Nashville Collective neonPPL Aims to Spread Message of Inclusivity Through Music: Hear Lead Single 'beYOUtiful'
Lindsay Ell, Joy Williams, Danielle Bradbery & an anonymous neonPPL founder sing on the track.
A team of top Nashville songwriters, producers and musicians have formed neonPPL, an anonymous collective that will release songs with a rotating cast of guest vocalists, to spread a message of inclusivity.
Today, Billboard premieres the group’s lead single “beYOUtiful,” an empowering song that urges listeners to be themselves. Lindsay Ell, Joy Williams, Danielle Bradbery and one of neonPPL’s founders sing on the track. “beYOUtiful” is the first taste of music from the collective, and one member who chooses to remain anonymous says it was important to include “four strong and diverse females with a message that needs to be heard.”
With slick beats and a soaring chorus, the message is heard loud and clear on “beYOUtiful.” “You’re the only one who can be you so do you the best you can/ Wake up, breathe in, breath out and then/ BeYOUtiful,” they sing. Though they welcome airplay or playlisting for any of the songs, the group, which will service a video for each track, is “just creating to create. … With the music, what we hope to achieve is conversation.” An EP’s worth of music, with several big-name vocalists attached, is already recorded and neonPPL plan to roll out tracks at a regular pace.
In an interview with Billboard, one of neonPPL’s founders gives more insight into the collective.
How did the idea for neonPPL come together? Was there a certain event that kick-started the movement?
I wouldn’t say it was a single event, more so a combination of things. We want to create positive music simply for the sake of the music. Not for notoriety. Not for the money. Not to sell more concert tickets. We are already an established group of individuals and could have easily used that to our advantage. Instead we wanted the singular voice of awesomeness to be heard. That doesn’t mean that we are awesome but that a positive message is. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook that in a competitive environment to get the “next big hit."
Why is focusing on inclusiveness so important?
In the early meetings of the group, we’d sit in a room and talk about what our goal was. All of us, regardless of our successes -- or failures -- felt like the outcast, either growing up or now, and mostly a combination of both. When everyone feels like an outcast, no one really is. So why not include everyone in that message? I’ve never met anyone that feels like they simply “fit in” in life. The more people know that we are all experiencing the same, the more maybe people will see the similarities in each other.
Why did you decide to take part in neonPPL?
neonPPL has allowed us an outlet where we can create for passion’s sake and not [have] to chase an industry standard. The best part of working together was realizing how important each of our inputs combined were to this project. When another member would come in and bring their vision, the group became different and stronger and so much more than a singular idea.
Where did the name neonPPL come from?
We wanted to be the “people,” generic humans even, so that was where the name started. And then we felt like neon was a great description of our sound. Bright. Cool. Sometimes soft. Sometimes hot. As we started writing music, the name really took on a deeper connection. The name encourages everyone to find that light inside of them and to shine that light as a message of positivity, love, acceptance of self and others without boundaries or discrimination.
What are the requirements of being a member of neonPPL and why are you anonymous?
Anonymity is important so the message doesn’t get lost in who the messengers are. Yes, we have all agreed to stay secret and we record in places that one normally wouldn’t record music. We have also floated conspiracy theories about who is in our group into the music community, most of them false. The latest rumor is Travis Tritt, that I cannot confirm or deny, but wouldn’t that be cool? Someone actually asked me today if I had heard of the group and mentioned they knew who they were. Then they proceeded to list four people, and I can tell you that not one single person was right. It’s not important for us to stay completely hidden. It is mostly important for our message to heard/seen. By not consuming any of the light as individuals, the message can be seen the brightest.