[interview] Dominic Neill – Debut album, Out Of My League

[interview] Dominic Neill - Debut album, Out Of My League - photos by Canton Parker

Photo Credit: Canton Parker

It’s not often an artist comes along that is as filled with passion as he is with talent. Dominic Neill is one of the artists that has managed to not only remain relevant since his ‘Top Seven’ Idols appearance back in 2012, but progressively elevate his game year by year, until his reputation in the industry was one that preceded him.  After working with the massive DJ/producer DJ Kent on his album Evolution X, the twosome released a single that would have enough success on national radio to make people sit up and start asking who this talented vocalist was.

Out Of My League is the product of many years of “striving to be better”.  An honest musical moment in the life of a young, ever-evolving, ever-learning artist, it is a stellar moment that will do nothing but elevate this star to the heights he hopes for.

Interview: Dominic Neill

[interview] Dominic Neill - Debut album, Out Of My League - photos by Canton Parker

Can you please give us a short 101 on who DOMINIC NEILL the musician is? Where in SA do you come 
I’m very much “what you see, is what you get”. I try and be as honest as a person and an artist both to myself and those around me so I really just look to tell the stories I experience and that’s how music started for me as well. I played instruments throughout my life and music was always at the center of every happy or even sad moment for myself and my family. When I was about 14 and dealing with all the complicated but stupid things you experience growing up, I really turned to writing and singing as an outlet and a coping mechanism and that’s where I guess I first toyed with the idea of becoming an artist. 
Was music always an inspiration in your household growing up?
Without a doubt. Both my parents were huge appreciators of music and it was always on full blast in the car and I think it’s just something that we always saw as a huge part of our lives. My parents also always encouraged me to pursue music when they realized I had a knack for it and enabled me to try learn different instruments and take part in school bands etc. 
You have recently released you debut album, Out Of My League. What can people expect from this album?
Ah man, ideally I’d love people to just give it a listen and experience it the way they want to. But if I have to answer I’d say that it’s a real mix of what I call “radio music” in the sense that it’s made to accompany the listener in their daily lives I guess. It’s so difficult for me to talk about the music, I prefer it to do the talking. It really just is an honest expression of where I am in life at the moment. 
How would you describe your ‘sound’ in 5 words?
Deep (that’s what my friends say haha) 
What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently? 
It’s really exciting in the sense that it’s at the beginning of what I think will be massive growth over the next 5 to 10 years as we completely move from the physical to the digital consumptions of music (we’re a little behind the rest of the world for various reasons). The one concern for me, is that although we are a music loving nation filled with people who particularly love radio, we lack a music consumption “culture”. What I mean by this is that people might love a song and an artist but they rarely take the next step and go and buy the album or go to a venue on a Friday night and actually go and watch their favorite artist live.I’ve spent some time in the scene in Berlin and there are clubs that have secret lineups on a Friday night and yet people sell out the venue every week because they know they are in for a great night of very good music, which is really the epitome of the culture I’m talking about. 
Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
I recently wrote on Craig Lucas’ album with him and my goodness the man can sing. He’s also a great songwriter in his own right so I really just try and show him love at every turn. He’s someone who’s dreams have genuinely come true in a matter of months and it’s incredible to see him just take it al in his stride. Look out for his album that drops towards the end of October, I wrote a track called “Hearts Exposed” with him. 
Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
I’m always busy with some sort of project musically. I’ve been in studio with some house producers, which is really exciting and also have a big international release planned for the end of October which is extremely exciting. I’m also in the process of planning a second trip to Berlin for two weeks of songwriting sessions, which will be in February. In summary, just more and more music I hope. 
Where can we follow you on Social media?
Instagram (my favourite): iamdominicneill
Twitter: @iamdominicneill

Thanks so much for having me on your site. #winning

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Today sees the release of DOMINIC NEILL’s first music video for his single, OUT OF MY LEAGUE. The single also featured A’RESE, winner of The Voice Nigeria 2016, and is the title track from DOMINIC’s debut album.

Inspired by his own life and experiences, the single was written in late January 2017 while in studio  with producers Bubele Booi and David Balshaw, born out of a single guitar line from DOMINIC.

“I had this desire to tell the story about self doubt when it comes to approaching people, courting love and just getting through life. It’s also about realizing that self doubt is part of being a human being and while you’re doubting yourself other people are experiencing the same doubt and that’s okay.”

With DOMINIC’s signature vocals combined with his honest, vulnerable and relatable approach when writing lyrics, the single was a perfect fit for A’RESE. With her warm stage presence and extraordinary vocal ability, she fully embraced the story DOMINIC was trying to tell with the song.

The video for OUT OF MY LEAGUE was shot in one day in August 2017 at the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel in Menlyn, by the team at GVR.

“I wanted to try and portray the feelings I have about this song and in the song. In addition A’rese is a very well known actress in Nigeria and I really wanted to tap into that talent as well. The guys at GVR took that into consideration and developed the idea of a hotel setting and two travelers in that space trying to reach out to each other, but never quite getting it right.”

“Before watching the video, think back to the last time you wanted something and the world and fate just won’t give it to you. If even for a moment, you can FEEL that again watching the video, then we’ve won.”

DOMINIC NEILL’s debut album, OUT OF MY LEAGUE, is available on iTunes.

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