As I have mentioned before, my wife Steph and I had a baby girl on 12.12.12. Together we had a variety of names that we kept swinging between. Some she really liked. Some I really liked. And a few that we both liked. We knew that naming your child is an important and difficult task. We both wanted something that was unique, but not too unique. Something that was artistic and athletic. Something that was pretty, but not overtly girly.
We decided upon 3 names. One that stood out. The others were great names and were there in case it just didn’t suit her. It did, and it does.
Her name is Neko Anne Scade.
Her middle name Anne was in tribute to my Mother. It was her middle name and it came from her Grandma, and is a classic feminine name. However, we get asked quite often where the name Neko comes from. Of course it comes from music.
Neko was named mainly after 2 musicians, but ultimately 5 artists influenced it. Back in University I had a friend name Niko, and since then I thought it was unique sounding name. There is a variety of spellings, Nico being the most popular. But we felt that the most feminine version was that of the fantastic singer Neko Case. For those that don’t know the works of Neko Case, she has been performing solo material since the mid 90′s and is also a member of the Canadian band The New Pornographers. I have only had the opportunity to see her live once, which was in the 90′s. She has one of those signature voices, and her 2009 album Middle Cyclone was on my best of 2009 list. She is also scheduled for this years Edmonton Folk Music Festival, so maybe Neko can meet Neko.
The other musician that the name is inspired from is Nico Muhly. If you have read the music blog before, you will likely know that I am a huge fan of Nico Muhly and his compositions. He is a prolific classical composer that works with many contemporary musicians. Nico has released a number of albums/pieces through the label bedroom community and some of his more traditional work through the classical label Decca. He has also worked with musicians such as Jonsi, Valgeir Sigurddsson, Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Bjork, Antony and the Johnsons’s and most recently Usher, among many others. He also composed the score to The Reader.
The other artists that had some influence on the name is Andy Warhol’s muse Nico who contributed to the self-titled debut album by the Velvet Underground and Nico. One of the most influential rock albums of all time. And to a lesser degree, Nicolas Jaar (who goes by Nico sometimes) and Nico Stai. But they are mostly just supportive.
In the last 3 months we have found that Neko suits Neko. And that any other name just doesn’t seem to fit. It’s funny how that works.
So, in celebration of Neko, I have created a playlist that consists of music that inspired the naming of Neko. Neko Case, Nico Muhly (and some of his collaborative arrangements), The Velvet Underground and Nico, Nico Jaar, and Nico Stai. It is available for listening on 8Tracks.
The first half concentrates on Neko Case then transitions in Nico of the Velvet Underground, then Nico(las Jaar) and then into Nico Muhly and his collaborations. 8tracks unfortunately limits you to 2 song per artist, so that is the way it has got to be.