Neon Gold co-founders Lizzy Plapinger, 26, and Derek Davies, 27, played a critical role in establishing Charli XCX’s U.S. stardom.
The artist approached the two to release her first EP through Warner in 2011, but a contract with Sony’s Columbia prevented them from doing so. Instead, Plapinger and Davies booked Charli for Neon Gold’s influential Popshop showcases in New York and at South by Southwest — gigs that have helped propel such acts as Ellie Goulding, Haim and Tove Lo to stateside fame (all three issued their first releases on the label). Plus, Davies adds, “I put up Charli and her band at my loft downtown on their first trip” to New York, establishing a fast friendship.
After Neon Gold signed to Warner’s Atlantic in January 2014, Davies and Plapinger became involved in every aspect of Sucker, from recruiting producers like John Hill to helping design the album’s visuals and styling Charli for its artwork. But as Plapinger is careful to note, “No one tells Charli what to do or who to be, and she’s a better artist for it.” Up next for Neon Gold: debut EPs from emerging acts Cathedrals and Great Good Fine OK, a national touring edition of Popshop in 2015 and its first venture into publishing.