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Meet Neyva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neyva.

Neyva, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started off as being self-taught. I would sing to myself and watch endless music videos to see what I liked and what I didn’t like. I also was in a lot of music programs growing up. I was in jazz choir, jazz band, concert band/marching band in middle/high school, studied vocal jazz, classical voice, and music production in college. Pursuing music academically showed me what I did not want to do musically, leading me to dropping in and out of college. During this time, I met a former burger records artist who abused me and manipulated me into becoming very insecure and withdrawn (the statement is on my Instagram as well as it being posted on the lured by burger records page). I also met one of my favorite artists growing up, had this person give me false promises for my music career and had a falling out with them. That led to me being cast in the dark for a while until I brought myself back into my own light.

I rerecorded the music made with my abusers as well as sought out places such as Queer As Punk and HEAV3N to perform my music. I did therapy that I am still dedicating myself to currently. I’ve also met some very nice people who have helped give me different perspectives on life and music, some that are still my closest friends and collaborators to this day. I gradually started making my own dreams come true rather than relying on someone else to do that for me. Since then, I have been defining success for myself, creating music on my own terms, and collaborating only with those who inspire and empower me to be the best version of myself. COVID-19 has made live shows and meeting new artists in person much harder, leading to everything being virtual.

During the pandemic, I have performed virtually for Queer As Punk, Queer Monday’s LBC, my second annual kikinceañera (kiki/quinceañera), and throwing parties on zoom. I also have done some music production workshops for Chicas Rockeras SELA, Beats By Girlz, and Fem Synth Lab. That’s been quite fatiguing for me, and at this point, my main focus is regaining my confidence, bettering my mental/physical health, making substantial music without being pressured by external sources including the pandemic, and being kinder to myself. I’ve been through a lot these past five years and 2020 has been hell. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist who is extremely hard on themselves but yeah.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. I can waste my time writing an essay in MLA format for you blaming external sources such as: my abusers, time, college, my music professors growing up, my parents, people who have screwed me over musically/financially, fake friends, etc but then I always end up blaming myself. In Lady Gaga’s song 911, she says “my biggest enemy is me,” and yes she is so right! It’s always been me. I have always been my biggest struggle. I have always struggled with simply believing in MYSELF. Like damn, I really let y’all get to me. I really let you question my intelligence by lying to me or taking advantage of the fact that my emotional sensitivity is high and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I had to go through all of that.

Five years ago, I did not have that confidence and wisdom that I do now. It took a lot of failure and mistakes on my behalf to get to this point. I had to move out during the pandemic which was probably my lowest point in life so far. I had to use all the money that I had saved for my music to stay in motels. I had to flee to Arizona/Mexico for a bit too. I was so blessed to get donations to a gofundme that I set up as a last resort. To have friends that let me stay with them when I lived in an environment that was killing me. My situation with my parents has been gradually getting better, but just like the theme of 2020, there is so much work to do and recover from. I’ve lost and found myself countless times, and it feels like I have aged beyond my years. I have become so independent but I also have been extremely codependent in the past. One of my favorite lyrics that I have written so far is: “Everyone’s got their struggles and their own path.

Most hide underneath their own mask.” I have really masked a lot of myself whether it was my musical gifts, sexual/gender identity, emotions, or eccentricities overall. I have also compared myself to others endlessly, which is so detrimental to your health. No one has their shit together. I’m tired of putting a front that I’m ok or that I have it all together. People are not as confident as they deem themselves to be on Instagram/social media either. I’ll never say that I’m healed or that I feel whole. Björk said, “when we’re broken we are whole, and when we’re whole we’re broken.” I’ll always be recovering. I know I keep quoting my icons but it’s all true and resonant with my struggles!!! It’s been turbulent but worth fighting for, and it’s only up from here! I can’t look back anymore.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Music is what I specialize in. I sing, produce, play bass/upright bass, and I love synthesizers. I’m known for my music sounding abrasive, eclectic, and emotional. A lot of my early music has a lot of ethereal synths, hard-hitting sub-bass, emotional lyrics based on my experiences in life/trauma, lush harmonies, and dreamy vocals. Right now, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next musically. I am proud to say that no one defines what I have achieved except for me. I don’t owe anything to anyone. Anyone who tries to take credit for my accomplishments is a liar.

I introduced myself to my favorite artists growing up and even if they didn’t like me, I did that on my own. All of the performances I have done in my life so far were because I introduced myself to the curator of said event/place or people have naturally gravitated towards me because they see that I work hard. My resilience is what sets me apart from others because no matter how withered and weak life has made me, I always rise from it. My friend Lost Angeles said in one of their songs, “you can’t kill a bad bitch like me! Legends never die baby” Life will wanna kill me yet I’m still here. I’ll want to kill me and give up but I’m still here. I push with fear within me and keep going no matter how much I don’t want to. Most people will project on others and be bitter.

As much as I’ve wanted to be bitter and resentful, I couldn’t. That’s what sets me apart from others. I’m not a legend yet, but if I keep pushing through the way that I have been, I think I can be. Also, I really like my sense of style. I’ve always liked expressing myself through my fashion sense. I’ve slacked off a bit since the pandemic, but I’m trying to stay fly until I die you know? Hee hee!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood was going to Mexico to my great grandmother’s house yearly and hanging out with my cousins. Ever since she passed away, nothing has really been the same. I really cherish those times in my life.

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Image Credit:
The Makeup Mariachi, Angel Aura, Queer LA, and Jenna Houchin.

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