Meet NEO 10Y

Queer Croydon has had the pleasure of interviewing NEO 10Y!

NEO 10Y, welcome to Queer Croydon. Tell us about who you are and your artistry?

Hi Queer Croydon! I’m NEO 10Y – a recording artist and spiritual revolutionary from London. For the last seven years, my artistry has been centred around the philosophies of self-realization and love energy. I have been creating timeless songs, visuals and stage shows around the world, as a self-empowered and independent popstar, to help us manifest a protopian dimension of peace on planet Earth together.

My work has been featured by Billboard and the BBC, in magazines and newspapers including PAPER, COLORS, Rolling Stone, Dazed, the Evening Standard, GQ, gal-dem and Interview Magazine, plus on major Spotify and Apple playlists.

I love playing live and my soul belongs on stage. My shows are 360º immersive experiences, which have taken place everywhere from raves to the Roundhouse, at concert venues, art galleries and festivals in London, Europe and the USA. I also recently played the main stage at UK Black Pride.

As a regular face in Croydon, how does the borough inspire your artistry?

The greatest purpose of any artist is to channel the voice of the universe into their vision. Authentic artistry is reclaiming control, and power is finding its way back to the artist. Growing up, there wasn’t a single mainstream representation of me in pop music, lyrically or visually. The war on consciousness extends deep into society. The system doesn’t tend to allow outspoken thinkers to thrive on commercial platforms, let alone a South Asian vegan Goddex, but what were once deemed oppressions are now my superpowers. Croydon is full of diversity, and my art is inspired by the expansive nature of reality.

We love the visuals for the music video of ‘VAPID PROPHECY’. What inspired it? 

Thank you! I have actually directed, produced and starred in all sixteen of my music videos. Vapid Prophecy is about a spiritual revolution. As a species, we have an incoming gender expansive and vegan majority for the population of planet Earth, an entire spectrum of humxn beings that truly understand that binaries and violence are holding us back from peace will soon be the new mainstream.

My songs are designed to help people choose love within and beyond themselves, so that we can accelerate this healing process for humxnity. Vapid Prophecy is also about embracing your inner baddie and having no fear.

‘SHORTCUT TO WORLD PEACE’ transcends many musical genres, this is a common feature in your back catalogue. Is this deliberate?

As I write from the perspective of love energy and the universe, my art is galactic in nature. My soundscapes tap into a plethora of genres, resulting in a final output that is relatable to everyone, and not limited by the historic rigid structures of sound design and label-enforced genre stereotypes.

How does being South Asian and Queer influence your art?

A lot of my spiritual inspiration comes from ancestral Vedic philosophies of peace, but as I was born and grew up in London, I have somewhat of a unique perspective on decoding violence and the binaries of reality, which I have subsequently put into my art.

At this time of a great awakening to a more conscious way of being, we are already seeing an exponential rise in anti-racism and overall kindness and compassion to each other. Self-realisation and making conscious decisions with intention at every moment can help us all move forward, but often the wider mainstream can forget the root of what love really is and how integral the philosophy of non-violence is as a solution for us as individuals, and as a collective. “Ahimsa” is the ancient Indian principle of non-violence which applies to all living beings. This can also be considered as “love energy”.

A world with LOVE at the core of all decisions is crucial to heal our planet, our collective, regain control of the system, and it is more clear than ever that a vegan and non-violent future is imperative to reducing violence based on racism, homophobia, and transphobia – as speciesism is truly the root of all oppression.

My name also translates as ONENESS – my artist moniker, NEO 10Y, and my Sanskrit ancestral name Nikhil, both mean “complete”. NEO 10Y comes from the word neoteny, which means the retention of childlike characteristics in the adult, so the idea of choosing love and leading with your inner child.

When you break it down, NEO is an anagram for ONE, and 10 is complete binary code, i.e. oneness which is also the same meaning as my name in Sanskrit, which is Nikhil, which means complete. There are then sonic parallels to my legal name, which is Nik Thakkar, leaving Y for curiosity energy which leads to love.

Your latest release ‘ONENESS (WHO WE ARE)’ is brilliant! How did the song come together?

ONENESS was released to mark my 7th year as NEO 10Y, and was released on 7/7/(2023 = 7). I wanted to share a song that encompasses my message of love and self-realization so that we can help manifest a protopian dimension of peace together. It was written in three stages, and I shot the music video in London and Los Angeles. ONENESS (WHO WE ARE) is a genre expansive opus, designed to take us on a trip inward so that we have the chance to choose love and connect with the most authentic versions of ourselves.

Tell us about any exciting projects that you are working on?

I was just selected as a Pioneer for Royal Museums Greenwich’s latest exhibition which is on display right now to celebrate South Asian Heritage month. I have a slew of shows coming up including the headline at London’s Diwali on 11.11!

2023 is also my seventh year as a vegan. I have a complexed and nuanced journey as a public figure who is vegan, having been on the receiving end of anti-vegan media sensationalism, death threats and bullying because of my perspectives on love and peace.

In addition to numerous BBC episodes and appearances, I recently filmed a new documentary for Channel 4 called Higher Ground, which sees me along with seven other personalities take psychedelics and discuss the importance of a vegan future. This year I have worked with PETA for a think piece on leather and a peaceful stunt against the so-called humane slaughter of animals, and was recently featured in the Future Normal campaign from The Vegan Society, as well as projects for the BBC and National Geographic. I have also been lobbying progressive humxn rights institutions, communities and leading philanthropy organisations to consider a wholly anti-oppression stance, and to align their humanitarian work with the philosophies of non-violence which includes veganism.

These are already progressive communities, many of which I am already a part of, who are likely to better understand the values of consent and love energy with human beings, so harnessing this ancient wisdom and experience to help sentient beings who are affected by the violence of animal agriculture.

Here you can find the slides from the presentation that I have been sharing with a growing number of institutions which demonstrates that love is the Shortcut To World Peace, how Speciesism is the Root of all Oppression, useful statistics, facts about animal sentience, debunking fallacies, along with additional resources to help us work together to manifest a conscious future for all.

If our readers could take one thing away from this interview, what would that be?

Keep being your authentic self, create with purpose, choose love, be vegan and consistent with your anti-oppression activism. You are the Universe and love is the shortcut to world peace.

The photos of NEO 10Y used in this article are credited to Ryan Geary.