on her next EP ‘Sapphire Vol.2’ which is set for release this Fall.