Could you tell us how you got into music?
My earliest memory of being infatuated with music would be listening to Michael Jackson when he was in The Jackson 5. I was six or seven, and I couldn’t believe that such an incredible voice was coming from someone around my age – that blew my mind. From then on, I wanted to be a singer. I’ve always been obsessed with music: any genre, legendary artists and brand new artists, I just had to make music. It wasn’t until my song Forever Gone got shortlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition that I thought ‘OK, I must be doing something right with this now,’ then I decided to start releasing.
What’s the latest release you have out – and what does it say about you?
My latest project is my one and only EP, The Last First One. I think it says a lot about me really. It’s honest and open and versatile, and that’s how I am.
Did you have any particular artists in mind as an influence when you started out?
When making the EP, my goal was to be me, to try and stand out as myself. But of course, everyone’s inspired by someone, in any field. I take inspiration from brand new artists as well as the obvious greats, cos you’ve got to adapt to modern music. My favourite artists are Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Sampha, Ben Howard, The Internet, Michael Jackson. When Bon Iver released For Emma, Forever Ago I couldn’t believe how deep it was, it was strangely honest and brutal; my favourite album ever. After that, making music that touches and helps people became the only goal.
What can audiences expect from your appearance at LIMF?
My LIMF performance will be so important to me. Since it’s started I’ve had my eyes on it, thinking, ‘I need to be on there’. So, when I was asked to do it I was actually overwhelmed. It’s the biggest music event in my home city, and that’s big for me, so it’s going to be my best performance to date: full band, new songs from my upcoming EP, and just lots of fun in general.
Neil Noa plays the itsLiverpool Stage at LIMF Summer Jam on Friday 21st July.